Ancient Chinese Hairstyles for Brides

Written by hanna lee tidd
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Ancient Chinese Hairstyles for Brides
Traditional Chinese hair styles are still popular today. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Ancient traditions are still popular in Chinese culture and many traditional wedding themes can still be found in weddings today, including bridal hairstyles. Long ago, in ancient China, hair used to be considered a holy and deeply personal item, therefore most Chinese girls seldom cut their hair throughout their whole life. Traditionally, for spiritual reasons, Chinese brides were always required to wear their hair up and away from the face.

Low Bun

The most popular ancient Chinese bridal hair style is the low bun. To achieve this look, brush the hair into a side parting and pull it tight toward the back of the head. Gather the hair into a tight ponytail and wrap hair bands around the gathered hair to create a low bun. Brush any wispy ends into the hair band and secure it in place with hair clips. For obvious reasons, brides did not have hair fixing spray in ancient times, however to ensure this look stays, apply some hairspray to the back of the bun and around the crown.

High Bun

Similar to the low bun, the high bun was another popular ancient bridal hair style. To achieve this look, follow the instructions above, but pull the hair onto the top of the head instead of toward the back of the neck. High buns are more on display than low buns, so make sure the bun is secured neatly. This elegant look was a popular choice for brides wearing simple traditional wedding dresses such as the cheongsam. These buns were sometimes given names such as "gazing-gods bun" and "cloud bun."

Braided Updo

A more complex hair style worn in ancient times was the braided updo. This is accentuated with decorative chopsticks to complete the look and keep the braids in place. To create this style, part the hair into a centre parting and brush through. Section the hair into two pieces directly down the middle and braid the two pieces separately, toward the back of the head. Make sure the braids are plaited straight and fairly close together. Secure with hair bands at each end. Horizontally slide one hair stick through the two hair braids at the top of the head. Cross the braids around the stick to form a coil. Push a second hair stick through the outer top braid, weave toward the centre of the head and push it back out of the bottom of the outer braid. Secure with hair clips.

Hair Accessories

Ancient Chinese bridal hair styles were mainly kept very plain and simple, however they were accessorised with a variety of different elegant and striking pieces. Decorative chopsticks were used to secure the styles and add detail. Cheaper accessories included pearl decorations or hair combs. More luxurious accessories included pins made from jade, pearl and gold. Silk flowers and chopsticks are still popular accessories in modern bridal styles.

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