Look at Those Locks! Historical Hairstyles That Took Root

Ancient Coin Dulls Cleopatra's Beauty

(Image credit: Newcastle University)

This ancient Roman denarius coin depicts Cleopatra as a sharp-nosed, thin-lipped woman with a protruding chin.

Apprentice Geisha

Two young geisha with traditional hairstyles.

(Image credit: Daniel Bachler, distributed under a Creative Commons license.)

Two apprentice geisha wear their hair in a traditional chignon style.

Merovingian King

Merovingian king illustrated.

(Image credit: Antonio Abrignani, Shutterstock)

The Merovingian kings of early Europe wore their hair long as a sign of status.

Woman in Hennin

A young woman wearing a hennin hat.

(Image credit: Hans Memling, 1433-1494)

The conical, veiled hennin became popular in the 1400s in some areas of Europe.

Orthodox Jewish Man

An Orthodox Jewish man wearing peyos.

(Image credit: Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock.com)

An Orthodox Jewish man with the traditional peyos, or long sidelocks.


A girl wearing cornrow braids.

(Image credit: AISPIX, Shutterstock)

A girl wears her hair in cornrows.

Louis XIV

Louis XIV of France.

(Image credit: Charles Lebrun, 1619-1690)

Louis XIV wore massive wigs in the style of royalty of his era.

Military Cut

A soldier with a high and tight military haircut.

The "high and tight" military haircut.

Beehive Hairdo

A woman with a beehive hairstyle.

(Image credit: Kristin Smith, Shutterstock)

A take on the popular 1960s beehive hairstyle.

The bob

A woman with a bob hairstyle.

(Image credit: Bain News Service, publisher, via Library of Congress)

1920s film star Louise Brooks sporting a bob hairstyle, later popularized in the 1960s by Vidal Sassoon

Stephanie Pappas
Live Science Contributor

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.