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Timeline Tuesday: Reign Supreme with an Ancient Queen's Hairstyle

Timeline Tuesday has been a continuing series, looking back at hairstyles and trends of the past to draw inspiration for the future. This week’s Timeline Tuesday post will be the last, but don’t forget to check back every weekday for more hair, beauty, and health tips here on!

What woman doesn’t want to be treated like a queen or revered like a goddess. In ancient times, most women did not get to live pampered lives or take the time to luxuriate in their hair- but the queens and goddesses they served often did! Portrayed in sculpture and art as the most beautiful, powerful, and glamorous of creatures, these women of olden days were the style icons for much of the known world, with images and tales of them traveling throughout empires. Many of these women and their mane moves are still known and talked about today. So why not see what we can borrow from this legacy?

The Cleopatra Hairstyle

Notorious. Timeless. Almost effortless, or so it seems. The prototypical Cleopatra hairstyle, complete with straight bangs and even ends, has been revived and duplicated for centuries, including in the 1920s and today, with celebs like Nicki Minaj bringing the super-straight and sharp-angled coif back into favor. The key to pulling off the look though, then and now, is a great wig – that wasn’t the great Egyptian queen’s own hair!

Hair to Launch a Thousand Ships

Countless Greek paintings and sculptures help create a picture of what ancient Greek life was like. A major part of you can learn from studying them is the vast array of hairstyles Greek women wore, from loose updos to soft buns and braids. Usually a headband or two kept tresses out of a woman’s face, maybe to show off her beauty. Wavy to curly hair seems to have been the norm or ideal, as every depiction of a beautiful woman or the goddess of love Aphrodite shows either long wavy lengths or shorter curly locks trained upward. Greek goddess hairstyles can be great for a beach wedding or other a semi-formal event.

Updos of the Asian Court

For centuries, Eastern rulers kept court with hundreds, if not thousands, of courtesans, concubines, and other ladies on hand to entertain them with their loveliness, and these women maintained their positions by staying in style. Sky-high updos decorated with gold and jewels gave a regal air, as they demanded great posture and poise to carry off, yet could often be easily let down for an intimate moment. Traditional Chinese hair styles like the one pictured are great for masquerade balls or cultural-themed events, and can even be modified for formal dances or parties. Want to know how to create one? Hmm…stay tuned.

The Way of the Warrior

Not all queens of ancient times wore elaborate hairstyles. Queen Nzinga of the Mbundu people of western Africa was notoriously known as a warrior queen, and wore her hair in short natural hairstyles to reflect that. In paintings, this feisty leader’s hair seems kinky-curly, but never uncared-for or out of control. Her low-maintenance locks fit her apparently oval face just right.

So we’ve come to the end of Timeline Tuesday, or rather, the beginning of the time line. We hope you've enjoyed this series and that is has given you some inspiration to experiment with your hair styles from now on. Look forward to even more thought-provoking articles of styles from all cultures and reaches of the globe! Until then, take care of yourselves,


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