Janet Stephens' Historical Hairdressing YouTube Channel Is More Than History Lessons
Are you all about throwback hairstyles? No, I don't mean #TBT to those pink extensions you rocked six months ago or to those dip-dyed twists you did in summer or to that crazy bow-shaped thing you slayed at prom. I am talking about ornate updos, braids, and styles of antiquity. Janet Stephens' historical hairdressing YouTube channel is devoted to the styles and techniques that defined ancient Rome and Greece, medieval Europe, and more. It's a real throwback, beautifully so.
If you love the medieval hair looks you've seen in museums, in history books, and in period films, well, Stephens, who is a professional hairdresser and published hairdressing archaeologist, wants to help you recreate them accurately and that includes with the proper tools.
The channel offers tight, easy-to-follow tutorials that offer inspo and info and are based on historical models and sources and come with a bibliography! They are perfect for theater actors, period re-enactors, and those who are simply interested in the aesthetics, art, and costume of these eras. If you want to do a historical Halloween costume next October, then you are in luck.
Not only do I feel like I am back in college, but I think I just fell in love. Step aside, all ye lobs, wobs, mermaid hair, and pink 'dos.
The complicated and utterly feminine hairstyles of these periods have so much richness and beauty; they were like works of art.
To see them come to life in the modern era, when culture, values, mores, and standards have changed tenfold, is actually refreshing. Plus, Stephens has the know-how on recreating these looks for so many purposes. The voiceovers are warm, soothing, and enunciated so perfectly I found myself completely enraptured and fully immersed in each one I watched.
This look has a lot going on but it's so much more interesting than a fishtail braid!
If you want to try some real #TBT hairstyles, Stephens should be your main source material.
Say you want to attempt the cross-tied styles of ancient Grecian women? The look above is nice for formal events or proms or even bridal parties.
The tutorial is four minutes, but it's not quite as simple as you think.
You may need help using the tools that ensure period accuracy, like the bodkin, which is a hair pin used the fasten a style in place.
Love these woolen ribbons!
The cross-ties with wrap look is not super practical for today, but it's lovely for theater or other re-enactment endeavors.
You rock a bun and secure it with a bodkin.
Then you add the wrap.
Tie it and you're dunzo...
...with a few added steps. Watch the video below.
How about a medieval Italian look, circa 1328?
This braid and veiled look is precious and bridal. It can be created by the wearer herself.
Part hair, smooth it, three-strand braid it to the nape, and finish as a free-hanging braid. Repeat on the other side.
It looks easy enough but it gets complicated.
Add the ribbon across the forehead.
Wrap the ends twice, bow them, and then bind them. Center them under the chin and rebraid the ends, wrapping them tightly with wool thread.
Lift them to top of head. Secure with bodkin.
It's sort of like Princess Leia. The cord was actually decorative and kept random, errant hairs out of the eyes. The veil was added by securing it to the braid with a "T" pin. The veil was also customary at the time for married women when going out in public.
Watch the video below.
Those are just a few of the many historical styles you can try if you want to do a past and present mashup with your look or if you are involved in any sort of re-enactment societies. Old x new can be the new high x low.
Images: YouTube (16)