Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

Get access

(926 words)

Through all ages and cultures, human hair - particularly that on the head - has played an important role in social and religious or cultic spheres. As a derivative of skin, threadlike and sensitive to touch, hair is attached to its owner but can be styled, dyed, or colored in many different ways. When separated from the body, hair survives for centuries, and can be worked into wigs or decorations. As an outwardly visible sign, hair can define its wearer through its cut, color, style, etcetera, as a member of a particular age group, social grouping, or religious or political affiliation.


Cite this page
Gareis, Iris, “Hair”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 30 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_020536>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180915

▲   Back to top   ▲