Braids to the scalp styles

Braids to the scalp styles

Extensions , kanekalon, styles

Many kids want to know what Native American hair styles looked like in the old days. There is no single answer to this question. Typical hairstyles varied from tribe to tribe, but in most tribes, individual Native American people also wore their hair differently from one another.

So just as there isn't really an "American haircut" today, there wasn't really a "Blackfoot haircut" then. Different American Indian people chose different hairstyles based on a style that was popular in their particular band or village, a style that identified them as members of a particular clan or society, a style worn by an older person they admired, or just a style that they thought looked good on them or suited their personality. Some of the styles that were popular among Native Americans looked pretty different than the styles that were popular with Europeans, though. Here are pictures of some of the most typical ones.


The most common Native American women's hairstyles were a simple flowing hairstyle (either with or without bangs) or long braids (either two braids or one single braid.) Some women painted horizontal stripes on their hair or dyed the center part a bright color. In the southeast, many women from tribes such as the Creek and Chickasaw wore their hair on top of their heads in buns or topknots. In the southwest, women from the Navajo and Pueblo tribes often wore their hair tied behind their heads in a kind of twist best known as a chongo (the Pueblo word for this hairstyle.) Other Southwestern Indian women preferred to keep their hair cut to shoulder length. One distinctive tribal hairstyle for women was the elaborate squash blossom or butterfly whorls worn by Hopi maidens. To make this hairdo, a young woman's mother would wind her hair around a curved piece of wood to give it a round shape, then remove the wood frame. Only unmarried young women wore this complex hairstyle. Another unique tribal hairstyle was the board or bonnet hair popular among Seminole women in the 1800's. Seminole women made their hair into this disk shape by fanning it over a tilted cardboard frame (which then stayed in place under their hair.) Traditionally, most Seminole women wore their hair on top of their heads like other southeastern Indian tribes, and today the black board style is almost never worn. However, it can still be seen on Seminole palmetto dolls, which are usually made with this distinctively Seminole hairstyle.

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