Hairstyles of the 17th Century

Hair has changed much over the years.
Hair has changed much over the years. (Image: Images)

Hairstyles have come a long way in the past hundred years. The 17th century was no different. As the 16th century and Queen Elizabeth's influence waned, a new technology made new styles possible and popular. The invention of the hair crimp allowed women to manage their hair in a variety of new ways, giving rise to styles that would be remembered throughout history.

Early 17th Century

Hairstyles during the first 20 years of the 17th century were fairly universal. It didn't matter if you lived in France, Britain or Spain, if you wanted to be fashionable, you had to have a high-feathered hairstyle. Stylists puffed hair above the head and tied any excess hair into strict knots, which were often hidden in small hats or bonnets to be pinned at the top of the feathered section.

Early-Mid 17th Century

By 1621, the universal hairstyle for high society and the fashionable had changed drastically. Instead of the high, feathered look, the style became more condensed and curled into tighter formations above the head. Since hats were so popular, hairstyles were devised to complement the large and ornate hats of the time.

Mid-17th Century

Around the middle of the 17th century, hats were slightly less popular but tight curls remained the norm. Though the puffed, feathered look came back, it wasn't as extreme as it was at the beginning of the century. About 1675, the feathered style became unfashionable, but the curls were still the rage. The only major difference was that the fashionable wore looser curls that fell on either side of the head. This would remain the style until the late part of 1680.

Late 17th Century

Near the end of the 17th century, stylists focused more on stacking rather than curling. Though it was still popular to curl hair, the predominant style involved bunching hair on the top of the head, often ornamenting the style with a bonnet or hat, as hats were becoming popular once more. This would be the style to usher the 17th century out.

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