Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium


This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

Medieval-Hair-lnks - 5/29/04


Web links to info on medieval hair and headresses by Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon.


NOTE: See also the files: hair-msg, hair-dyeing-msg, mirrors-msg, shaving-msg, combs-info-art, headgear-msg, snoods-cauls-msg, veils-msg, jewelry-msg, coronets-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given by the individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: Lis <liontamr at ptd.net>

Date: Mon Oct 6, 2003  7:56:07 PM US/Central

To: Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>

Subject: Links: Medieval Hair and Headdresses (Articles and Images)


Greetings! It's getting to be that time of year when we worry about covering

our heads, and then we worry about what our hair looks like when we uncover

it! The following websites hold images and articles on hair and head

coverings during the Medieval and Renaissance eras. I have tried to avoid

those generic "all women in the middle ages covered their long hair" type

articles, and have tried instead to give you real information. There is

plenty of information for men, as well.


If you enjoy this list, pass it along. Please only send it to places where

it will be well-received!






Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon



Medieval 300AD to 1300


This site has a variety of original images to show, of both men and women's

hair and/or headdresses.


Eras of Elegance: A Brief History of Hairstyles


(Site Excerpt) For each era, we have provided a brief history of the key

elements in hairstyles. Try our simple suggestions on how to recreate a

period 'do for your next formal event!


Medieval Clothing Pages:

Articles and essays of interest to costumers

All material is © 2000 Cynthia Virtue.


(Site Excerpt--articles include:) How to wear a veil, or a veil and circlet

(or just a circlet) gracefully, with photos. (1000-1300 or so)  Plus The

Dreaded Muffin-Head Effect ;Easy Men's Hats - (1200-1470s; concentrated on

the later range) Yup, even the men wore something on their heads.  (class)

;Coifs (1200 onwards)- More specifics for men and women. 1-piece and

3-piece. (class) ;A 13th Century hat for women (1200s)-- The "coffee filter

hat" sometimes called a "toque" or "fillet." ;Wire circlet (1300s)wrapped

with colored thread recreated from the Dress Accessories book. ;How to be a

Hoodlum (1300-1470)- The medieval hood for men and women. (class)

;Crespinette cylinder cauls or How much soup from one oyster? (1325-1375)

;Quick 'n' Easy Cauls (1300-1470)- not a medieval construction technique,

but produces a medieval look. ;Women's Rolled (stuffed) Hats (1390-1470)-

and variations thereon.  (class) ;Men's Rolled (stuffed) Hats (1390-1470)-

and variations thereon.  (class) ;Complex Women's Hats (my favorite

subject): (1400-1470) ;

        See also: Upbraiding Yourself (an article on Medieval Braided

Hairstyles): http://www.virtue.to/articles/braiding.html



History Today: SCISSORS OR SWORDS?(social aspects of medieval hairstyles)

Author/s: Simon Coates

Issue: May, 1999


(Site Excerpt) WHILST RESIDING in Paris in the sixth century, Queen Clotild

(d. 554), the widow of the Merovingian ruler Clovis, became the unwilling

subject of the inveterate plotting of her sons, Lothar and Childebert, who

were jealous of her guardianship of her grandsons, the children of their

brother, Chlodomer. Childebert spread the rumour that he and his brother

were to plan the coronation of the young princes and sent a message to

Clotild to that effect. When the boys were despatched to their uncles they

were seized and separated from their household. Lothar and Childebert then

sent their henchman Arcadius to the Queen with a pair of scissors in one

hand and a sword in the other. He offered the Queen an ultimatum. Would she

wish to see her grandsons live with their hair cut short? or would she

prefer to see them killed? Beside herself with grief, Clotild stated that if

they were not to succeed to the throne she would rather see them dead than

with their hair cut short. Rejecting the scissors, she opted for the sword.


Pierre RUELLE, L'ornement des Dames (Ornatus Mulierum)<<The Adornment of

Women>>, Bruxelles, Presses de l'Universitˇ de Bruxelles, 1964. 32-35,

35-37, 37-39, 43, 45, 47, 53, 59, 71, 73.(Translation © Jeay and Garay).

This Anglo-Norman text dates from the thirteenth century


(Site Excerpt) In order to keep one's hair.

If you want your hair to grow long and thick, take a good quantity of barley

and a mole; burn them in an unused jar and reduce them to powder. Take white

honey and anoint the place where you want your hair to grow. Then throw away

the powder and wait for two days. The third day, rinse with water boiled

with orcan¸te, mint and sage.

Against dandruff.

Trotula eliminates dandruff this way: she takes nettle seeds and soaks them

for two or three days in vinegar. Then she washes the hair, first with a

good soap, then with this vinegar.

In order to tone up hair.

Sometimes hair turns white too soon: this is due to an overactive pituitary

gland. First, you should give the person medicine for purging the head from

this secretion. Then, take the roots of a cabbage, either dried or fresh,

cook them in spring water until half of it evaporates, and carefully wash

the hair in the water.


Plucked, Shaved & Braided: Medieval and Renaissance Beauty and Grooming

Practices 1000-1600

by Daniela Turudich, Laurie J. Welch (A Book for Sale)



(Site Excerpt) With more than 100 historical bath, beauty, and cosmetic

recipes, this hilarious romp through the medieval and Renaissance fashion

world describes beauty practices that seem grotesque today: plucking

eyebrows and eyelashes out, shaving foreheads, and dying hair blue. This

collection of useful recipes and bizarre beauty practices offers a practical

yet humorous look at the daily life of men and women of all classes in

medieval and Renaissance Europe. From step-by-step instructions for period

headdresses and hairstyles to odd grooming and hygiene practices, the

intimate details of this resource bring the people of these periods to life.


Medieval Women's Headdress and Costume




15th Century: Burgundian Gothic and  Italian Renaissance, 1400-1450


Many original images in thumbnail format.


Regional Russian Headdresses


A series of drawings based upon a book of costume research


Hairstyles of the Elizabethan Period

by Lesley Barfield and Tamarra Fuller


(Site Excerpt) During the Elizabethan period men took as much pride in their

hair as the women did. They would spend whole days sitting in the barber

shop listening to music and talking to one another. The Elizabethan barber

stiffened, starched, powdered, perfumed, waxed, and dyed the hair a

fashionable red. The hair was worn shoulder length and curled with hot

irons, which were then called "love locks." When the men of this time went

bald, they depended upon wigs to help them keep up the latest fashion. The

wigs worn at his time were usually a fashionable white or yellow color.


Italian Renaissance Hair Taping - Introduction

By Lady Faoiltighearna inghean mhic Ghuaire

Copyright © 1999 Margo Farnsworth


(Site Excerpt) This is a style of wearing the hair bound to the head with

ribbon or "tape", or with a benda (a length of silk or linen veil used for

covering, wrapping round or intertwining with the hair). It is a very

comfortable way to wear your hair as the weight is evenly distributed over

the head and the ribbons create a soft way of attachment. I have found

evidence of this style from the mid-1300s through around 1600. The only

evidence I have found of this style anywhere outside Italy is in France in

the 16th century (I have included 2 examples of this).


Colors and Scents: The Transitional Period 1300-1500

by Magistra Rosemounde of Mercia, OL

and Mistress Fuiltigherne ni Ruadh O'Finnn, OL


(Site Excerpt) The popular hair colors were yellow and black which were

obtained through the use of dyes and wigs. After 1400 the hair was generally

hidden under headdresses, though gold was the color of choice when it

showed. From 1300 to 1400 women's hair was dressed in a fashion similar to

that at the end of the Norman period, but with the addition of an unusual

type headdress called a "caul headdress". This consisted of two meshwork

cylinders (the shape and sized varied somewhat) at either side of the head

into which the braids were placed. The net and linen bands were also used,

especially among the lower classes. This style was called a "crispenette".

After 1400, tall, outlandish headdresses came into fashion, most of which

hid the hair entirely. Some of those worn were the reticulated (netted)

headdress, the heart-shaped headdress (incorrectly called an escoffion) and

the famous hennin. Men's hair was worn the same as in the latter part of the

Norman period until 1350. After that it was worn parted in the middle with

no bangs and was curled. Mustaches were either short or long and were

curled. Beards were nearly always forked. Around 1400 bangs became popular

again, first in the ecclesiastical style, i.e. very short with a rolled

under edge, but as the period progressed the hair got longer until it fell

onto the shoulders.


Stefan's Florilegium--click Personal Care, then click Hair


(Site Excerpt) I know that in the earlier middle ages (before the year 1000, at any rate), the Franks felt that long hair was a sign of marshall prowess. Therefore the longer one's hair was, the better a warrior they supposedly were. This seems to imply that some of the Franks, especially their kings, kept their hair VERY long... as a matter of fact, I recall one instance where a king was conquered and deposed, and to keep him from causing trouble, they cut his hair. When he threatened to grow it back, they were forced to kill him.


From Chaperones to Caplets--Aspects of Men's Headdress (A Thesis--requires

Acrobat Reader)


This article is copy-protected, but it's VERY good, and on a seldom-covered



Costumer's Manifesto: Costume Accessories: Wigs, Hair and Hats



Late Medieval Men's Headdress Classification Chart


See many headresses for men detailed in picture form here.


Hoods, Chaperons and Liripipes


Drawings, photos of extant articles if available, and possible patterns

included with the links listed.



Hair & Headdress 1200s-1400s


A catalog of images, primarily from books.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org