Hair Dress Through The Ages – 1950

Hair Dress Through The Ages - 1950
Hair Dress Through The Ages –

In this lighthearted documentary, a news announcer fumbles his way through reporting on the of hairdressing.

Not surprisingly, it begins in , on the Dordogne River, many thousands of years ago. A caveman, annoyed with long hair that interferes with his work, uses a fishbone to keep his hair in place.

It is perhaps the first record of the man-bun.

Fast-forward a few thousand years to Babylon, where ancient sculptures show that Babylonians not only curled their hair, but coiffed their beards.

Egyptians aristocrats in 2500BC went in the opposite direction, completely shaving their heads and faces so they could interchange various beards and wigs to change their look depending on the occasion.

Hair Dress Through The Ages - 1950
Hair Dress Through The Ages – 1950

In cases like these, a bearded lady might not be unusual.

Later, the Hellenistic styles of Greece became popular, including scarves as hoods with brimmed hats over them.

As for , men might decorate their bald pates with imagery while aristocratic ladies wore elaborate wigs, sometimes harvested from the heads of their handmaidens.

This inevitably left the handmaiden with a bobbed hairdo not unlike a 1920’s flapper or Joan of Arc.

About a thousand years later, during medieval times, a high born lady sometimes wore her hair long in ringlets, and was not unknown to wear extensions to impress the court.

Hair wraps with scarves soon became popular, evolving into big competitive spectacles.

Hair Dress Through The Ages - 1950
Hair Dress Through The Ages – 1950

The single, double and triple dunce cap also became prominent in certain parts of .

Hats were big.

Soon men got in on the action.

Tall vertical caps, which could be interchanged with more practical wide brimmed hats for stormy weather, were all the rage.

But men’s hats got ridiculous, too.

Ladies toned it down while upping the ante with bling, wearing bejeweled hairnets topped with hats of exotic feathers.

Around that time, some men would switch it up by wearing very long beards with small feathered caps pushed jauntily to the side.

Hair Dress Through The Ages - 1950
Hair Dress Through The Ages – 1950

By the time the 1500’s roll along, the ruffled white neck kerchief was the thing, not unlike a van Dyck painting.

Verticals similar to a ’s beehive became popular, which some of the well-to-do complemented with an iron corset, later to be replaced by the lighter whalebone corset.

In the 17th century, long hair is being coiffed up again with a clip, which brings us back full circle to the caveman and the man-bun.




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