Restrained hair is proper, loose hair is romantic – that’s what tradition tells us, so what better than a half up look to confuse things? Historically in western culture, young women would put their hair up when they were of marriageable age – and that’s where it would stay: up, tied away and controlled, lest some loose tendrils cause someone to lose their mind. Styles incorporating hair down provide a bit of a scandalous teaser, creating a soft, romantic look, that’s not totally loose and unrestrained; basically a little preview of what you could be getting your hands on at a later date. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, women’s styles featured loose tendrils of varying sizes – and even men got in on the act with the 16th century Love Lock trend, where one long piece of hair was left loose on the left hand side as a sentimental gesture.
These days we’re less likely to lose it at the sight of loose hair, but the half-up look is still a popular styling option. Providing the flattering comfort blanket of hair around the face with the versatility of up styles, half-up looks give us the best of both worlds.