In the Archaic Period Gehennese (with a few exceptions such as professional and keen amateur wrestlers) generally do not cut their hair. It is tied back, or braided, or put up in a coiffure to provide some padding between the helmet and the head. A diadem is often worn to keep long hair back out of the eyes. Makhetes particularly take great pride in their lustrous black hair. Men rarely wear beards before the age of forty (see Four Lives), but some men, usually devotees of Persiflex, wear moustaches.

In the Classical Period men wear their hair short, very short if they can afford frequent hair-cuts. It is supposed not to be cut before the boy becomes an ephebe, but youngsters often cut their hair early to look less childish. Beards are still the sign of men over forty, moustaches the sign of admirers of Persiflex. Women still wear their hair long, and a custom has emerged of wearing it down before about the age of fifteen, and done up in an elaborate coiffure on the head afterwards. The diadem is still worn, though its role in holding hair out of the eyes has vanished.

In the Decadent Period fashion in hairstyles is less rigid. The uncut hair of the Archaic Period is affected by some men. It is considered to assert the wearer’s prowess, high status, or ‘attitude’. The cropped hair of the Classical Period is associated with the regular army, the court at Thekla, dynastai, and supporters of the polemarkh’s government. Beards and moustaches are worn as before. Women’s hair is worn in a great variety of ways, at a variety of lengths, often very elaborate. Both sexes sometimes crimp or curl their hair with hot irons and shave or pluck out pubic and axillary hair.

See beauty.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.