Hair Braiding in Ancient Greece

Submitted on Monday, 4/23/2012, at 12:34 PM

By Emily Gold Boutilier

In searching for the next retro trend, Hollywood stylists would be wise to stay away from the beehive and the perm and look a bit further back—to the 5th century B.C.
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On Wednesday, April 18, in a workshop sponsored by the classics department, three students volunteered to have their hair braided like the subjects in the Erechtheum Caryatid statues of Ancient Greece.

Professor of Classics Rebecca Sinos helped plan the event after a guest lecturer in her “Archeology of Greece” course, Katherine Schwab, described her work in recreating the statues’ elaborately braided styles. (Most of the statues are on display at the Acropolis Museum in Athens.)

Laurie Canter, academic department coordinator for classics, moonlights as a hair braider to the stars (well, to her daughter), and so she acted as the event’s stylist. The volunteers were classics students Kyra Schapiro ’15, Sophie Padelford ’15 and Hampshire College student Josh Parr.

Canter fashioned Parr’s hair into a sort of wreath—which he removed once he got home. Schapiro, on the other hand, was so pleased that she asked Canter to redo her braids for tonight’s Spring Formal. Sinos can understand why: “She really looked like a queen.”

Photos by Niahlah Hope ’15