The Wonderful History of Hair Bows

January 21, 2018

The Wonderful History of Hair Bows

Life is too short to have boring hair

Hair is one of the greatest assets of a woman.

For centuries women have been styling their hair, from spraying gold dust in the 1st century to wearing spectacular hats in 2017 and we can only wonder what new hair trends will this year be greeting.

Hair accessories, along with makeup, clothing, shoes, and other accessories have become a vital part of a woman’s objective self-expression.

Hair Accessories

Hair accessories are functional or ornamental objects wrapped, tied, twisted, inserted, or otherwise attached to the hair. Throughout history, types of ornaments and the materials from which they were made indicated religious significance, social class, age group, and level of fashion awareness.

Greatly varying in shapes, sizes, and materials, examples of hair accessories include: hair rings or bands, ribbons, and bows, barrettes, hair combs, beads, etc. throughout the years hair accessories have been used by members of both genders.

Ladies wearing classic hair bow

History of hair accessories

Throughout history, men and women belonging to various cultures have been known to wear hair ornaments. Cave paintings, and ornaments found in ancient ruins, grave sites, paintings, pottery, and sculpture have proved that hair accessorizing tends to date back to prehistoric times, in which people would use these ornaments for aesthetic appeals or keep their hair in place for fashionable or occupational reasons.

Native American Hair Style

In the ancient times, the ornament materials would stem from nature, for examples Native American headgear, such as flowers, feathers, leaves, shells, pearls, and gemstones. During the Roman Empire and Ancient Greece men and women would wear hair pins and hair bands made of natural products.

Hair ornaments changed during the Middle Ages. Cone-shaped hats with a veil, hats decorated with ribbons and gold threads, tiaras, headbands studded with gemstones or pearls were worn by women of that time. Other than that lacey net bags (snoods) also became very common during that time. However, the religious institutions regarded those ornaments as a symbol of vanity and went on to discourage their usage, at times even releasing laws against certain types of items and their consumption!

During the Rennaisance period, headdresses, tiaras, and other hair accessories became much more ornate. Women of means decorated their hair with pearls, precious stones, ribbons, and veils. As the wigs grew larger in size so did the extensivity in the use ribbons and laces.

Portrait of Lady with classic Hair Bow

The Regency Period ornamental combs, silk ribbons, and diadems secured and embellished the women’s upswept hairstyles. Flowers and ribbons were in demand during the Victorian Times to allow the women to keep their curls and poufs in place.

Women continued to add jewels, feathers, flowers, beaded combs well into the 19th Century, even when the roaring 20s had the women cut their hair into bobs they would often style their hair with beaded and jeweled headbands with feathers stuck to them. Near the 1940s snoods came back in style when the famous character Scarlette O’ Hara wore it in the epic film Gone with the Wind.

Scarlette O' hara

Stores of the 21st Century offer various hair ornaments in an array of colors, shapes, sizes, and price ranges, taking influence from the past inventions with a modern twist to them.

Hair bow History

The hairbow history goes back to the Roman, Greek and Egyptian times where men, who recognized the fabulousness hair bows, would design bows using bones.

However, hair bows witnessed a major rise in their popularity during the 17th and 18th centuries. The European 17th and 18th centuries show that there was an immense focus on materialism, looking prosperous and extravagant was the in-scene during that time so every piece of the item put on one’s body had to be colossal in size and so flashy that it could almost blind you!

Louis XV Hair Style

The men and women of these times would often adorn their hair in whatever they deemed to be aesthetically pleasing. The women would wear wigs, possibly, equalling the length of their upper body.  They would thriftlessly decorate their wigs with gemstones, fruits, and even showpieces of ships!

Men would often wear wigs as well, take, for example, Louis XIV of France and his court members would wear wigs, and often times adorn it with ribbons and bows. Bows still remained a part of men’s style as the new king of France Louis XV introduced a smaller version of wigs. 

Traditional Hair Bow style

The beginning of the 19th century also carried the tradition of bow usage by men and women. The mid-1800s brought the Marcel wave (who invented the holy curling iron!), this style involved hair curls being coupled at the back of the head and adorned with ribbons and jewels. In the Edwardian era, bows became a popular design for hair and jewelry. In the start of the 20th century, the bows seem to fall out of style but came back in full force in the 1940s. They were used in brooches, jewelry, hair adornment, made from silk, lace, or gemstones, bows were pretty much everywhere.

History of Hair Bows Bargainbows
Bows, today, most are seen adorning the hairstyles lovely young ladies below the age of 8. Bows of different sizes and colors have erupted in style and as the past years demonstrate it, they are the perfect style statement to bring out the fashionista in the young ones! Several actresses who display a more quirky image like Zooey Deschanel are often seen wearing bows of different sizes on their thick locks.

Bows for your Zooey Deschanels

 Thanks to the internet and online shopping you don’t have to go the hair accessories shops and be “pestered” by the salespeople. You can use online hair accessories websites which sell bows of different colors and sizes so you can go through different varieties from the comfort of your home.

Zoey Deschanel





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