Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Video: Ancient Hairdressing by Janet Stephens

Medieval POC mentioned Janet Stephens on twitter recently and I've been watching her videos and reading the paper she did on ancient Roman hairdressing (link goes to a pdf of the article) and it's very interesting stuff.  She also did an interview on The History Blog, where she explains how she, a trained hairdresser, got into doing recreations of ancient hairstyles.

It's cool to see someone do actual ancient hairstyles on modern people using ancient techniques and tools.  It's also interesting - from a writing perspective - to consider how different hairstyles reflect the type of hair people in the past had in particular regions of the world (you can't put all hair up in the same styles - length, thickness, wave/curliness, etc. all factor in).  A friend and I were discussing this and she pointed out that climate can play a role in hairstyles as well as humidity and temperature can affect hair (humidity can cause frizziness, for example).  Similarly, the complexity of the style determines status: poor people dress their own hair while rich people have servants do theirs.

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