The elegance of the Han and Jin dynasties, the grace of the Tang dynasty, the refinement of the Song dynasty, and the magnificence of the Ming and Qing dynasties – throughout China’s five thousand years of history, each era has its unique charm in beauty and fashion.
This article will take you on a journey through various dynasties, allowing you to appreciate the distinctive allure of ancient Chinese women’s hairstyles.
The Han Dynasty and Wei-Jin Period
During the Han Dynasty, the elegant and dignified hair bun showcased the noble and graceful temperament of women. Hairstyles of this period emphasized smooth and harmonious lines, with meticulous attention to detail, presenting a refined and classical charm.
In the Wei-Jin Period, women’s hairstyles embraced a sense of simplicity and freshness. The hair buns became more straightforward, emphasizing natural charm, often adorned with headbands or hairpins to highlight a playful and lovely aspect. During this time, hairstyles focused on comfort and naturalness, reflecting the openness and diversity of Wei-Jin culture.
The Southern and Northern Dynasties and Sui Dynasty
During the period of the Southern and Northern Dynasties, China experienced political divisions and turmoil, leading to the blending of diverse regional cultures, which also influenced the variety of women’s hairstyles.
In the Southern Dynasties, women’s hairstyles continued the classical elegance of the Han-Jin style, emphasizing high hair buns and soft, graceful lines, displaying a refined and gentle temperament.
At the same time, the hairstyles of women in the Northern Dynasties were influenced by minority cultures, appearing more bold and natural, often featuring long hair draped over the shoulders or arranged in updos, presenting a different kind of brave and resolute charm.
The Sui Dynasty unified the Southern and Northern Dynasties, flourishing during its time, and women’s hairstyles reflected a sense of nobility and grandeur. Women in the Sui Dynasty adorned high hair buns with intricate braids, often using gold, silver, and jewelry as headpieces, showcasing the status and prestige of the imperial nobility.
During the Sui Dynasty, hairstyles blended classical and ethnic elements, displaying a splendid and solemn fashion, reflecting the prosperity and brilliance of the unified dynasty.
The Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was one of the glorious periods in Chinese history, and women’s hairstyles became the pinnacle of ancient Chinese beauty and fashion.
During the prosperous Tang era, the styling of women’s hair buns became increasingly elaborate and towering. Large and ornate hair buns were common, adorned with splendid hair accessories and jewelry, and the headpieces were resplendent with gold and gems, displaying a luxurious and magnificent charm. Additionally, Tang women preferred deep-colored makeup, such as deep red lips and thick eyebrows.
The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms, and Northern Song Dynasty
During the period of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms, China experienced political turbulence and frequent warfare, resulting in relatively simple female makeup that emphasized natural beauty and nobility.
During this time, hairstyles were mostly gathered at the back of the head, with simple and elegant styling, avoiding excessive ornamentation and instead focusing on portraying the serenity and dignity of women. Hair buns were often adorned with minimalist hairpins or delicate ribbons, exuding an understated and elegant beauty.
Entering the Northern Song Dynasty, the court culture reached its peak, and women’s hairstyles began to emphasize nobility and elegance. Courtly women favored wearing gold and silver jewelry, and hair accessories were often made of gold or silver threads, or adorned with precious gemstones. The hairstyles combined simplicity and opulence, showcasing the highest level of courtly elegance at that time.
The hairstyles in this period harmoniously blended magnificence with grace, showcasing the unique charm of ancient Chinese women’s hairstyles.
The Southern Song Dynasty and Yuan Dynasty
During the Southern Song Dynasty, Chinese hairstyles pursued elegance and simplicity, favoring high hair buns and light makeup to showcase a fresh and refined beauty. Folk women, on the other hand, enjoyed a variety of hair accessories, adorning their hair buns with colorful ribbons, displaying a lively and playful charm.
In contrast, during the Yuan Dynasty, the hairstyle was influenced by Mongolian culture, and women preferred voluminous high hair buns adorned with gold and silver hair accessories, presenting an appearance of grace and grandeur.
The Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty
During the Ming Dynasty, hairstyles presented a classical and dignified appearance. Women enjoyed wearing hair accessories such as pearl hairpins and golden hairnets, highlighting an elegant and luxurious look.
In the Qing Dynasty, influenced by Manchu culture, hairstyles leaned towards a more natural and romantic style. Updos and hair combs were common among noblewomen, while common women preferred intricate braided hairstyles, showcasing a fresh and pastoral beauty.
Throughout different dynasties, we have explored the beauty and fashion of China’s five thousand years. Each era possesses its unique charm, bearing witness to history and carrying forward cultural legacies.