The fascinating Geisha hair story

Differences between maiko (left) and geiko (right) Photo credit: Joi Ito

When I read ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ and learned about the significance of the different hairstyles to indicate rank, I was intensely fascinated.

And hugely entertained! Particularly after reading about the one hairstyle in which a red scarf is entwined with a small section made visible in such a way as to resemble a lady’s delicate bits?!

Crafty at the art of allure, those Geisha. And a prime example of using Hairfluence!

As a Geisha moves up within the hierarchy, her hairstyle changes, along with the ornamentation, which is elaborately detailed and very ‘stage’ specific.

pillowBut right from the start of wearing these intricate hairstyles, a Geisha starts sleeping with an unfortunate contraption they called the ‘tall pillow’ (like the one pictured on the left).

A wooden stand with a narrow strip of padding to nestle on the neck and allow the rest of the head to sit aloft so as not to get mussed.

Doesn’t that look comfy? 😉

Most present-day Geisha apparently wear wigs, so I doubt they use these anymore.

Interestingly, like in most other cultures, these hairstyles have evolved over time. Different features and details being added or omitted as the trends have ridden that inevitable wave.

If you want to know more, this blog has an excellent, in depth article on the range of Geisha hairstyles and their ‘meanings’ within the culture. Truly fascinating!