Elizabethan Hair Styles For Women

While the Elizabethan times may have ended four centuries ago, anyone who wants to rock a truly retro hair style can choose Elizabethan hair styles for women at their next party or costume event.  Back in the old, old, old days, it was typical for the queen to set a particular hair style and for her underlings to imitate it, meaning that the looks you pull off should be taken up by all your friends in order to make you feel like a royal.

Dye in Elizabethan Times

Four hundred years ago, people used hair dyes just like we do today in order to rock a new look.  Back then, however, dye was far more expensive and there were far fewer colors.  Blonde dye was the most popular for both men and women, who would bleach their hair by applying chamomile and lemon juice then letting it sit in sunlight.  While this bleaching is not as effective as today’s chemical agents, it can still be utilized to lighten hair color.  Since Elizabeth had a shock of red hair, it was common for many English women to imitate her look, even though the Queen likely wore a wig after age twenty-nine.  To get darker red hair, Elizabethan women used dyes of saffron and sulfur, a concoction that we know now is poisonous.

Hair Styles of Old Times

The hair styles worn by Elizabethan women (and some men) were not anywhere near as complicated as today’s hairdos that require special shampoo, gel, and spray.  Instead, they usually pinned up their hair in order to sport as many jewels, tiaras, scarves, or plumes they could cram into the space.  The richer you were, the more decoration your hair would sport.  Since the clothing of the time tended to be quite large as well, the size of hair was exaggerated to its maximum length.  The ruff, or high collar that surrounded the neck, had to be kept out of the way of hair, making it important to keep it pinned up and back.

Imported Looks

While braids have been part of pretty much every historical hair style, they were briefly popular in the Elizabethan period after an Italian style.  These braids would be wrapped around the top of the head, earning the name crown braids.  This kept the hair neat and in place for several days.  A style known as the French hood brought together dual braids back from a center part to form a chignon bun at the back of the neck.

 

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