Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pigtails a.k.a., Braids

As a child, I was in “pigtails” and "bangs" from the time I was aged two through ten! How happy I was to finally be shorn of those dreaded “tails” when I was in 6th grade – this was an era before Johnson & Johnson’s “No More Tangles”! According to most dictionaries, a pigtail is a braid of tightly woven hair. In the Indiana of my childhood, these long braided hairstyles were NOT known as braids, but as the well-understood “pigtails”! The term originated in the later 1600s through the 1800s, and came to be applied to any braided (plaited, in British parlance) hairstyle. In many regions, pigtail bunches and pigtail braids are traditionally given to very young girls, though it is not unusual for younger and fully grown women to wear them as well in informal situations. Evidently, there are numerous styles of pigtails - they may be braided, straightened, beaded, ribboned (mine were almost always beribboned!), fishtailed, and French braided. Pigtails can be placed on different parts of a person's head. It is said that the higher the pigtails the more liberal the look. The lower pigtails are said to give off a more conservative look.As you can see from the photos above and to the left, this 1955 Hoosier kindergartener (pictured in her favorite "Snow White" dress) and 1958 third grader was of the more conservative bent!


  1. Dear Cassandra, In my childhood plaits were very fashionable and worn by many young girls although, I have to say, not by me. Today, looking around, one rarely sees them.

  2. So true, Edith...I have to admit that I do love it when, on rare occasions, I see a girl in "pigtails!"


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