Skip to main content

Beautiful and Unique Ancient Chinese Hairstyles for Women

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

I love fashion! Hairstyle is so important for women. The right hairstyle can make you look younger, more attractive, and hide imperfections.

Elaborate Tang Hairstyle for Noble Women

The Tang dynasty lasted from 618 to 907 A.D. This time period was the epitome of Chinese art and culture. Everything evolved because people had a lot of time to really enjoy life like never before. Women in the Tang dynasty's royal palace were known to have very big and elaborate hairstyles. Decorated with lots of ornaments, Tang female nobility hairstyle was very elaborate and intricate. The common theme was the high bun. The bun actually got higher and bigger overtime. To accentuate the hair and face even more, the hair was often decorated with colorful flowers, feathers, and fancy jewelry. Combined with colorful elaborate clothing, Tang dynasty's elite women were definitely very feminine and elaborate. On the other hand, commoners wore their hair much more simpler than women in the ruling class. However, the bun was a common theme throughout the Tang dynasty from the ruling class to the commoners.


Tang Style Peony Hair

Tang dynasty was one of the most prosperous and influential time in China. This directly resulted in the propagation of Chinese Tang culture to other areas of Asia. At the time, Chinese culture influenced neighboring countries such as Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Women also had more freedom than before. This translated into lots of different hairstyles and revealing clothing for women. At home, elite women expanded on the existing high bun hairstyle. The gorgeous peony hairstyle was worn by women of high social class. Similar to the high bun hairstyle, the peony hairstyle featured a high bun and used an actual peony flower at the top of the crown as decoration. This fancy hairstyle was very fitting for big events at the palace or other important royal gatherings. Younger women were especially fond of this elaborate hairstyle.


Tang Dynasty - Curled Up Braids on Both Sides of the Face

There were so many different hairstyles in the Tang dynasty. The curled up braids on both sides of the face was mainly used for younger women and girls. The hair was twisted into one or several loops on both sides of the face to frame the face. This adorable hairstyle made the person appear very youthful. Sometimes, the hairstyle was decorated with precious metal hair ornaments. Other times, it was simply tied together with a cotton hair tie. Whatever was used to hold this hairstyle together, it's a very unique and fun for younger Tang dynasty women to wear. This relatively simple hairstyle was also worn by female palace servants.

Scroll to Continue

Manchu Nobility Hairstyle of the Qing Dynasty - Liangbatou

This was the most recognized hairstyle from ancient China. Qing dynasty was the most recent and last totalitarian ruling system in China, starting from 1644 to 1911. The Manchurian people ruled China for almost three hundred years as the Qing dynasty. Originally a clan from Northeast China, the Manchurian warriors defeated Ming dynasty and moved into Beijing. Even though this ethnic minority assimilated much of the Han culture, they still preserved elements of their own identity. The Liangbatou was a hairstyle worn by Manchurian women of high social class. Depending on ornaments of the headpiece and the clothing, you could tell the social and martial status of the wearer. The huge headdress piece was actually only worn during late Qing dynasty. During the earlier Qing dynasty, women had smaller headpieces. But as time went on, the headpieces got bigger and more elaborate for elite women.


Ming Dynasty - the High Looping Hairstyle

During the Ming dynasty, women also loved high bun hairstyles. Unlike the bun that was on top of the head in the Tang dynasty, women from the Ming dynasty added more variety to the top heavy hairstyle with loops. Generally, there were three loops of different sizes on the top back of the head. To make the hairstyle more feminine, lots of people added hair jewelry to the hair. This hairstyle was very fancy and reserved for women of high social status. An elaborate hairstyle like the looping hair needed several house servants to accomplish.


Middle Part Hairstyle of the Han Dynasty

Han dynasty was very ancient, from 206 B.C. to 220 A.D. Women during the Han dynasty worn their hair relatively simple compared to other more recent dynasties. However, it was still very flattering for many women. Instead of a very fancy hairstyle, Han women usually wore their hair long and parted in the middle. The hair framed the face and it was tied into a low ponytail in the back. Although simple, this ancient hairstyle accentuated feminine facial structure and features well.


Demure and Feminine Song Dynasty Hairstyle

Song dynasty came immediately after Tang dynasty. Unlike the elaborate and big hairstyles of the Tang dynasty, women during the Song dynasty worn more demure and feminine hairstyles. One of the key characteristics of the Song hairstyle was that women let their hair down. Most other dynasties liked putting all the hair up into a bun to make things neater for women. However, by letting the hair down, women during the Song dynasty looked especially feminine. The higher bun was used by women of high social class. For commoners, the hair was still put into a bun but not as high as women in the royal palace or high social status. Decorated with a little bit of hair ornaments, Song hairstyle was understated but also cute.


Related Articles