Greece and Rome

Girls let their hair fall freely and older women wore their hair long and let it fall loose over their shoulders. A low forehead was a mark of beauty, and hair was styled accordingly. Women also wore their hair parted in the middle, waved it with hot irons, and scraped it back to expose the ears. Sometimes spiral curls were sectioned from the rest of the hair and styled so they hung down over the forehead while the rest hung loosely down the back.

By the 7th and 6th centuries BC, the hair was bound by a band, ribbon, diadem, or string of pearls. By 5th century BC, another style had become more popular – women pulled up the back of their hair and looped it over a fillet. After Alexander, hairstyles seemed to become more sophisticated – knots and chignons were held in place with hairpins, and ringlets and corkscrew curls accented the chignons.

Roman women originally wore their hair parted in the center and gathered at the nape in a ponytail or bun.
During the Republic, variations began to appear as married women started to wear their hair coiled on the crown. By the time of the empire, the hair was still parted in the center, but now could be waved, curled, or worn in a loose roll that sat low on the neck. A fringe of curls was another popular look.
During the Flavian era women wore piles and cascades of curls. Emperor Titus’ wife Julia wore her curls high on her head, held in place with a tiara. Her back hair fell in a soft knot of braids. Neither men nor women wore hats.