Top 7 Most Popular Medieval Hairstyles in 2024

During the Medieval era, hairstyles were an important aspect of fashion and social status. How one wore their hair could indicate their wealth, occupation, and marital status. Hairstyles were often elaborate and intricate, with braids, twists, and curls being popular choices.

Medieval hairstyles varied depending on the period and location.

In the Early Middle Ages, simple hairstyles were more common, with hair worn loosely or in a single braid.

However, as the Middle Ages progressed, hairstyles became more elaborate and included intricate braids and twists adorned with jewelry and ribbons.

The upper classes often wore these hairstyles, symbolising wealth and status.

Overall, Medieval era hairstyles were a reflection of the society and culture of the time. They were an important aspect of fashion and social status and varied depending on the period and location. These hairstyles continue to inspire modern fashion and can be seen in various forms on runways and everyday life.

Medieval Era Hairstyles

The medieval era, spanning from the 5th to the 15th century, witnessed a variety of hairstyles that evolved. During this period, hairstyles were heavily influenced by societal norms, religion, and even political affiliations. Let’s delve into some of the most prominent hairstyles of that era.

But first, let’s take a moment to appreciate the artistry and dedication that went into creating these intricate hairstyles. Medieval women would spend hours, sometimes even days, perfecting their hairdos. They would sit patiently as skilled hairdressers meticulously braided, twisted, and adorned their locks with jewels, flowers, and ribbons. It was a true labor of love, and the result was breathtaking.

Medieval Hairstyles for Women

Medieval women often adorned their hair with intricate braids, elaborate headdresses, and various accessories. Long, flowing tresses were considered a symbol of femininity and beauty. Noblewomen often enhanced their hairstyles with jewelry and gems to showcase their wealth and prestige.

One popular hairstyle was the “Crespine,” which featured an intricate wire framework that held the hair in place, often adorned with pearls, beads, and precious stones. This delicate and ornate headpiece was a fashion statement and a symbol of status and nobility.

Another favored style was the “Horned Hairstyle,” where the hair was braided or twisted into horn-like shapes on either side of the head. This unique and daring hairstyle was often worn by women who wanted to make a bold statement and stand out from the crowd.

Moreover, the “Tudor Knot” became highly fashionable during the late medieval period. This style involved looping the hair around a wire framework, achieving an elaborate and elegant look. It was a testament to the creativity and ingenuity of medieval hairstylists.

1) Princess Medieval Hairstyles Female

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Princesses and noblewomen, considered fashion trendsetters, set the stage for exquisite and opulent hairstyles during the medieval era. These hairstyles often incorporated intricate braids, voluminous buns, and extravagant accessories.

The “Crown Braid” was a striking hairstyle adorned with jewels and pearls, giving the illusion of a regal crown resting upon the head. Princesses would truly look like royalty with this enchanting hairstyle. It was a testament to their status and power, a visual representation of their societal position.

Additionally, the “Grecian Updo” was a popular choice among noblewomen. This style involved twisting the hair into an elegant bun at the nape of the neck, creating a timeless and sophisticated look fit for a princess. It was a nod to the classical beauty of ancient Greece, a way to evoke a sense of grace and elegance.

2) Medieval Braids

Braids were not only prevalent among women but also among men during the medieval period. These braided styles ranged from simple and practical to more intricate and decorative designs.

One popular braid type was the “Rope Braid,” created by twisting two strands of hair together. This style was often worn as a crown around the head or as a single braid hanging down the back. It was a versatile and timeless choice that added a touch of elegance to any look.

Another well-known braid was the “Fishtail Braid,” characterized by its intricate weaving pattern resembling a fish’s tail. Women favored this style with long hair, allowing for creativity and embellishments. It was a true work of art, with each strand carefully intertwined to create a mesmerizing effect.

3) Medieval Hairstyles for Short Hair

Not all medieval hairstyles required long-flowing locks. Short hair was also styled in various ways to suit the time’s fashion.

One popular technique for short hair was creating tight curls using hot iron rods. These small, bouncy curls gave the hair a distinct texture and an element of playfulness. It was a way for women with short hair to embrace their natural beauty and add a touch of whimsy.

Another option was the “Medieval Pixie Cut,” where the hair was cut short, typically around the earlobe, and slightly layered for added dimension. This style embraced simplicity while still maintaining a touch of elegance. It was a bold choice for women who wanted to break free from societal norms and embrace their individuality.

4) Medieval Wedding Hairstyles

A wedding day during medieval times was a grand affair, and the bride’s hairstyle played a significant role in her overall appearance. The hairstyles for medieval weddings were often ornate and exquisite, showcasing the bride’s beauty and social standing.

One popular wedding hairstyle was the “Braided Halo,” where the hair was braided around the head, creating a halo-like effect. This style was often embellished with flowers, ribbons, or delicate pearls to add a touch of romance. It was a way for the bride to embody purity and grace on her special day.

Another favored choice was the “Garden Wreath,” where flowers and greenery were woven into the hair, evoking a sense of natural beauty and purity. This botanical-inspired style exuded a tranquil and ethereal charm. It was a way for the bride to connect with nature and celebrate the beauty of the world around her.

5) Medieval Renaissance Hairstyles

The Renaissance period, which overlapped with the later years of the medieval era, brought about a resurgence of classical influences. Hairstyles during this time embraced a more natural and less structured appearance.

The “Loose Waves” hairstyle, where hair was curled or gently waved to create a soft and romantic look, became popular. This style was often complemented with headbands or ribbons, adding a touch of whimsy and femininity. It was a departure from the elaborate hairstyles of the medieval era, a way to embrace a more carefree and relaxed aesthetic.

The “Half-Up, Half-Down” style was also prominent during the Renaissance, allowing women to showcase their long hair while keeping it partially tied back. This versatile look was favored by both noblewomen and commoners alike. It was a way to balance elegance and practicality, a style that could be worn for formal occasions and everyday life.

6) Medieval Updo Hairstyles

Updo hairstyles were a staple of medieval fashion, granting women an elegant and sophisticated appearance. These intricate styles drew attention to a woman’s face and neck while highlighting her social status.

The “Gibson Tuck” was a classic updo style that involved pulling the hair back and twisting it into a low bun at the nape of the neck. This timeless hairstyle exuded grace and refinement and could be adorned with decorative combs or pins. It was a way for women to showcase their impeccable taste and attention to detail.

Another popular choice was the “Braided Updo,” where the hair was braided and coiled to create an elaborate bun. This style was often enhanced with pearls, flowers, or ribbons, making it a stunning choice for special occasions. It was a way for women to make a statement and leave a lasting impression.

7) Medieval Hairstyles for Curly Hair

Curly hair was cherished during the medieval period, and there were various ways to accentuate its natural beauty. Women with curly hair often embraced their unique texture and opted for hairstyles that showcased their luscious locks.

The “Curly Crown” was a favored style, where the hair was piled on top of the head in loose curls, creating a regal and voluminous look. This hairstyle accentuated the natural curls while adding an air of elegance. It allowed women to embrace their natural beauty and celebrate their individuality.

An alternative option was the “Curly Side Ponytail,” where the hair was gathered to one side and secured with ribbons or accessories. This style allowed the curls to cascade over the shoulder, creating a romantic and playful appearance. It was a way for women to add a touch of whimsy to their looks and confidently embrace their curly hair.

Final Thoughts

Medieval hairstyles reflected the era’s societal norms, fashion trends, and cultural influences. They provided a means for self-expression and served as an indication of a person’s status and wealth. Medieval hairstyles continue to captivate our imagination today, whether adorned with braids, elaborate updos, or natural curls. These hairstyles’ rich history and artistic expression make them an enduring symbol of beauty and creativity.

Take inspiration from the past, embrace the uniqueness of medieval hairstyles, and let your hair become a canvas for self-expression, just as it was for those who lived centuries ago.

One fascinating aspect of medieval hairstyles is the symbolism attached to different styles. For example, noblewomen often wore intricate braided hairstyles to showcase their wealth and social standing. These elaborate styles required skilled hairdressers and hours of meticulous styling, making them a luxury reserved for the elite. On the other hand, simpler hairstyles with loose waves or half-up styles were more common among the lower classes, reflecting their practicality and lack of access to elaborate hair accessories.

Furthermore, medieval hairstyles were not just a matter of aesthetics but also held cultural significance. Certain hairstyles were associated with specific events or rituals, such as weddings or religious ceremonies. For instance, long flowing hair symbolized purity and femininity, while tightly coiled buns were worn to signify mourning. Understanding the meanings behind these hairstyles provides a deeper insight into the values and beliefs of medieval society.