May 17, 2007 – 7:15 am


To adorn one’s self has always been part of the nature of man.  While the primary function of the clothes and footwear that he or she dons every day is to protect the body from the harmful elements, these clothes and footwear gained a secondary function of providing adornment to a person’s body.

The same goes with a person’s hairstyle.  The primary function of hair is to cushion the head against bumps and possible physical shocks to the head.  However, men and women have come to use their hair as personal adornment, opting for hair styles that flatter his or her face and body the best.

Historically speaking, however, adornment is not the only purpose for hair styling.  Until the 1900s, the style of one’s hair is supposed to denote his or her age, wealth and social standing, marital status and even religious beliefs.  One example of this would be the ladies of the Roman Empire.  Following the example set by the Grecian ladies before them, the noble and the rich among the Roman women wore their hair in long curls or in chignons and dyed them red.  To further accentuate their manes, they sprinkled upon their hair golden powder and either piled them high on wire frames or wore flowers, tiaras or jewels.  This sets the Roman ladies apart from the usually blonde slaves captured from the North.
The Origin Of Hair Styling

Another such example is the way Chinese women wore their hair.  Unmarried Chinese girls comb their hair back into one single braid.  Matrons, on the other hand, coifed their hair into buns at the back of their necks.

Because it is considered indecent and immodest for them to expose their hair, women in Moslem lands wore their hair long but covered with veils.  Christian women in medieval times were also encouraged by the Catholic church to do the same – to wear their hair in long plaits and cover them with veils, caulks or netting.

Hair styles also varied from simple to extravagant and back again.  The norm in the Middle Ages was for women to have their hair in long, simple plaits and veiled.  This hugely contrasted with the predominant hair styles in the 1700s, where the sole guideline in hair styling was “the bigger, the better” – three-feet white wigs replete with feathers, ribbons and flowers, as elaborate as the imagination could manage it.  The Victorians in the 1800s put an end to that and began to favor subtle and natural styles.

By the 1900s, the rule that hairstyle should be an indicator of social status was eradicated.  Hairstyle became a symbol of liberation and practicality for women.  This was emphasized by the short singles favored by the flappers of the 1920s, who savored their newfound freedom.  The lack of resources during the Second World War prompted women to be more subdued in their hairstyles by simply bundling their hair in scarves during the day and wearing them in natural curls in the evening.  The fifties saw glamour back into hairstyles, with women aiming for the perfect head of curls.

As women became more empowered starting the sixties down to the nineties, hairstyles became more varied.  The artiste hippie type would often wear her hair loose and flowing while the career type would keep her hair sleek and controlled.  The rebellious would not hesitate to go for punk styles with spikes and Mohawks; the femme fatales, on the other hand, love their hair sexily mussed up and fashionably messy.

Hairstyles change over the years to answer for the need of men and women to adorn themselves.  As long as this nature of man persists, hairstyling will always evolve.

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  1. 4 Responses to “HAIR STYLING”

  2. hi no coments yet

    By ajay on May 22, 2007

  3. hey plz send me few hairstyles for long hair…….buddy

    By shruti on May 23, 2007

  4. This is good website.Send me more information

    By Shaheryar on May 26, 2007

  5. hi,

    i have very straight hair, it never stands at one place. what kind of gel should i use? i dont like my hair to look like its sticking.

    By Varun on May 28, 2007

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