hair in Christian antiquity

The paintings in the catacombs showed that the Christians followed the fashion of their time. The short hair of the men and the waved tresses of the women were toward the end of the 2nd century curled, frizzled, and arranged in tiers. Images of Christ retain the long hair parted in the middle and flowing to the shoulders; those of the Blessed Virgin wear the veil. In mosaics, emperors, bishops, priests, and the faithful wore their hair of medium length cut across the forehead. The barbarians wore long hair, but later adopted the Roman custom. Various church synods regulated the modes of hairdressing. The tonsure and removal of beards were very early interposed as an obstacle to fantastic styles, though they also occasioned some strange styles.

New Catholic Dictionary

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