Some of us have been a fan of Viking style for many years. But knowing how to incorporate Viking style into our modern look has always been a bit of a challenge.
We can be grateful to the makers of This History Channel’s Vikings for showing us how to adapt traditional Nordic warrior style for the modern Viking. For men, it is all about impressive beards combined with the perfect warrior chop. But what about women?
What’s the secret? Basically, long, luxurious natural locks accentuated with braids of all sorts!
1. Loose Curls
The quintessential Viking look for both men and women is long, luscious, natural hair. The Vikings always took good care of their hair, and good hair care and hygiene were considered an important part of Viking culture.
This is why most Vikings carried a small comb with them in their leather waist pouch in order to keep their hair in neat and clean order. Natural locks, well-conditioned and kept long, is the most fundamental part of any Viking look for a woman.
Give up on the straighteners and let your hair’s natural wave and curl thrive. Wear it loose and natural, or use it as a basis for many of the female Viking styles that we explore below.
Viking women were practical and needed to get their hair out of the way to get along with the work of the home, or the life of a shield-maiden.
The simplest way to pull their hair off their face and keep their long locks from getting caught up in the activities of the day was a ponytail.
These ponytails could be high up on the head, opening up the face, or low at the base of the neck, letting wisps fly around the face for a softer look. Let the long locks hang down your back to show off your spectacular mane.
3. Half Up Half Down Braid
If you want to make even more of your long locks, while pulling them away from your face, then go for a half-up, half-down look, pulling the top level of your hair off your face in either a ponytail or a braid.
This way you can still have your long flowing hair, but you shouldn’t find it tickling your eyes. If your hair is quite thin, then just pull back hair that sits at the base of your temples.
Add braids to your thinner ponytail to add texture and character to your look.
4. Loose Braid
If you are looking for a softer style that you can use on more casual occasions, when durability in the face of hard work isn’t such a big concern, ditch the ponytail and pull your hair back into a loose braid.
Make sure you don’t pull your hair in too close to your skull, so that you can maintain a nice body in the hair that surrounds your face, softening your look. Don’t slick back your wisps or fly-aways.
Instead encourage them to roam free to give yourself that effortless, just rolled out of bed in the morning vibe. Accentuate with flowers or other nice decorations.
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5. Central Braid
For a more serious braid that you can use when doing the more vigorous activities in your life, then go for something more along the lines of a French braid.
Pull your hair in tight to create braids close to your head, giving body and texture to your look. Braids were always a distinctive part of the Norse viking warrior look, and give you an immediately recognizable raider style.
Accentuate your look with a golden ring or other jewelry to draw attention. The Vikings often wore gold rings as both a status symbol, and as a source of wealth for unexpected expenses.
6. Two Braids
If you feel like the length of the hair that you have been cultivating is a little lost when you tuck it behind your head in a braid, then separate your hair into two braids so that you can pull it forward on either side over your shoulders.
You can have low braids that start at the base of the head, or French-style plaits that start at the top of the skull. This look also offers yet another opportunity to accessorize with small and distinctive pieces of jewelry that can be used as another symbol of your Viking affinity.
This always works better with thicker hair, as thin hair can look a little sparse when separated out.
7. Curls on the Side
Accentuate your features and add drama to your look by pulling all your hair over to one side of your face. This leaves one eye in shadow and one free and open, adding some mystery to your look.
If you have been caring for your long locks, your hair should appear layered on the side adding body and vibrance.
This is definitely more of a casual look than a warrior work look as it can block your visibility and your hair can easily get caught up in your activity. Go for a dramatic earing to highlight your long and attractive neck.
8. Braids on the Side
If you want to add a bit of extra Viking style to this side locks dramatic look, then pull your hair in on one side of your head with tight braids close to the skull.
Two, three or even four small French braids on the side of the head above the ear add texture to the side of your face, and makes the hair on the other side of the face seem even more full and luscious.
You can even do this on both sides, to create a kind of mohawk style that scrams Viking warrior.
9. Buzzed on the Side
If you are feeling brave, or have particularly thick hair that needs to be managed, ditch the braids and simply shave your head on one side, or both.
This is a great way to alleviate the heat in the summer, and draw some genuine attention. If you want to add extra drama, used layered shaving to engrave a Viking symbol into the side of your head.
This look is definitely perfect for the true Viking warrior shield-maiden. You can accentuate the line where your hair meets your buzz cut with a fine braid along the hairline.
10. Bob Cut
If you struggle to grow long locks, then embrace a shorter look with a Viking bob cut.
Again, the secret is to keep your hair healthy and moisturized so that it has a natural shine and glow. Give your shorter locks a distinctive Viking style by ditching the fringe and keeping it all at a more even length. Accentuate sections of your hair with braids and accessories to add interest.
You can also pull the top of your hair pack into a half-up, half-down look. Use Astrid’s look from her earlier seasons of Vikings to act as your inspiration.