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  • Writer's pictureDevon Noel Lee

How to Describe Your Ancestor’s Hairstyle in a Family Story

Family History Writing How to Describe Ancestor HairStyles

In previous posts, we’ve discussed the importance of writing about your ancestor’s physical appearance and how to find details about their physique, if you don’t have photos to aid your writing. Today, let’s give you a quick list of adjectives that can help you describe your ancestor’s hair color and style if perhaps you have a photo to draw inspiration from.

Hair color is the easiest to assess in color photographs. It’s more challenging in black and white images. Pick the adjectives that best create a mental picture for you.

  • Blonde

  • Strawberry Blonde

  • Golden Blonde

  • Mousy

  • Ash Brown

  • Brunette

  • Jet Black

  • Salt and Pepper

  • Ebony

  • Raven Flaxen

  • Tawny

  • Chestnut

  • Russet

  • Sandy

  • Auburn

  • Copper

  • Silver

  • Snowy

  • Sooty Black

Hair texture is often overlooked but an essential aspect of describing hair. Be sure to use one of these words to narrow down what type of hair your ancestor had, or didn’t have:

  • Bald

  • Wispy

  • Fuzzy

  • Wavy

  • Frizzy

  • Wild

  • Untamed

  • Unmanageable

  • Straight

  • Scraggly Spiky

  • Stiff

  • Buzzed

  • Shaved

  • Parted

  • Neatly-combed

  • Cascading

  • Close-cropped

  • Bristly

  • Receding

Finally, the style in which your ancestor wore their hair is the crowning glory of a physical description. Give these words a try:

  • Bouffant

  • Braids

  • Bun

  • Twist

  • Bob

  • Ringlets

  • Flip

  • Cornrows

  • Buzz

  • Layered Feathered

  • Gelled

  • Slicked down

  • 5-Point Cut

  • Pixie

  • Buster Brown

  • Mop Tops

  • Pompadour

  • Chignons

  • Bedford Crop

What do you think? Will any of these words fit to describe the locks on your ancestor’s head? Did I miss any words that you’ve used? Let me know in the comments.

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The important thing to remember when describing your ancestor is to do your best to help paint a picture for your readers. If someone disagrees with your word choice, tell them to go write their own story!

What great words have you used to describe your ancestors? A few folks have shared so great words. Be sure to add yours in the comments section.

Further Reading – Describing Our Ancestors Series:

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