Lovelocks were a small lock of hair that cascaded from the crown of the head down over the left shoulder. Lovelocks were longer than the rest of the hair and were treated as special features. Men, and some women, wore lovelocks curled into a long ringlet, braided, or tied at the end with a ribbon or rosette, a ribbon twisted into the shape of a rose.

Although considered quite fashionable, many people detested lovelocks, considering them unnecessary and extravagant. In 1628 a sixty-three page book denouncing lovelocks was published. The author, William Prynne, railed against the wearing of lovelocks as "Unlovely, Sinfull, Unlawfull, Fantastique, Disolute, Singular, Incendiary, Ruffianly, Graceless, Whorish, Ungodly, Horred [Horrid], Strange, Outlandish, Impudent, Pernicious, Offensive, Ridiculous, Foolish, Childish, Unchristian, Hatefull, Exorbitant, Contemptible, Sloathfull, Unmanly, Depraving, Vaine, and Unseemly," according to Richard Corson in Fashions in Hair. Despite the strong opinions of those who did not wear them, love-locks persisted throughout the seventeenth century, especially among young men.


Corson, Richard. Fashions in Hair: The First Five Thousand Years. London, England: Peter Owen, 2001.

Payne, Blanche, Geitel Winakor, and Jane Farrell-Beck. The History of Costume. 2nd ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.

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