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Archaeological Hairstyling: Stylist Turns Ancient Hairdo Debate on Its Head

February 14, 2013

By day, Janet Stephens is a hairdresser at a Baltimore salon, trimming bobs and wispy bangs. By night she dwells in a different world. At home in her basement, with a mannequin head, she meticulously re-creates the hairstyles of ancient Rome and Greece.

Ms. Stephens is a hairdo archaeologist.

Her amateur scholarship is sticking a pin in the long-held assumptions among historians about the complicated, gravity-defying styles of ancient times. Basically, she has set out to prove that the ancients probably weren’t wearing wigs after all.

“This is my hairdresserly grudge match with historical representations of hairstyles,” says Ms. Stephens, who works at Studio 921 Salon & Day Spa, which offers circa 21st-century haircuts.

Excerpt from an article written by ABIGAIL PESTA at the WSJ. Continue HERE


Analysis and recreation (upon a live model) of the “seni crines” hairstyle of ancient Rome’s Vestal Virgin priestesses. Research based on ancient artifacts and primary sources. An amplificaton of the poster presented at the Archaeological Institute of America annual meeting, January 3-6, 2013.


Janet Stephens’ recreation of a possible tutulus hairstyle, ca. 40 BC using period appropriate tools and techniques. Based on a sculpture in the Capitoline Museum, Rome. Bibliography included.

More Info on Jane Stephens:

Janet Stephens: Intrepid Hairdressing Archaeologist
Jane Stephens’ YouTube

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