Traditional Medieval Hairstyles

Medieval hairstyles were focused on covering the hair, not showing it off. In fact, during most of the medieval era, older noblewomen could not show their hair for fear of being labeled a witch or a heretic. Only younger women would walk around with their hair loose and visible.

Medieval fashion, or fashion from 500 and 1500 AD, was all about modesty and reverence, particularly when it came to hair. Braids, twists and buns were popular medieval hairstyles, but they still tended to be at least partially covered by a headpiece. It's important to remember that bathing was a rare thing during medieval times. Therefore, medieval hairstyles tended to be created to work with dirty hair and last for days or weeks.

Braided Crown
Braids were a very popular during medieval times. One extremely popular, braided style was the simple braided crown. Start by pulling your hair back, as if you're going to put it in a ponytail. Tightly braid the hair, all the way down to the ends. Secure the braid with a ribbon or ponytail holder. Take the braid and loop it around your head. Tuck the ends of the braid underneath and secure everything in place with decorative bobby pins.

Double Braid
A common look in early medieval times was to wear two long braids peeking out from under a headpiece. Start by splitting your hair into two sections, one on the right and one on the left. Split the first section into two and add a ribbon as the third piece. Tightly braid the hair and secure the end. Repeat the process with the second section.

Double Braided Bun
A braided bun on each side of the head was a trendy style to wear under headpieces during medieval times. Start by splitting your hair evenly down the middle. Take one side and make a tight braid. Loop the braid around to create a tight bun at the side of your head. Secure the bun in place with decorative bobby pins. Repeat the process on the other side of your head. You can leave the buns plain or use a few beads and pins to decorate them.

Fishtail Braid
A fishtail braid is a very fancy, thick braid. It was one of the many popular braided looks during medieval times. The fishtail braid uses alternating thick and thin strands of hair to create a tapered shape. Start by splitting your hair into two thick sections. Pull a small strand from the outer edge of one section and braid it in. Alternate pulling small sections from each side of the large sections and continue braiding until you reach about an inch or two above the ends of the hair. Secure braid with a fancy ribbon.

Simple Youth
During early medieval times, women sometimes wore their hair loose and curly, especially if they were young. Start this looks by loosely curling your hair if it tends to lay flat. Pull a small strand of hair back from each temple and braid it. Secure the small braids with a decorative bobby pin or ribbon. 

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