16th Or 17th C. Braided Hairstyle – Tutorial

16th Or 17th Braided Hairstyle - Tutorial

This medieval braided updo is suitable for a 16th or 17th century lower class woman. 16th and 17th century lower class women always wore their hair covered with a coif, so it’s not easy to know how they dressed their hair, but they might have worn a similar braided updo according to these two 16th century paintings – a great source about 16th/17th century hairstyles + free coif patterns.

The braid hairstyle is made without hairties or hairpins!

You’ll need:

  • a long ribbon

Medieval braided updo tutorial

Part your hair down the middle. Braid the hair adding one half of the ribbon to one strand of the braid.

Secure hair without hairtie

Secure the braid as in the picture: Form two or three loops with the ribbon and draw them tight round the braid.

Medieval braid hairstyle tutorial

Braid the other braid adding the other half of the ribbon.

16th 17th century braided hairstyle tutorial

Cross the braids over your head.

Milkmaid braid hairstyle tutorial with ribbon

Tie a bow at the back of the neck.

Heidi braid hairstyle tutorial with ribbon

Hide the ends under the braids.

Medieval braided hairstyle updo

The hairstyle doesn’t need to be secured with hairpins: The hair stays in place with just the ribbon.

18th century braided hairstyle updo

Today, the hairstyle is also called milkmaid braids or Heidi braids.

Medieval braid updo tutorial

Here you’ll find my tutorial for a Victorian and a Natural Form braided updo.

Game of thrones braid hairstyle tutorial

12 thoughts on “16th Or 17th C. Braided Hairstyle – Tutorial

  1. I know this is ages old, but I can’t resist asking… how do you keep it crossed at the top? My hair’s heavy enough that every time I move my head the braids are sliding all over the place.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Edana! 🙂 Draw the ribbon tight before you tie it into a bow so that the braids are close to the head. Or you could try hair taping – hair taping was popular in the medieval era: the braids were “sewn” to the head with ribbon. There are some great videos on youtube about hair taping, such as this video. And the hairstyle doesn’t work very well with freshly washed hair. 😉

      You can also move the braids more to the front so that it looks like modern milkmaid braids. And feel free to secure the hairstyle with two or three hairpins or bobby pins where the braids are crossed. I hope this helps!

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