Or any questions they’d like me to answer about Norse Mythology?
Happy 100th post.
I’m back, with a brand new URL and a YouTube account!
If you’ve any suggestions, keep me posted. I hope you’ve all been faring well and praising Odin in my absence!
Good question, riskxvx.
Well first, Germanic culture covers a huge timespan, a large geographic area and many cultures. My area of expertise is Viking age Britain/Scandinavia and Norse culture. I say “my area of expertise”, I actually hold a BSc in Animal Behaviour; this is just a hobby. But never mind that!
To be honest, I don’t know. Hair is one of those things like tattoos that we have no actual examples of left. Unlike with clothes and household items which are abundant in archaeological sites around Britain and Scandinavia, for hair we have to use contemporary sources such as writings, sculptures and carvings. It’s times like these that I visit the Viking Answer Lady and she does have a page on hairstyles but it doesn’t really give any more information than Wikipedia.
There’s also a lot of myths surrounding the subject such as that Vikings would braid their beard or hair once for each week, month or year they were at sea. This may have been the case, but I have never seen anyone back it up with actual evidence. I’m the sort of guy that needs to be told where someone got their information before I believe them.
I think your best bet is asking a Viking re-enactment group like the Vikings or the Vikings! of Middle England. Both of these groups take authenticity very seriously. Hair and beards are the only things that aren’t rigidly assessed and regulated because they realise that these are things which may be dictated by the re-enactor’s life outside of the group. However, many of their members do have long hair and beards and many of them wear braids so it would be worth asking what their guidelines on authenticity are.
Generally, though, I would tend to agree with Viking Answer Lady that actual Vikings (i.e. those Norse men that went raiding) may have worn tidily trimmed beards and hair to prevent them getting in the way or being pulled on during battle. Then again, they might have just put up with it because they wanted long beards and hair!
I hope this helps