12 Renaissance hairstyles worth stepping back in time for

Renaissance hairstyles that are good enough for any noble woman.  

When we stop and think about vintage hairstyles, we often reminisce about the iconic eras of the 20th century, looking to retro finger waves of the ’20s, rockabilly ‘dos of the ’50s and even the corkscrew curls of the ’80s. But today, we’re stepping a bit further back in time and looking at the wonderful world of Renaissance hairstyles.

While many women nowadays use bangs or layers as styling techniques to compliment their features, such things were very uncommon during the renaissance period. Rumour has it, that women would actually pluck the hair along their hairline, as larger foreheads were considered beautiful at the time.

But that’s enough fun facts for now. Read on to get inspired by the best Renaissance hairstyles around!

back view of brown hair in braided chignon updo
We love the intricacy of this braided look. Credit: Instagram.com/medieval_fashion

1. Braided updo

Renaissance hairstyles were dependent on a woman’s marital status. If you were married, you’d usually wear your up in intricate braided updo, just like this. Credit: @medieval_fashion

side view of blonde hair in curly twisted half-up, half-down hairstyle
Renaissance hairstyles make for beautiful bridal looks. Credit: Instagram.com/blackarrot

2. Half-up braided bun

When it came to fancy soirees, Renaissance women would go all out from head-to-toe (like this beauty has done, above). With a mix of braids, buns and loose, playful curls, you too can party like a noble. Credit: @blackarrot

Editor’s tip: The key to creating the perfect Renaissance plait? No-slip grip, which can be difficult to achieve on soft hair. Luckily, the TONI&GUY Flexible Hold Braid Balm will give your hair added structure, making it easier to braid.

Braided renaissance hair: Woman with long medium brown braided hairstyle, wearing historical outfit and posing outside
Show off your lengthy locks in a simple braided hairstyle. Credit: Instagram.com/haartraum

3. Ultra-long plaits

Not content with styling her Rapunzel-length locks in a simple braided hairstyle, this Instagrammer went for a double braided pigtail hairstyle and finished the look by binding the braids together with a smaller braid, giving the clever illusion of a far more elaborate style. Credit: @haartraum

Renaissance updo: Woman with ginger hair in a triple braided bun renaissance hairstyle
This Renaissance hairstyle is a work of art on it’s own. Credit: Instagram.com/petuniaarts

4. Triple braided buns

There is no denying that woven renaissance hairstyles are full of charm, so whether you need a new hairstyle for a wedding or a prom, this triple ‘do will make sure you standout. Credit: @petuniaarts

back view of brown hair in plait twist updo
. Credit: Intsgram.com/anette_updo_artist

5. Braid-free updo

If plaited Renaissance hairstyles seem a little too tricky for you, fear not, as there are plenty of non-braided looks that will still cause a stir.

Take this textured updo for example, it wraps small pieces of hair around sections to create a faux-braid effect! Genius, right? Credit: @anette_updo_artist

Easy renaissance hairstyles: Game of Thrones' Cersei Lannister with long honey blonde hair styled into half-up, half-down waves, wearing all black on set
Simple Renaissance hairstyles do exist! Credit: HBO via Sky Editorial Asset Centre

6. Wavy half-up hair

Are you a big fan of Game of Thrones? Then you’ll be surprised to learn that the early seasons of the show used a mixture of Renaissance hairstyles to emphasise the nobility of the characters.

And, if anyone is going to convince us to give Renaissance hair a go, it’s Cersei Lannister! We adore her wavy half-up, half-down hairstyle as it shows off her lovely lengths in a practical way.

Editor’s tip: Looking to add more texture into your tresses? The VO5 Texturising Sea Salt Spray is all you need! It’ll enhance natural waves and also help you create them, so you can try this gorgeous look.

Renaissance hairstyles: Woman with dark brown wavy half-up, half-down crown braid
Crown yourself queen with this ‘do. Credit: Instagram.com/alex_haircraft

7. Crown braid

Rule the kingdom (in style, might we add!) with this fascinating half-up crown braid hairstyle. All it takes is you mastering our crown hairstyle tutorial, here, and the odds will always be in your favour. Credit:  @alex_haircraft

Renaissance hair: Woman with intricate braided golden blonde ponytail hairstyle, wearing a renaissance white dress and posing in studio
Everyone will want to paint your hairstyle. Credit: Instagram.com/artfashionbuzz

8. Intricate ponytail

Prefer ponytails? Renaissance women loved them, too! However, they’d needed to look as elaborate as this regal hairstyle, to really win the hearts of the people. Credit: @artfashionbuzz

Renaissance hairstyles: Woman with rolled updo with ribbon, wearing green dress with matching emerald necklace
Now that’s one way to rock an updo. Credit: Entertainment Film Distributor via Sky Editorial Asset Centre

9. Rolled updo

If an undone look isn’t really your style, opt for this polished rolled updo instead. A little roll here, a little roll there and you’ve got a sophisticated look that wouldn’t look out of place at a Renaissance fair.

Editor’s tip: Forget diamonds, when it comes to Renaissance hair, shine spray really is a lady’s best friend! In addition to offering strands long-lasting frizz-protection, the TIGI Bed Head Headrush Shine Spray also gives them a radiant shine.

Simple renaissance hairstyles: Woman with light brown wispy long hair, wearing renaissance style dress
What would Mona Lisa do? Credit: Instagram.com/<br />arina_himera96

10. Wispy hair

We bet you didn’t think about looking Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa for Renaissance hair inspiration! Fit for any dignified Florentine lady, this wispy and romantic hairstyle is super easy to execute.

Wavy Renaissance hairstyles were created with the help of braids, as curling wands didn’t exist yet! So, if you want this heatless look, just sleep with your hair in plaits and take them out the next day, to wake up to strands Mona Lisa would approve of.

Simple renaissance hairstyles: Woman with swept back golden pearls with a pearl net draped over them, wearing renaissance outfit
You can never have enough pearls! Credit: CBS/Showtime via Sky Editorial Asset Centre

11. Pearl hair accessories

You can’t talk about Renaissance hairstyles without mentioning hair jewellery. Yep, a look during this time certainly wouldn’t be complete without some scattered diamonds, as it was seen as a sign of wealth.

While you might not be able to get your hands on real diamonds, you can easily give your mane a Renaissance vibe with a some pretty pearls, like this.

Renaissance hair accessories: Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson in The Other Boleyn Girl with renaissance clothing and headress
If all else fails, try a headdress. Credit: 2008 Columbia Pictures via Sky Editorial Asset Centre

12. Renaissance headdress

While most Renaissance women rocked their hair out in braids and loose curls, elsewhere in Europe, women would hide their tresses underneath elaborate headdresses.

With a strict middle parting and glossy finish, this swept-back style allowed them to expose their foreheads, which was the trend du jour. And, the great thing is, you can do the same.