Women of Heian era used to wear their long hair in a very unique way and their dressing of silk robes and make up routines were equally unique and different from any other region or era. In the matter of long hair, Japan Imperial court has a history of women who used to grow their hair as lengthy as possible. They used to wear it straight till down their backs in shiny tresses and called this style as Kurokami. This fashion was introduced in competition of short pony tails and buns which was imported from China.
The record which the Heian woman holds is that of a female with 7 meters or 23 feet long hair. The famous woodcut print maker named Yoshitoshi Taiso has also illustrated the pictures of typical Heian beauty with hair as long as floor length.
History tells us that in terms of obsession with long hair, Japan has a very unique history. In medieval Japan, Heian men were so obsessed in evaluating a woman beauty from her hair length that any female with less thicker and longer hair then her height and weight were not taken seriously. No matter that washing and combing this much lengthy hair was an ordeal but men used to provide maids and attendants to assist their women to do so, just so nothing becomes an obstacle for the long hair on their women.
The same fascination of long hair is reflected in the very popular and classical Japanese novel “The tale of Genji” in which Genji restricted Murasaki, his wife to take tonsure when she got ill. Tonsure is a procedure of churches when one has to shave or cut the hair from scalp. Same is the reason for which woman turning nun was taken very seriously in that era as they knew that regrowing the hair to such a length was not an easy procedure.
Even in current era, a saying is common in Japan whose meaning is that “A Woman’s hair is her life” and that is why Japanese women still take extra care of this feature. Many women in Japan and around the world who want their hair, black, shiny and long opt for adopting the hair care methods and remedies which were used by Heian women. These procedures include, above mentioned Camelia oil and powder of azuki beans. Even the famous hair care brands in Japan are using the same old ingredients in their products to enhance the length and beauty of hair to maximum extent.