Japanese women's hair and headwear customs resembled those of the Chinese in many ways. They used their beautiful dark hair as their primary ornament and developed a variety of complex coiled and wrapped hairstyles. As with so many areas of Japanese life, hairstyles had specific names and were worn for different occasions. The dominant formal hairdo was called a shimada. With this style a woman's long hair is wrapped up from the crown of the head, secured around a small bar, and then spread into a chignon, or a knot of hair tied at the back of the neck. Informal hairstyles also relied on pins, combs, and other forms of hair fasteners.
For much of their early history, Japanese men wore their hair long and tied back into a queue. They also wore long beards and mustaches. Beginning in the sixteenth century, Japanese men began to shave off all their facial hair. This is a custom that has continued to this day.
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