It is that unusual Greek civilization with its natural and simple hairstyles that served the basis for the Ancient World fashion. All neighbouring countries have adopted their style at some point, which was later inherited by the Roman Empire. Ancient Greece was the foundation of all Western culture. Their costumes, architecture, philosophy and mythological traditions were inherited and are presented in the following centuries.
The most ancient Greek civilization was Minoan in Crete, which has existed since 7000 BC until 1600 BC. From many drawings on vases and frescoes, we know that people of that period were whites with black hair, and blondes – representing the Mycenaean civilization.
Men wore natural wavy hair and beards were in fashion. The Trojan had black hair, and hairstyles of their women were neatly stacked. The way the hair was trimmed and laid, indicated the social status: servants were seen with hair usually cropped and upper-class people flavoured their long shiny tresses with olive oil. Married women braided hair as a sign of their marital status. The fresco “Blue Woman” (1600 BC) depicted these hairstyles.
Goddesses such as Athena, Aphrodite, Artemis, and Cassandra portrayed with long hair and braids. There is an assumption that the blonde hair was the desired colour at those times. The efforts that ancient Greek ladies applied to lighten their hair were not straightforward. They used anything from urine and vinegar to direct sunshine.
Women often supported their hairstyles with diadems, tiaras, bonded crowns or hoops. Although some of them looked quite simple, they were often made of gold and decorated with jewels – to emphasize the status of its owner.
The next grand period in ancient Greece was Hellenism, which began with the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. Since that time we can see those well-preserved drawings showing people’s hair artificially curled or braided. Greek women would wash their hair with olive oil to give them a shiny look and silky touch. Then she could make gentle waves with appliances resembling the curling wands of our days with the only exclusion that the iron barrels were heated in the fireplace.
In this time we can see some various hairstyles, such as the one called “the melon” which consisted of hair combed back with a pin, or a special style, found in the sculpture of Aphrodite (330 BC), showing the way two hair nodes are connected at the top of the head. This sculpture was named “Head Bartlett” and captures the beginning of the Hellenic period.
Men’s style was not so much different from the past with wavy hair and beards that were neatly trimmed, curled and combed. This work was entrusted to hairdressers. The art of cutting and shaving was an important profession in ancient Greece. The first hairdressing salon appeared at that times and quickly became a meeting place for men, who were gathering there for a long time discussing politics, philosophy, and various local news.
Fashion is passing, but style remains, so even today you can learn a lot from ancient Greeks. Whether you are curious about their culture or just want to surprise your friends on a Theme Party day with extravagant goddess costume – there is something for everyone!