Hairstyles for a masquerade

Written by angela brady
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Hairstyles for a masquerade
Masquerade costumes often reflect a certain time period, and the hair style should match. (venice mask image by Lovrencg from

A masquerade ball is an exciting way to be whoever you've always wanted to be, if only for a night. Masquerade costumes are generally more elegant and elaborate than regular Halloween costumes, so your hair should be as well--no coloured hairspray for this event! The particular style you choose depends entirely on your costume, and the length and texture of your hair.

Period Hair

Many masquerade costumes are inspired by people in history, whether real or fictional. If the person you are portraying is real, you should research that person a bit to find out what their hair looked like. Marie Antoinette and her towering white curls are always popular at a masquerade, but you could also be Shakespeare's Juliet, and wear your hair in a loose chignon with softly waved tendrils framing the face. Keep your costume in mind. An elaborate costume requires elaborate hair to keep from looking unfinished, and a simple costume should be matched with a simpler hair style.

Formal Hair

If your costume is of a generic variety, for instance "a princess" rather than "Princess Di", a formal up-do is versatile enough to enhance the look of the outfit while keeping with the theme. A French twist is a classic princess style, while a wispy bun is perfect for a fairy costume, and a tight bun with slicked-back sides is great for a court jester. It is even possible to fake a short hairstyle by gathering your hair at the top of your neck and rolling the ends under, pinning into place.


Wigs are the easiest solution to the problem of costume hair. For instance, if you're dressing as a geisha and your hair is short and blond, the only way to achieve the perfect style is to wear a wig. Even if your hair is the correct length and texture for the style, some masquerade styles are notoriously difficult to execute without the help of a professional. For instance, the Marie-Antoinette style mentioned was originally achieved by a team of stylists, an elaborate wooden framework, and hours of arranging. Most people are unable or unwilling to go to those lengths for a hair style, especially for one night.

To wear a wig comfortably and convincingly, you must first slick your hair back and down very tightly, and coil the ends up and around the entire head, flattening as you go, and pinning in place. A series of hair clips around the hairline will prevent fly-aways as you begin to sweat. Next, you must cover your hair with a flesh-coloured stocking cap to help hold the hair in place. Finally, put on the wig, starting at the back and pulling it forward to the hairline. If the stocking cap is visible around the edges, gently tuck it under the wig with the tail of a comb. For extra security, pin the wig in place with a few hair clips in inconspicuous places. Arrange and fluff the wig, and you're ready.

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