If you have 260 outfits like Fan Bingbing‘s Wu Zetian, then you certainly got to have the perfect hairstyle to match each one. Here are a round-up of some of Tang imperial fashion a la The Empress of China while we wait for Li Shimin to die already (Seriously, we’re over half way through the drama and the ex-husband haven’t even died yet. Shouldn’t this happen in ep 1 of most dramas?).
Note that I’m no expert at all, and the drama is no historical documentary. Plus, being a drama of the imperial court, most styles are highly decorative and not really what you would see in everyday Tang.
Any hair style involving Han girls pulling their hair on top of the head. Also called 结 jie. Fun fact: women in the Tang actually did not wear earrings.
Dangling hoops 垂练髻
Splitting the hair into two on each side of the head, and then folded up and tied with knots. Can be decorated with some gems. Popular among Middle Tang young girls.
Double screw 双螺髻
Double screw is splitting hair into two large sections and twist to form two “horns” on the top. Also called double-horned.
Double hooped immortal-seeking 双环望仙髻
Split hair into two. Using black yarn or ribbons to form hoops above the head. Add a small buyao (hairpin with decorations that swing as you walk) in the front.
Short falling 倭坠髻
Popular from Wei-Jin to the five Kingdoms. Collect hair at the crown, twist and turn to one side, and hold with a hairpin
Follow the clouds 随云髻
Named after its cloud-like amorphous shape. Enjoyed by upper-class women.
Twisting Snake 灵蛇髻
Popular since the Wei/Jin eras. Can be twisted in any way.
Flying immortal 飞仙髻
Two symmetric tall buns on either side, usually used for immortals or young girls.
High Mallet 高椎髻
Collect all the hair at the crown and form a single, tall bun at the top.
Simple (?!) hairstyle common during the Sui and Tang dynasties. Collect all hair to form a circular bun.
Back roll 反绾式
Collect all hair and then shape backwards. There are many hairstyles using this technique, including the “double blade 双刀髻”, “惊鹄髻”, “Toward the sky 朝天髻”, and “Yuanbao 元宝髻 ”
Flower crown 花冠
A small decorative crown that holds the bun together. Commonly used by upper-class Ming dynasty women.
Also common among Tang dynasty concubines. Popular in the early Tang. I know you’ve seen this before, but I think it’s a subset of the high mallet?
Knotted roll 结鬟式
Using ribbons and strings, form shapes with the hair. These hairstyles are elaborate and elegant, and are more common among very high-class women.
Popular hair style in the South and North dynasties. The hair is first shaped like a cross, and then remaining hair is shaped into two buns on the side.
source: Hunan TV, baike, etc.