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Prehistory and history of hairstyle

Source: From Wikipedia

Prehistory and history of hairstyle

Throughout times, people have worn their hair in a wide variety of styles, largely determined by the fashions of the culture they live in. Hairstyles are markers and signifiers of social class, age, marital status, racial identification, political beliefs, and attitudes about gender.

In many cultures, often for religious reasons, women's hair is covered while in public, and in some, such as Haredi Judaism or European Orthodox communities, women's hair is shaved or cut very short, and covered with wigs.Only since the end of World War I have women begun to wear their hair short and in fairly natural styles.

Paleolithic

The oldest known reproduction of hair braiding lies back about 30,000 years: the Venus of Willendorf, now known in academia as the Woman of Willendorf, of a female figurine from the Paleolithic, estimated to have been made between about 28,000 and 25,000 BCE.TheVenus of Brassempouy counts about 25,000 years old and indisputably shows hairstyling.

Bronze Age

In Bronze Age razors were known and in use by some men, but not on a daily basis since the procedure was rather unpleasant and required resharpening of the tool which reduced its endurance.

Ancient history

In ancient civilizations, women's hair was often elaborately and carefully dressed in special ways. Women coloured their hair, curled it, and pinned it up (ponytail) in a variety of ways. They set their hair in waves and curls using wet clay, which they dried in the sun and then combed out, or else by using a jelly made of quince seeds soaked in water, or curling tongs and curling irons of various kinds.

Roman Empire and Middle Ages

Between 27 BC and 102 AD, in Imperial Rome, women wore their hair in complicated styles: a mass of curls on top, or in rows of waves, drawn back into ringlets or braids. Eventually noblewomen's hairstyles grew so complex that they required daily attention from several slaves and a stylist in order to be maintained. The hair was often lightened using wood ashunslaked lime and sodium bicarbonate, or darkened with copper filings, oak-apples or leeches marinated in wine and vinegar.[9] It was augmented by wigs, hairpieces and pads, and held in place by nets, pins, combs and pomade. Under the Byzantine Empire, noblewomen covered most of their hair with silk caps and pearl nets.[10]

From the time of the Roman Empire[citation needed] until the Middle Ages, most women grew their hair as long as it would naturally grow. It was normally little styled by cutting, as women's hair was tied up on the head and covered on most occasions when outside the home with a snoodkerchief or veil; for an adult woman to wear uncovered and loose hair in the street was often restricted to prostitutes. Braiding and tying the hair was common. In the 16th century, women began to wear their hair in extremely ornate styles, often decorated with pearls, precious stones, ribbons and veils. Women used a technique called "lacing" or "taping," in which cords or ribbons were used to bind the hair around their heads.[11] During this period, most of the hair was braided and hidden under wimples, veils or couvrechefs. In the later half of the 15th century and on into the 16th century a very high hairline on the forehead was considered attractive, and wealthy women frequently plucked out hair at their temples and the napes of their necks, or used depilatory cream to remove it, if it would otherwise be visible at the edges of their hair coverings.[12] Working-class women in this period wore their hair in simple styles.[11]

Early modern history

Male styles

During the 15th and 16th centuries, European men wore their hair cropped no longer than shoulder-length, with very fashionable men wearing bangs or fringes. In Italy it was common for men to dye their hair.[13] In the early 17th century male hairstyles grew longer, with waves or curls being considered desirable.

The male wig was supposedly pioneered by King Louis XIII of France (1601–1643) in 1624 when he had prematurely begun to bald.[14] This fashion was largely promoted by his son and successor Louis XIV of France (1638–1715) that contributed to its spread in European and European-influenced countries. The beard had been in a long decline and now disappeared among the upper classes.

Perukes or periwigs for men were introduced into the English-speaking world with other French styles when Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660, following a lengthy exile in France. These wigs were shoulder-length or longer, imitating the long hair that had become fashionable among men since the 1620s. Their use soon became popular in the English court. The London diarist Samuel Pepys recorded the day in 1665 that a barber had shaved his head and that he tried on his new periwig for the first time, but in a year of plague he was uneasy about wearing it:

"3rd September 1665: Up, and put on my coloured silk suit, very fine, and my new periwig, bought a good while since, but darst not wear it because the plague was in Westminster when I bought it. And it is a wonder what will be the fashion after the plague is done as to periwigs, for nobody will dare to buy any haire for fear of the infection? That it had been cut off the heads of people dead of the plague."

Late 17th-century wigs were very long and wavy (see George I below), but became shorter in the mid-18th century, by which time they were normally white (George II). A very common style had a single stiff curl running round the head at the end of the hair. By the late 18th century the natural hair was often powdered to achieve the impression of a short wig, tied into a small tail or "queue" behind (George III).

Short hair for fashionable men was a product of the Neoclassical movement. Classically inspired male hair styles included the Bedford Crop, arguably the precursor of most plain modern male styles, which was invented by the radical politician Francis Russell, 5th Duke of Bedford as a protest against a tax on hair powder; he encouraged his frends to adopt it by betting them they would not. Another influential style (or group of styles) was named by the French after the Roman Emperor Titus, from his busts, with hair short and layered but somewhat piled up on the crown, often with restrained quiffs or locks hanging down; variants are familiar from the hair of both Napoleonand George IV of England. The style was supposed to have been introduced by the actor François-Joseph Talma, who upstaged his wigged co-actors when appearing in productions of works such as Voltaire's Brutus. In 1799 a Parisian fashion magazine reported that even bald men were adopting Titus wigs,[15] and the style was also worn by women, the Journal de Paris reporting in 1802 that "more than half of elegant women were wearing their hair or wig à la Titus."

An illustration showing "one of a Lady's duties - hair cutting" at a Ranch in Texas during the late 19th century. From the Wellcome Library.

In the early 19th century the male beard, and also moustaches and sideburns, made a strong reappearance, associated with the Romantic movement, and all remained very common until the 1890s, after which younger men ceased to wear them, with World War I, when the majority of men in many countries saw military service, finally despatching the full beard except for older men retaining the styles of their youth, and those affecting a bohemian look. The short military-style moustache remained popular.

Female styles

Marie-Antoinette with pouf hairstyle

From the 16th to the 19th century, European women's hair became more visible while their hair coverings grew smaller, with both becoming more elaborate, and with hairstyles beginning to include ornamentation such as flowers, ostrich plumes, ropes of pearls, jewels, ribbons and small crafted objects such as replicas of ships and windmills. Bound hair was felt to be symbolic of propriety: loosening one's hair was considered immodest and sexual, and sometimes was felt to have supernatural connotations.Red hair was popular, particularly in England during the reign of the red-haired Elizabeth I, and women and aristocratic men used boraxsaltpetersaffron and sulfurpowder to dye their hair red, making themselves nauseated and giving themselves headaches and nosebleeds.During this period in Spain and Latin cultures, women wore lace mantillas, often worn over a high comb,and in Buenos Aires, there developed a fashion for extremely large tortoise-shell hair combs called peinetón, which could measure up to three feet in height and width, and which are said by historians to have reflected the growing influence of France, rather than Spain, upon Argentinians.

In the middle of the 18th century the pouf style developed, with women creating volume in the hair at the front of the head, usually with a pad underneath to lift it higher, and ornamented the back with seashells, pearls or gemstones. In 1750, women began dressing their hair with perfumed pomade and powdering it white. Just before World War I, some women began wearing silk turbans over their hair.

Japan

In the early 1870s, in a shift that historians attribute to the influence of the West,Japanese men began cutting their hair into styles known as jangiri or zangiri (which roughly means "random cropping").During this period, Asian women were still wearing traditional hairstyles held up with combs, pins and sticks crafted from tortoise, metal, wood and other materials,but in the middle 1880s, upper-class Japanese women began pushing back their hair in the Western style (known as sokuhatsu), or adopting Westernized versions of traditional Japanese hairstyles (these were called yakaimaki, or literally, soirée chignon).

Movie star Rudolph Valentino.

Inter-war years

During the First World War, women around the world started to shift to shorter hairstyles that were easier to manage. In the 1920s women started for the first time to bobshingle and crop their hair, often covering it with small head-hugging cloche hats. In Korea, the bob was called tanbal.Women began marcelling their hair, creating deep waves in it using heated scissor irons. Durable permanent wavingbecame popular also in this period:it was an expensive, uncomfortable and time-consuming process, in which the hair was put incurlers and inserted into a steam or dry heat machine. During the 1930s women began to wear their hair slightly longer, in pageboys, bobs or waves and curls.

During this period, Western men began to wear their hair in ways popularized by movie stars such as Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Rudolph Valentino. Men wore their hair short, and either parted on the side or in the middle, or combed straight back, and used pomade, creams andtonics to keep their hair in place. At the beginning of the Second World War and for some time afterwards, men's haircuts grew shorter, mimicking the military crewcut.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Japanese women began wearing their hair in a style called mimi-kakushi (literally, "ear hiding"), in which hair was pulled back to cover the ears and tied into a bun at the nape of the neck. Waved or curled hair became increasingly popular for Japanese women throughout this period, and permanent waves, though controversial, were extremely popular. Bobbed hair also became more popular for Japanese women, mainly among actresses and moga, or "cut-hair girls," young Japanese women who followed Westernized fashions and lifestyles in the 1920s.

Post-war years

After the war, women started to wear their hair in softer, more natural styles. In the early 1950s women's hair was generally curled and worn in a variety of styles and lengths. In the later 1950s, high bouffant and beehive styles, sometimes nicknamed B-52s for their similarity to the bulbous noses of the B-52 Stratofortress bomber, became popular.During this period many women washed and set their hair only once a week, and kept it in place by wearing curlers every night and reteasing and respraying it every morning.In the 1960s, many women began to wear their hair in short modern cuts such as the pixie cut, while in the 1970s, hair tended to be longer and looser. In both the 1960s and 1970s many men and women wore their hair very long and straight.Women straightened their hair through chemical straightening processes, by ironing their hair at home with a clothes iron, or by rolling it up with large empty cans while wet.African-American men and women began wearing their hair naturally (unprocessed) in large Afros, sometimes ornamented with Afro picks made from wood or plastic.By the end of the 1970s the Afro had fallen out of favour among African-Americans, and was being replaced by other natural hairstyles such as corn rows and dreadlocks.

Woman wearing a loose Afro.

Contemporary hairstyles

Since the 1970s, women have worn their hair in a wide variety of fairly natural styles. In the 1980s, women pulled back their hair withscrunchies, stretchy ponytail holders made from cloth over fabric bands. Women also often wear glittery ornaments today, as well as claw-style barrettes used to secure ponytails and other upswept or partially upswept hairstyles.Today, women and men can choose from a broad range of hairstyles, but they are still expected to wear their hair in ways that conform to gender norms: in much of the world, men with long hair and women whose hair doesn't appear carefully groomed may face various forms of discrimination, including harassment, social shaming or workplace discrimination.This is somewhat less true of African-American men, who wear their hair in a variety of styles that overlap with those of African-American women, including box braids and cornrows fastened with rubber bands and dreadlocks.However, in the contemporary world of fashion men with long length hair are seen more often these days. Such haircuts are considered to be trendy and attractive.


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