14 Medieval hairstyles we’d definitely still wear today

Daenerys Targaryen, eat your heart out. 

Medieval hairstyles are sending our hearts a flutter right now and we’re blaming shows like Game of Thrones and Vikings for the meteoric rise of ancient medieval ‘dos all over Instagram.

But these hairstyles aren’t just for fancy dress.  In fact, they can also provide for the perfect hair inspiration for weddings, parties and actually, even just for everyday, because we think we could all benefit from a few more braids in our lives.

Read on to find out how you can give these medieval hairstyles a modern twist, while still giving off just the right amount of Khaleesi vibes.

Medieval hairstyles: Back view of a woman with glossy brown long curled hair in medieval style half-up Dutch braids
This is what medieval hair is all about. Credit: Instagram.com/flairbyrebeccacrosland

1. Braided half updo

Half worn for practical reasons and half for style purposes, if there’s one hairstyle medieval women are most famously associated with it’s the half-up half-down.

Ususally worn braided, twisted or knotted, the detail that went into Medieval hairstyles was seriously impressive. Credit: @flairbyrebeccacrosland

Editor’s tip: Medieval hairstyles were dominated by braids, so the TONI&GUY Flexible Hold Braid Balm is a must-try if you’re into your braids. Giving fine, soft hair more structure to make it easier to plait, it’ll make all the difference.

Medieval hairstyles: Back view of a woman with long curly light brown hair in a twisted ponytail
A medieval hairstyle that’s actually really wearable. Credit: Instagram.com/bridesbybecky

2. Half-braided ponytail

Bored of your usual going out hairstyles? This half-braided curly ponytail is simply calling out to be worn at a party – how could it not get you noticed?  Credit: @bridesbybecky

Medieval hairstyles: Back view of a woman with ash blonde long hair in a big oversized side braid
Khaleesi hair coming your way! Credit: Instagram.com/dosanddyebyjulie

3. Oversized side braid

Thanks to Game of Throne‘s Daenerys Targaryen, these statement-making braids are all any of us are dreaming of.

While these styles can work on all hair colours, they’re especially effective on platinum or silver tones as you’ll really be able to appreciate the details. Credit: @dosanddyebyjulie

Editor’s tip: For more voluminous braids, we’d recommend the VO5 Instant Volume Powder. It instantly boosts hair at the roots and gives your lengths more grip and texture to hold on to.

Medieval hairstyles: Back view of a woman with brown curled hair in a half-up braided style
This look is giving us Lord of the Rings vibes. Credit: Instagram.com/natysoaresmakeup

4. Braids on braids

Rather than just having one single braid, what made so many Medieval hairstyles look so complex is that they were made up of multiple different braids.

Medieval women would combine different braiding methods within one look, e.g. Dutch and fishtail, or they’d repeat rows of braids like this Instagrammer has here for a super impressive look. Credit: @natysoaresmakeup

Medieval hairstyles: Back of a womans head with brunette mid-length wavy hair with a twisted half updo and flower crown
This sweet flower crown would be perfect at a Medieval wedding! Credit: Instagram.com/bridesbykellyanne_co

5. Flower crowns

Oh flower crown… how we long to wear thee! If you’ve ever watched Vikings you’ll know that any good Nordic wedding must have a flower crown or two – especially if you’re the one getting hitched.

Medieval hairstyles don’t get much prettier than a crown made with fresh wild flowers, teamed with relaxed, tousled waves. You’ll look like you walked straight out of a fairytale! Credit: @bridesbykellyanne_co

Medieval hairstyles: Back view of a woman's brunette hair with a braided rolled updo
Try your hand at one of our favourite medieval hairstyles – the braided up ‘do! Credit: Instagram.com/medieval_fashion/

6. Rolled updo

If you’re after something rather more elegant, look back to medieval hairstyles for the ultimate in romantic hair styling. A regular red carpet hairstyle even today, this stunning rolled and braided look is both elegant and interesting. Credit: @medieval_fashion

Editor’s tip: We love the TRESemmé Ultimate Shine Hold Hairspray for keeping our Medieval looks in place from dawn ’til dusk. It’s fast-drying to give locks hold and shine, not to mention it protects your tresses from frizz and flyaways, too.

Medieval hairstyles: Back of a woman's pink hair with braids and half her hair down
Give your medieval hairstyles a modern twist with vibrant tresses. Credit: Instagram.com/chawoodelf

7. Pink braids

Bright colourful hair might not be the first thing to spring to mind when you think of medieval hairstyles, but if you want to bring this historic trend fresh into the 21st century, you can’t beat a head-turning hue.

We love this sweet candyfloss pink tint and the metallic hair cuffs sitting neatly on the braids. Credit: @chawoodelf

Medieval hairstyles: Back view close-up of a woman with grey white hair in a half-up medieval braided style
Who’s your Medieval #hairspiration? Credit: Instagram.com/lisiiii18

8. Twisted braids

Before you think about creating your medieval hairstyles, do some research and gather images for inspiration. And if you aren’t already a Game of Thrones fan (um, why not?) catch up now. Trust us, drama aside, it’s worth it for the hairstyles alone! Credit: @lisiiii18

Medieval hairstyles: Back view of a woman with long blonde crimped hair in a half-up braid, looking out over a lake
Even basic braids can look amazing. Credit: Instagram.com/sj_hair

9. Knotted braids

Braids make up a lot of medieval hairstyles, but that doesn’t mean you need to be a pro braider to channel your inner Viking princess. Crossing over two basic 3-strand braids creates an easy half-updo and you can crimp the rest of your hair for added texture. Credit: @sj_hair

Medieval hairstyles: Back of a woman's head with long red hair, with braids worn half down
Medieval hairstyles often feature enviable long locks. Credit: Instagram.com/wishingwhimsy

10. Rapunzel lengths

Medieval ladies weren’t in the business of cutting their tresses, so Rapunzel-like hair is a signature look for these bygone ‘dos.

But don’t give up hope just yet if you’re currently rocking a shorter cut. If you’re lacking in the length department, try clip-in extensions to help create the illusion of flowing lengths. Credit: @wishingwhimsy

Editor’s tip: Keep your ends looking smooth and frizz-free by applying a little TIGI S Factor Silky Smooth Moisture Serum. This nifty bottle of goodness also protects against environmental and heat damage, plus restores moisture and shine for healthy-looking locks.

Medieval hairstyles: Back view of a woman's red hair in a braided halo updo
The easiest updo you’ll ever try – seriously! Credit: Instagram.com/medievalbraids

11. Milkmaid braid

Milkmaid braids were one of the biggest hairstyle trends during the Medieval period. Loved for practical and aesthetic reasons, they’re surprisingly easy to do which made them popular with all ages. Credit: @medievalbraids

Medieval hairstyles: Back view of a woman's head with deep purple hair in a fishtail plait with a gold headband
We love these bright locks as a modern take on medieval hair. Credit: Instagram.com/stylistricardosantiago

12. Headband details

Headbands were a key accessory in medieval hairstyles – particularly for wealthier women who could afford to go all out.

This golden headband really makes the look pop and stands out perfectly against this Instagrammer’s purple hue. Credit: @stylistricardosantiago

Medieval hairstyles: Close-up back shot of a woman with brunette to golden brown ombre hair in a braided chignon with flowers in
We love this up ‘do complete with sweet flowers. Credit: Instagram.com/to.be.hair_makeup

13. Floral arrangements

You wore them for festivals and now it’s time to get yourself into the garden once more to pick yourself some daisies for your medieval hairstyles! We love this super elegant look that’s just perfect for a wedding.

Create multiple braids (we told you they feature a lot!), then wrap them on top of one another to create a messy low bun and secure with bobby pins. Add in your flowers and you’ll look like a true maiden! Credit: @to.be.hair_makeup

Medieval hairstyles: Close-up selfie of a woman with long dark straight hair with twisted and pinned bangs
This is one of the simplest medieval hairstyles to recreate. Credit: Instagram.com/winoforever86

14. Twisted half-updo

For the everyday Medieval gal, this ‘do is what you’re looking for. Blowdry your locks straight and smooth, then twist a small section of hair at either side of your central parting.

Once both sides are completely twisted, join the two twists together at the back of your head and secure. This is an easy way to add in a touch of Medieval style for everyday. Credit: @winoforever86


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