Did Vikings Invent Braids?

Did Vikings invent braids?


The Vikings were a seafaring people who lived in Scandinavia from the late 8th to early 11th century. They were known for their explorations, raids, and conquests, as well as their unique culture and customs. One aspect of Viking culture that has intrigued many people is their hairstyles, particularly the use of braids. But did the Vikings actually invent braids?

History of braids

Braids have been around for thousands of years, and can be found in many different cultures and time periods. In ancient Egypt, for example, both men and women wore elaborate braided hairstyles as a symbol of their social status. In other cultures, braids were used for practical purposes, such as keeping hair out of the face during work or combat.

In the Middle Ages, braids became popular among European women, who used them to create intricate designs and patterns in their hair. This was especially true among noblewomen, who had the time and resources to devote to their appearance. Braids also became associated with different regions and social classes, with some styles being more popular in certain areas than others.

Vikings and braids

So, did the Vikings invent braids? The short answer is no. Braids were already in existence long before the Vikings emerged as a distinct culture. However, the Vikings did have a unique relationship with braids, and their use of them is still noteworthy.

In Viking culture, braids were often worn as a sign of social status. The more complicated the braid, the higher the person’s social status or wealth. They were also used as a way to show off one’s skills, as creating intricate braids was seen as a sign of manual dexterity and artistic talent. Braids were not only worn by women, but by men as well, and were often used to keep long hair out of the face during battle or other activities.

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Viking hairstyles

While braids were a common feature of Viking hairstyles, they were not the only one. In fact, Vikings had a wide variety of hairstyles, each with its own meaning and significance. Some of the most common Viking hairstyles included:

  • The long, braided style, which was worn by both men and women and could indicate social status or skill level.
  • The half-up, half-down style, which was popular among women and involved pulling the top portion of the hair back into a ponytail or braid while leaving the rest loose.
  • Shaved or short style, which was often seen among Viking warriors and was meant to convey strength and toughness.
  • Messy, unkempt style, which was sometimes used as a deliberate fashion statement and could indicate rebelliousness or nonconformity.


While the Vikings did not invent braids, they certainly had a unique relationship with them. Braids were an important part of Viking culture and were used for both practical and symbolic reasons. Whether worn as a symbol of rank, a sign of artistic talent, or a practical way to keep hair out of the face, braids were an integral part of Viking life and continue to be associated with their culture today.


Nia Soule Salon


Byrdie. The Fascinating History of Braids You Never Knew About. 


Amplify Africa. The Rich History of Braids. 


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