Encyclopedia of Hair
A Cultural History, 2nd Edition
by Victoria Sherrow
March 2023, 599pp, 7x10
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7348-5
$120, £93, 105€, A165
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7349-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In ancient Roman civilization, both men and women had personal hair care servants called ornatrices who would style and arrange their hair every day.

This exciting volume on the culture of hair through human history and around the globe has been updated and revised to include even more entries and current information.

How we style our hair has the ability to shape the way others perceive us. For example, in 2017, the singer Macklemore denounced his hipster undercut hairstyle, a style that is associated with Hitler Youth and alt-right men, and in 2015, actress Rose McGowan shaved her head in order to take a stance against the traditional Hollywood sex symbol stereotype.

This volume examines how hair—or lack thereof—can be an important symbol of gender, class, and culture around the world and through history. Hairstyles have come to represent cultural heritage and memory, and even political leanings, social beliefs, and identity. This second edition builds upon the original volume, updating all entries that have evolved over the last decade, such as by discussing hipster culture in the entries on beards and mustaches and recent medical breakthroughs in hair loss. New entries have been added that look at specific world regions, hair coverings, political symbolism behind certain styles, and other topics.


  • Updated and expanded edition covers more topics and brings entries up-to-date
  • Sidebars help to illuminate discussions pertaining to the overall topic of hair culture around the world
  • Thematic listing of entries helps users to discover related topics and promotes further research
  • Primary document excerpts look at hair as a research topic in early history, from medical texts to accounts of grooming practices in ancient times
Victoria Sherrow is author of For Appearance's Sake: The Historical Encyclopedia of Good Looks, Beauty, and Grooming, Encyclopedia of Youth and War: Young People as Participants and Victims, and Women and the Military: An Encyclopedia. She is also the 1996 RUSA Outstanding Reference Source award winner.
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