Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"Hairdressing Archaeologist" Re-Writes History

Hairdressing Archaeologist Janet Stephens has combined career with personal passion and the result is rewriting history---literally.   A stylist with an intense interest in hair and costume history, most notably the lives of ancient Greeks and Romans, Stephens recreates the hairstyles captured in marble of the imposing Empresses and goddesses of old and in doing so, proved that the intricate braids and time-consuming styling was done not with wigs (as scholars have proposed for years) but on the long-ago lovelies’ own hair.
 “One day, I was killing time at the Walters Museum in Baltimore while my daughter was at a music lesson and I ended up in the Ancient Roman collection,” says Stephens. “They were making changes in the gallery and they had set some of the portrait statues in the middle of the gallery and I got to see the back of the head and that is where all the hairdressing happens.  Usually, they are pushed up against a wall because they expect you to be most interested the face but I’m a hairdresser--I don’t care about her face, I want to see the hair.  I looked at the back of these heads and mentally started dissecting the style.”

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