People most often associate the characteristic hairstyles of Egypt with the stylized hairdos that the ancient Egyptian nobles and royalty sported. In fact, movies featuring the lives of different pharoahs have popularized many such hairstyles. Dramatic reproductions of the life of Queen Cleopatra have been especially responsible for making Egyptian hairstyles popular.
A straight-cut, shoulder-length bob with thick bangs was a common hairstyle amongst the noble women in the Old Kingdom. This is a typical Egyptian hairstyle seen replicated in many movies about ancient Egypt, and theatrical players of Queen Cleopatra often sport such a do. The characteristics of this hairstyle are sharp, clean lines and thick, straight tresses. It is the most popularly recreated hairstyle of the ancient Egyptians in modern times.
According to Minnesota State University, Egyptians often wore their hair in braids. Commoners would have eight or nine braids hanging over one side of the neck, whereas nobility would have hundreds of tiny braids over the entire head, including any bangs. They would weigh down the braids with beads—usually of lapis lazuli.
Coin Head Cap
The coin head cap is a later Egyptian hairstyle, often associated with belly dancers. The wearer parts the hair straight in the middle, smooths down any bangs and places the coin cap carefully over the top of the head. Usually the circumference of the cap would feature hanging coins that sit just above the eye line. These coins would make a light jingling sound to accompany the rhythm of the belly dancer.
Long with Decorative Circlet
According to Hair Select, noble women of the New Kingdom would wear their hair long and straight, usually with thick bangs. This style was worn with the addition of a thick circlet that went around the head. The circlet would sit on top of the bangs, usually just above the eye line.
Royal Three Part
According to Minnesota State University, noble women and queens were the only ones allowed to wear the "so-called goddress" hairstyle—usually made with the help of a wig. The stylist would part the hair in the middle and down the sides of the heads behind the ears. This created three sections of hair, one of which hung down the back, the other two hanging by the sides of the face. Sometimes a small circlet or diadem would accompany this hairstyle.
- Photo Credit egyptian plate image by Svetlana Privezentseva from Fotolia.com
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