Geisha hairstyles are not only beautiful and intricate, but they hold a strong, special meaning; each and every style is given individuality, as admirers may be able to tell unique information about the girl wearing the special style. The talented geisha’s and kabuki actors of today wear many of the traditional geisha hairstyles that originated during the Edo and Meiji periods. Not a typical up-do, these styles tend to take hours to complete, much of the time filled with careful waxing and tons of teasing. That said, they are commonly designed to last for quite a few days. Originally, it expected of those sporting the style were to allow their hair to grow long, as they would use their own, natural locks. Of course, the idea isn’t the most practical, which is why those who wear geisha hairstyles today almost always wear a wig. If you’re interested in trying the traditional Japanese hairstyle for yourself, reach through the steps below to find out how you too, can style your hair like a geisha.
Before beginning, there are a few things you’ll need:
- Hair sponge (check out your local beauty supply store for one of these)
- Sock bun/hair donut
- Hair gel and hairspray (yes, you need both)
- Large hair clip
- Bobby pins
- Small elastics
- Natural or artificial flowers
Once you’ve gathered all that you’ll need, follow along with these step-by-step directions:
Step 1: Begin by using the comb to section the hair into four sections: left, right, top, bottom. Use the hair clip to secure the top section for the time being. Use an elastic to temporarily secure the left, right, and bottom sections.
Step 2: Start at with one of the side sections, use the brush to smooth the hair before spraying it with hairspray. Still holding the section, begin backcombing the hair, adding just a bit of hair gel while doing so, to add even more shine to the hair. Using one hand, grab the section between two fingers and create a wide loop with the hair, then secure the loop to the scalp – being sure that the remaining hair is down free – with two or more bobby pins. Once secured, repeat the process on the opposite side.
Step 3: Once both sides have been backcombed and pinned, unclip the top section of hair, and separate it into two parts: a top part and a bottom part. Re-clip the top part of the section so that it is out of the way.
Step 4: Now, take the bottom part of the section and repeat the process taken in step two, however, this time, do not use any bobby pins.
Step 5: Unclip the top portion of hair and – you guessed it – repeat the same process of brushing, spraying, and backcombing. This time, after you have added gel for additional shine, you will add additional volume by placing the hair sponge beneath this section.
Step 6: Now, remember the bottom part of the top section that you just left alone? You will rejoin the two parts with an elastic. If you need to, smooth the hair with the brush so there are no random hair bumps.
Step 7: Refocus your attention to the side hair that is remaining below the bobby pin. Grab the hair with both hands and wrap it around your fingers two or three times, creating another loop. Now, maneuver this loop inside of the first loop you made (it is essentially holding the shape of the outer loop). Use as many bobby pins as you need to be sure that the hair is secure and will not fall out.
Step 8: Continue by repeating the process in step 7 on the other side.
Step 9: Take the remaining hair from the top section (the hair that you secured with an elastic), and wrap it onto itself, creating an O-shaped-loop with it. Secure the loop to the scalp by placing bobby pins close to the elastic at the base. Once it’s secure, be sure it’s smooth and shiny by misting it with hairspray.
Step 10: Finally, take the remaining bottom section of hair and use your sock bun to create a nice full bun.
Step 11: Now finish the look by adding lots of hair spray, and sliding in the chopsticks and flower!