The hime cut (Japanese: 姫カット, IPA: [çime katːo], HEE-meh; lit.'princess cut') is a hairstyle consisting of straight, usually cheek-length sidelocks and frontal fringe. The rest of the hair is usually worn long and straightened. The style is thought to have originated, or at least become common, in the Imperial court during the Heian period (794–1185 CE) of Japanese history, when noble women would sometimes grow out their hair for their entire lives.[1]

A hime cut wig

History edit

According to Professor Tomita of Yamano College of Aesthetics, the hime cut originated from the hairstyles of noblewomen in the Heian period in Japan.[1][2] Noblewomen in the Heian period had their hair styled in the subekarashi (垂髪) and amasogi styles.[further explanation needed] When a woman reached the age of 16, the hair around her ears would be cut shorter than the rest of her hair in a ceremony called binsogi (鬢削ぎ), resulting in short forelocks at the front and long hair at the back. In the Edo period, this ceremony was held on June 16 at the age of 16, and a woman's fiancé or her father or brother cut her hair.[3]

Though not known as the hime cut at the time, the name "hime cut" seems to have been retroactively applied in association with princesses of the Heian aristocracy, due to their depiction in media with the hairstyle.

A 1970s idol, Megumi Asaoka, is known in Japan for popularizing the hime cut, which became her trademark.[4][5]

Styling edit

A cosplayer with a hime cut wig

The hime cut is high maintenance for those without naturally straight hair, and requires frequent touch-ups on the sidelocks and front bangs in order to maintain its shape. Hair straightening is sometimes used to achieve the hairstyle's straight appearance, as well as straightening irons and specially formulated shampoos for straight hair. Humidity is also cited as a problem with certain hair types, as the curling caused by excess humidity can change the shape of the hair. Occasionally, hair extensions are used for the side locks in order to prevent this.

The hairstyle is frequently seen in Lolita fashion, especially the classification of Gothic Lolita. Within the Lolita community, the hime cut is considered a more elegant alternative to other styles that may require frequent curling and crimping that can permanently damage the hair.[citation needed]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b 日本古来「姫カット」が海外で一大ブームに…「Kawaii」文化が影響? ルーツは平安時代か (in Japanese). Yahoo News Japan. 24 May 2022. Archived from the original on 24 May 2022.
  2. ^ YKMK (8 August 2015). "What Is the Cuteness of it? Be a True Japanese Princess with Legendary Hime-Cut!". Tokyo Girls Update. ALL BLUE inc. Archived from the original on 4 September 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  3. ^ 鬢除・鬢枇・鬢曾木 (in Japanese). @DIGITALIO, Inc. Archived from the original on 24 May 2022.
  4. ^ "Sanspo". 8 April 2018. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  5. ^ "Sponichi article on Megumi Asaoka". Retrieved 2019-03-25.

External links edit

  •   The dictionary definition of hime cut at Wiktionary