Wednesday, 31 August 2005

Roman Women and their Hair

The very complicated hairstyles for women in ancient Rome, didn't really arrive until the era of the Flavian emperors, after AD 69. Until then the hairstyles were pretty simple, with the hair being parted in the middle, then pulled back and tied up into a bun. Small ornaments were sometimes placed in the hair, depending on the occasion.

As most Roman women had dark Mediterranean looks, fair hair was widely admired and coveted and therefore substances to lighten the hair were extremely popular. The most commonly used of these were Batavian foam and soap tablets from Wiesbaden or Mainz - made of goat fat and beechwood ash. They also used henna.

7 comments:

ms. creek said...

great topic and interesting. what about us redheads?

Mister Hand said...

I just noticed that AMADEUS is one of your favorite movies. Me too! I've loved it since I was a kid.

"Who wouldn't rather speak to their hairdresser than to Hercules?"

Light said...

Redheads such as we would probably have been slaves; most redheads have (I seem to recall) Celtic blood in 'em. As such, we would have been oddities.

That said, the Celts sacked parts of Greece way back in antiquity, so it's entirely possible that there will have been the occasional redhead in Greco-Roman society.

In fact, now that I come to think of it, Judas was supposedly redheaded. Maybe those Celts got further than I thought...

Perdita said...

Hmmm
goat fat, beechwood ash and henna...
I'll have to try that :)

Alterior said...

Ms.ellie, as Light indicates, redheads weren't that popular in Rome, although it did tend to depend on the fashion of the times. Will have a look into the redhead issue in other cultures though.
Mister Hand, yes, Amadeus I first saw on video in 1986 and fell in love with it. I watched it so many times that I knew every single line in the film! I went to Vienna in 1990 but the film was shor in Prague actually. Went to Vienna in 1993 and 2005 for New Year too, but the magic seems to have gone.
Perdita, watch out with that experimenting with hair. I knew of someone who turned out with green hair once! :-)

Nina said...

Very informative. Thank you! Now I can use this at the party and impress everyone.

Term Papers said...

The most commonly used of these were Batavian foam and soap tablets from Wiesbaden or Mainz made of goat fat and beechwood ash. They also used henna,that is why they are gorgeous and famous.


Term papers