How to Create the Geisha Hairstyle

Written by gerri garrick
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Traditional geisha are Japanese performance artists. Their art consists of classical music and dance. Geisha have become as famous for their elaborate make-up, hairstyle and dress as their artistry. Japanese geisha have long been mistaken for prostitutes, because during WWII, prostitutes often imitated the look of geisha, even calling themselves "Geisha Girls." The American GIs often did not know the difference between the “Geisha Girls,” and true geisha. Creating the geisha hairstyle can be time consuming. Follow these steps to create a beautiful geisha hairdo in as little time as possible.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Volumizing shampoo
  • Mousse
  • Blowdryer
  • Round brush
  • Hair clips
  • Extra-firm hold hairspray
  • Chopsticks
  • Flowers

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  1. 1

    Wash your hair with a volumizing shampoo and apply mousse throughout. Blow-dry your hair straight with a big round brush, pulling the hair taut from the roots to the ends. When the hair is dry, tease the hair underneath slightly to add volume.

  2. 2

    Part your hair into three sections; at the top and at two sides. Leave the back hanging down for now. Brush the hair on top smooth and create a poof by flipping it back over the top of your head, and securing it with pins at the crown. Push your hand directly into your hairline and with the hair between your fingers; pull gently upwards creating the “poof.” Spray this top section with extra firm holding hairspray, especially at the crown where it is pinned.

  3. 3

    Take one side section and hold the hair directly out to the side. Gradually roll the hair around your entire hand, in a backward motion toward you head. This should create a wide roll. Pin inside the roll firmly to your head. If the roll is looking narrow, loosen it with your fingers at the pins to make it wider. Completely secure it with a lot of hairspray. Repeat the roll on the other side.

  4. 4

    Smooth the remaining hair hanging down in the back with a brush. Roll the hair up in one giant roll toward to the nape of your neck and secure with pins. You may need a friend to help, as the roll should be the width of both of your hands with your fingertips together. You may drop sections if you try to pin it up yourself. Again, spray it like crazy with the firm hairspray.

  5. 5

    Adorn your hair with chopsticks, crossing each other in the back of your head, with the tops at the crown. Pin a large flower, such as a sunflower in between the top and a side roll, facing front, and as many others flowers around your head, in between rolls, as you desire (see Resources). Now all you have to do to complete your geisha look, is create the elaborate white-faced make-up and dress in the elaborate kimono costume.

Tips and warnings

  • This hairstyle can only be created with long hair. If you have short hair, you may want to consider buying a geisha wig (see Resources).
  • You can never have too much hairspray with this look. The wide rolls will need extra support to stay in place.

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