Women Try Ancient Hairstyles


– [Coworker] Is it a wig? – No. (gentle instrumental music) – Welcome to the Getty Villa. Hi, Sheila, I’m Shelby. Nice to meet you. I’m an archeologist and I’m really happy to introduce you to your hairstyle and to this woman who’s
going to be you later today. This is Venus, you are going to be channeling the goddess
today with your hairstyle. – She has her own, like, platform here. Like, she’s, like, very extra. – She is a really powerful goddess and you have to be
pretty careful as you go out into the world wearing her hairstyle because if a goddess actually unleashes her full power in front of mortals, they basically just burn up. You are Caltilia, she probably has a decent amount of money with her husband, that’s why she can
afford a nice tomb altar, but she is a freed slave
so there’s a certain loss of status no matter what. She’s a Flavian, she
is a high-status woman from after the period of Nero. She controls her hair, even
if it’s high and curly, so that she’s not being
licentious or inappropriate and it tells the world that
she cares about her family and that people should
look at her with respect. But like you, some of her hair’s down. Your hair’s down too much for
a responsible mortal woman. She’s a goddess so she can
pull her hair up loosely, tie it in a bow, have sexy
curls hanging down long, and all of that works. She may look to you as
though she’s wearing a full set of plastic curlers. If you look closely, you
can see it flips over once, so she actually had really short hair. To do it right, the hair
stylist would have to cut your hair all around
your head really short, which we will not do to you. – I’m really curious as to how it’s gonna actually look on me. – So you seem quite ready to go be Venus. Okay, let’s go meet Janet. (upbeat instrumental music) Hi, I’m Janet Stephens and I’m
a professional hair dresser and an experimental archeologist in the recreation of
ancient Roman hairstyles. (upbeat instrumental music) Now, this hairstyle involves
knotting and some cord, so I first have to section out the spaces that are going to be
involved in a particularly interesting knot on the top of the head. So I’m going to take out the front and insert a hair bodkin to
keep that out of the way. So now I’m going to take a woolen cord and I’m going to center
it on the top of the head and now I start wrapping
strands around the cord toward the back of the head. Venus is the goddess of physical love and her hair is often depicted as if it’s about to come down in
anticipation of making love. (gentle harp strumming) And then we’re going to tie
the band again across that bun and then we’re gonna
tuck those ends there. And then these are just
taken, tied in a knot, and then tied in a literal bow. Because hair is elastic and will tend to try to spring out of any
kind of knotted containment, I’m just gonna take a couple of stitches through the knot of the bow to secure it and matching the color of
the thread to the hair. – Oh, I see you, bow. It’s so comfortable, honestly
it felt like nothing happened. I feel like I’m a goddess, I’m
ready to go out in the world. I think I can pull it off. (gentle instrumental music) The hair first has to be divided front from back with
an ear-to-ear parting, and I’m using a tool that
was used in antiquity called a single-prong hair pin
or I call it a hair bodkin. Then once I get the hair divided, I’ll start braiding the
back in order to get that part of the hairstyle out of the way so I can then concentrate on creating the enormously tall fluffy bangs. So what I’m doing is I’m taking a large needle and some woolen thread, tying a slipknot in the end, so now I’m gonna put that
needle through the braid and through the slipknot
and I’m gonna stitch that to the base of the braids on
the inside of your hairstyle. (upbeat instrumental music) – This is how I’m gonna get my husband. (chuckling) – I am taking very loose stitches and shaping the hair so that it turns into this very vertical shape
that the style needs to have and I’d like to make your facial curls, the ones on your forehead
just a little bit tighter. I have a modern curling
iron because, let’s face it, we don’t want to burn down the building. Okay, you are all done. – This is very, like, airy on top and this is very, like,
like dense in the back. If I didn’t see, like, the hairs up here, I probably wouldn’t even have known that my hair looked like this. (chuckling) (gentle instrumental music) – We’re now going to do a style from the Getty collection of
a woman named Caltilia. In order to make her hair spread across the head the way we need it to do, I’ve divided her hair front from back. All of this hair is going
to be styled in curls, and this hair is first going
to be done into a ponytail, then divided into braids that are gonna be placed around the back of her head. So I’m going to take, first,
a needle with some thread and to make ponytails
with needle and thread is actually fairly easy. You stab through the hair with the needle, draw the thread through, put
the needle through that loop, and it automatically
tenches around the hair. I’m going to divide her
hair into four sections and I’m going to braid her
hair all the way to the end. So I’m going to use an acacia gum gel to make her hair stiffer. I’m going to sew two
pairs of braids sideways so that they create parallel rows, and now I’m going to start
just stitching back and forth and just nicking the surface of the braids so that they lay next to one another, but don’t collapse or get bunchy. (upbeat instrumental music) So what we have are three rows of curls essentially layered over one another. What I’m going to be
doing is teasing the bases of the curls so that I have
a foundation to pin in to, and then just roll that curl in. (upbeat instrumental music) – It feels very interesting. – [Janet] Yeah, well, it is. (laughing) – I still think it
kinda looks like curlers and I also feel like I have, like, a really delicate, like,
art piece on my head. I feel like I’m part of history so I guess that was the goal, right? So that’s cool. – I’m very excited, yet nervous to see what people are gonna say
about our hair in the office. – Real interesting. It reminds me of, like,
right after you’ve taken, like, rollers out of your hair, before you, like, shake it out. (laughing) – [Shraya] What do you think? (laughing) – Why are you a circle? Very intricate in the back. It looks flammable. – It’s beautiful, honestly. It’s very elegant and, like,
romantic and, like, Grecian. I think the little ball on
the front is kinda weird. – It’s not a ball, it’s
supposed to be like a bow. – Oh, it’s a bow. – It’s dope, honestly. – You don’t think it
looks like a bird’s nest? – No, I don’t think it
looks like a bird’s nest. – Whose mom are you seriously, though? Like, is there more to this
’cause all I see is the front. Oh, it’s fancy. (laughing) There’s, like, little strings in it too. That’s really cute, actually. This looks outdated. – [Stevie] Yeah. – It’s ancient. – [Stevie] Yeah, it’s from ancient Rome. – [Shraya] What do you think? – Is that your real head? – [Shraya] Yeah. – I’m stunned. – I love this. At first I thought it was just like you were getting a little
volume in the front, which I’m always about volume. It’s amazing how this hairstyle’s, like, thousands of years old and
it still looks relevant. – I can’t put on headphones. It’s a problem that the
ancient Greeks did not have. – I really enjoyed getting
to know a lot about Venus. I felt like she is such a powerhouse. I don’t know if Venus would
approve of the fly-aways. – Overall, I thought this was
a really awesome experience. It was very educational, I learned a lot about the hairstyles and
the tools that were used. I don’t think this is a
modern look by any means, but it was a really,
really cool experience. – Cheers to Venus, cheers to
making this hairstyle work. (upbeat instrumental music) – Hey, Unsolved is on a new
channel and now your part. – [In Unison] Subscribe here. – That was my part.

100 comments

  1. 9:09 I was just thinking that; these hairstyles indeed look relevant while they are so old! And your girls are just rocking these haircuts. It was especially interesing to see you wear it with your office outfit. It just… fit. It really does.

  2. I'm watching this with headphones and its bothering the heck outta me when the older lady talks (the one with colored hair). Theres a squishy sound coming from her after she says something. :/

  3. Oh my gosh! It's Janet Stephens! I watch her hairstyling videos all the time, they're so informative and all-around entertaining to watch. This video is definitely no exception 🙂

  4. I wonder how those with finer hair wore their hair? Since it seems as though these hairstyles would be hard to accomplish with fine, thinner hair

  5. Venus' hairstyle works but without the bow, in fact the historian hit the nail on the head by describing exactly why it's beautiful, the way it appears to be tied yet ready to come undone <3 specifically evident around the temples, waves complete the look.

  6. I loved both the Venus and Flavian styles, but my big issue is: How the heck do you take them out again when they're sown and knotted?

  7. So did they really have dreads in ancient Greek because i had to take an upper level art history for my BA and I took Greek art and myth but they never talked about it

  8. So cool but man I thought it was hard finding bobby pins in my up to, I can’t imagine how hard t would be to find all the stitches and take those out

  9. Anyone else feeling uncomfortable because of the weird squelching/smacking saliva mouth noises the first archaeologist makes?

  10. It's funny because I noticed Apollo has the same hairstyle as Venus (except a bit shorter since he's a guy) , like on most statues he has this little hair bow on top of his head so his bangs don't cover his eyes while he's hunting. It would be so nice to have another video like this one but with guys, I would love to see you make this hairstyle on a guy

  11. Venus isn’t actually a strong goddess. Venus is Aphrodite the goddess of love. All gods and goddesses do the same thing, if a mortal sees their true self. Hera tricked Zeus to do this to his mortal girlfriend. That’s a true fact.

  12. It’s so interesting to see that non African people also used methods of extending the hair and some forms of intricate braiding and sewing methods. It makes me wonder why today white women don’t really have intricate hairstyles or stay away from extensions. I suspect it’s partly the stigma of its association with black women through the years in America but I have lots of questions

  13. It's ok ma'am with Venus's hairstyle. They are not real gods. There is only one God. You will not burn up. Promise! 🙂

  14. The Venus hair was really beautiful except for the bow on the front. All were interesting though.

  15. Caltilia's style reminded me of this https://shkoder.net/en/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/elena_miss_bjeshka_2015.jpg

  16. They should not have picked the short hairstyle for someone with long hair but some more classic buns like ones form Julio-Claudian era. The curly hair many of them had was the ideal for many of these styles.

  17. Well done for actually getting a historian that specialises in recreating these hairstyles as they would have been done instead of just getting any hair stylist to try and recreate them from the statues

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