Women's Ancient Greek Hairstyles

Written by ashley mackenzie
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Women's Ancient Greek Hairstyles
Women in ancient Greece had a variety of hairstyles. (Temple of Apollo in the Ancient Agora in Athens, Greece image by Diane Stamatelatos from Fotolia.com)

Women in ancient Greece had style, and their hair made a statement about their status is society. While women of the lower classes had functional hairstyles, wealthy women had functions to attend and servants to do their hair for them. Ancient Greek pottery, sculptures, and coins reveal that Greek women had a wide variety of hairstyles to impress their peers at the daily meal in the banquet hall.

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Short Hairstyles

Many women in ancient Greece had short haircuts. These styles were functional for servants and slaves who had to work during the day. Cropping the hair was also convenient for female warriors and athletes (women in Sparta often participated in athletics). The shortest hairstyle for ancient Greek women was the marriage hairstyle in Sparta, where brides had their heads shaved.

Long Hairstyles

In ancient Greece, long hair was a luxury for the wealthy, as having time to spare for hairstyling was a sign of a high station in society. Women with long hair usually tied their hair back in a bun or chignon or braided their hair and twisted the braids into buns that framed their faces. When ancient Greek women had functions to attend, they spent extra time tying their hair into ornate styles. Typically, only their immediate family and servants saw Greek women with their hair undone.


Ancient Greek women often used accessories to pin their hair back. Weaving cloth through their hair as they tied it was a common practice to add colour and style to hair. Pins and combs also kept women's hair off their faces. When they had functions, wealthy women wore thin metal crowns with jewels, which held their hair back and gave it shape. Many ancient Greek images and sculptures show women with long, dark curls wearing crowns or headbands that hug their entire heads, from their foreheads to the base of their heads in the back, below their ears.

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