Title of the work
Country of the First Edition
Country/countries of popularity
First Edition Date
youtube.com (accessed: August 20, 2018)
Instructional and educational work
Crossover (Young adults but children and adults as well, anyone interested in unique hairstyles)
We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.
Author of the Entry:
Hanna Zarzycka, University of Warsaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, email@example.com
Lisa Maurice, Bar Ilan University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Janet Stephens (Author)
Janet Stephens was born in Kennewick, Washington. She is an independent scholar, professional hairstylist and cosmetologist based in Baltimore, MD, whose area of academic specialization is ancient and historic hairdressing. She has published Ancient Roman Hairdressing: On (Hair)Pins and Needles (Journal of Roman Archaeology 21, 2008) and Recreating the Hairstyle of the Fonesca Bust (EXARC Journal Annual Digest, 2013). She has given numerous presentations, including The Scientifick Hairdresser: Curling and Coiffing in the Jeffersonian Era, Ovid’s Cosmetology: The Hair Science behind Amores 1.14, Truthy or False-ish? Hair in Ancient Roman and Renaissance Female Portraiture, Ancient Roman Hairdressing: Fiction to Fact, and Vestal Virgin Hairstyling: Recreating the Seni Crines. Ms. Stephens was a 2011 Rome Prize finalist in Design (see here, accessed: June 28, 2018).
Janet Stephens YouTube channel (accessed: September 5, 2017).
Bio prepared by Hanna Zarzycka, University of Warsaw, email@example.com
Titles of videos (accessed: August 20, 2018):
Currently, there are many Janet Stephens’ hair tutorials on her channel on YouTube, such as the ones explaining the hairdo of Agrippina the Younger, Cleopatra and even Aphrodite’s knot. Every inspiration comes from a real sculpture from various museums all over the world, for example Hairstyle of a Young Roman Girl, 40's BC video (accessed: August 20, 2018) was inspired by the sculpture from the Museo Centrale Montemartini in Rome. There are also videos of men hairstyles, from Julius Caesar’s to Maximinus Thrax’s (Ancient Roman Hair Styles: Men, accessed: August 20, 2018). Her knowledge comes from reading many ancient sources, such as Ovid’s Amores.
Janet Stephens started her classical work quite unexpectedly. As she was waiting for her daughter who was taking music classes, she decided to visit Walters Art Museum in 2001 where she found a sculpture of Empress Julia Domna (170–217 A.D.), wife of Emperor Septimius Severus. The hairstyle of Empress fascinated her so much that she started doing a deeper research about the ancient hair. In 2005, while studying translations of Roman literature, she realized the Latin term "acus," which has several meanings including a "single-prong hairpin" or "needle and thread," was being mistranslated as "single-prong hairpin" in the context of ancient Roman hairdressing. While single-prong hairpins could not have held up the elaborate hairstyles of ancient Rome, a needle and thread could*. After that, she recreated many ancient hairstyles and put them in a tutorial form on a YouTube platform.
Her work in the field of YouTube hair community is very different from other offerings in this area because of her experience as a stylist and as a scholar. She provides a particular insight into how hair works and what can be accomplished with what tools. She upends a number of assumptions — that Roman women must have used wigs to achieve their more elaborate hairstyles or that they used hairpins — and injects a whole new simplicity and accuracy to the very vocabulary of ancient hairdressing**. Her research into the subject of ancient hair styles took over six years, from visiting many art museums and poring over exhibition catalogues to reading ancient works in Italian which she speaks fluently and even in Latin (with the help of her academic friends). She is fully conversant in classical archaeology (including unpublished artifacts), ancient literary sources and published scholarship about Roman hairstyling, and not just Roman but Etruscan and Greek as well***.
* See: en.wikipedia.org (accessed: August 20, 2018).
** See: thehistoryblog.com (accessed: August 20, 2018).
Eveleth Rose. This Woman Is a Hair-Style Archaeologist. smithsonianmag.com, May 28, 2013 (accessed: August 20, 2018).
'Hairdo archaeologist' solves ancient fashion mystery. bbc.com, May 26, 2013 (accessed: August 20, 2018).
Janet Stephens: Intrepid Hairdressing Archaeologist. The History Blog, posted on January 26, 2012 (accessed: August 20, 2018).
Oliver Dana. Ancient Roman Hair Discovery Made By Hair Archaeologist Janet Stephens. huffingtonpost.com, March 22, 2013 (accessed: August 20, 2018).
Pesta Abigail. On Pins and Needles: Stylist Turns Ancient Hairdo Debate on Its Head. wsj.com, February 6, 2013 (accessed: August 20, 2018).
Pappas Stephanie. Ancient Rome's hairdo for vestal virgins re-created. nbcnews.com, January 9, 2013 (accessed: August 20, 2018).
The Hair Archaeologist: Janet Stephens. classics.rutgers.edu, 2015 (accessed: August 20, 2018).