Renaissance hairstyles were usually as much about the hair covering as they were about the hair. During the renaissance, or 14th to 16th centuries, women's hairstyles were usually covered. During the later part of the Renaissance, though, women did begin to show a little more hair.
It's important to remember that almost all women had long hair during the Renaissance. There were no different cuts and looks, just different ways to style long hair. One popular way to style long hair was braiding. The hair could be worn down in a simple braid or up in elaborate twisted braids around the head, depending on the woman's social status.
A caul, also known as a snood, was a decorated hair net that was worn over a bun. Wealthy women had cauls that were usually woven from silk and embellished with beads or gems. To wear a caul, pull your hair back and twist it into a low bun. Use decorative bobby pins to secure the caul over the bun.
The most classic Renaissance hairstyle for younger women was a simple look with a few decorations. Leave your hair down and flowing. Pull back a small clump of hair from each temple and braid it, using a small barrette to clasp the strands together at the back of your head. Place a gem or bead decorated circlet on your head. A circlet is basically a necklace that goes around your forehead.
Decorated braids were a very easy and popular Renaissance fashion. Pull your hair up towards hair the back of your head into a ponytail. Keeping everything smooth and tight, tie a ribbon or length of beads around the base of the ponytail. Now using the ribbon or beads, tightly and elaborately braid your hair. Secure the bottom of the hair with another ribbon or beaded barrette.
Italian Hair Taping
Italian hair taping was a popular and beautiful way to twist your hair into an updo. Start by splitting your hair down the middle. Take a clump of hair from the left temple and pull it back, twisting along the way. Slowly twist your hair together, taking on more strands, until it reaches the ends. Repeat the process with the other side of your head.
Cross the two twisted lengths and wrap them around your head. Secure the ends of the twists with a pin or barrette. Decorate the style with a looped ribbon tied in a bow around the twists at the base of the neck.
Reverse Half Bun
A reverse half bun is when you split your hair in half, wearing the front down and the back up in a bun. Start by splitting your hair into two sections, one in front and one in the back. Pull the back section up smoothly towards the top of your head. Twist the hair around into a smooth bun and secure in place with decorative bobby pins. Split the front section of your hair into two sections, one on the left and one on the right. Curl the front sections into small ringlets that fall to each side of your face.
Medieval times were rough and coarse, so they had the medieval fashions to match.
Medieval hairstyles, such as braids and twists, are now seen as a way to show off your hair, but in medieval times, it was all an effort to keep hair modest.