For the first time, the hairstyle of the Roman Vestal Virgins has been recreated on a modern head.
The Vestals were priestesses who guarded the fire of Vesta, the goddess of the hearth, among other sacred tasks. Chosen before puberty and sworn to celibacy, they were free from many of the social rules that limited women in the Roman era. Their braided hairstyle, the sini crenes, symbolized chastity and was known in ancient texts as the oldest hairstyle in Rome...
Janet Stephens, the Baltimore hairdresser and amateur archaeologist who unraveled the secrets of the Vestals' trademark braids... reported her findings Friday (Jan. 4) at the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in Seattle.
Working alone on a live model with only tools ancient Romans would have had, the process takes about 35 to 40 minutes, Stephens said. Vestal Virgins, however, would likely have had slaves to dress their hair. With two or more people doing the braiding, the hairstyle could have come together in less than 10 minutes, she said.More details at LiveScience.
The Vestal hairstyle requires about waist-length hair to pull off, Stephens said.