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Ask the Costume Goddess

Dina Lydia, the Costume Goddess

Ask the Costume Goddess:

Hair Style Ideas for Short Hair

by Dina Lydia



The Question

Dear Costume Goddess:

Do you have any ideas for those of us whose hair is fashionably short? A turban doesn't suit the slinky style of my costumes, and I've found that headbands and barrettes get lost under all those artfully cut chunky layers of hair. Can you suggest a style of headpiece which suits short haircuts particularly well? Or, am I doomed to wear wigs?

--Perplexed Pixie Cut


Dear Costume Goddess,

I have short hair that i'm in the process of growing out. It's about at my ears now. It used to be a bit of a 20's style bob. Headbands tend to make me look about 2 years younger than i am, and hairpins generally don't have the mysterious look i'm going for when i'm dancing. What should i do with my short hair when i'm dancing?

--Shimmying With Short Hair



The Costume Goddess Responds

Dear Perplexed and Shimmying,

Short hair may seem too plain, too minimalist to be harmonious with an elaborate costume, especially if the dancer is tall. Still, there aren't any rules, and I've seen a few dancers go pixie with some long earrings and artful makeup and look very cute.

But for a dramatic change in appearance, try any of these:

  • A hairpiece or wig (if you find it comfortable): straight Cleopatra styles, curly ones, or braids and ponytails.
  • Turban (for tribal style dancers) with or without veil or artificial braids hanging down.
  • Beaded, chain or coin headpiece (see below): a beautiful Egyptian look. These can be from ear length to shoulder length. If you're clever with your hands, you could make your own version, using chains, beads or pearls by the yard attached to a headband. Fasten this with lots of bobby pins and practice dancing with it. Spins and backbends may not be a good idea.
  • Simple beaded or padded headband, with a small veil tucked the back/sides to cover short hair; or tied scarf with long ends that fall over shoulders. See my headdresses article for more ideas. You might add a beaded or veil drape under chin, or tassels at sides; but practice spins, make sure tassels don't strike eyes.
  • A tiara-style headpiece or a padded Ghawazee-style headpiece.
  • Drape a veil over your head and anchor it with a ropy knotted cord or padded or twisted headband, keffiyeh style. If the cord and veil are sparkly, it will appear less tribal, more nightclub.
  • Tie a beaded scarf around head.

Short-Haired Dancer With Fake Fall

Tiara Worn With a Short Hair Style

Wearing a Padded Scarf with Short Hair

Short-Haired Dancer


--The Costume Goddess



Related Articles

Other articles on this web site related to hair styles and accessories for belly dancing include:



About the Costume Goddess

Dina has been sewing for more than twenty-five years (yes, she started as a toddler!)

She's also an artist (Maryland Institute of Art) and perfected her sewing techniques apprenticed to various designers, freelancing for small theaters, restyling vintage garments, and altering wedding gowns.

Dina fell in love with belly dancing costumes upon her very first lesson. Now the pleasure of wearing her own designs, and seeing others wear them, offers as much pleasure as dancing. She's become expert as well in altering those troublesome ready-made Egyptian costumes, and modifying designs to flatter individual figures.

She holds workshops in Seattle to teach design and construction of cabaret costumes, and analysis of figure characteristics. She will also give private lessons, or resize or repair a secondhand costume. She's thus earned her Costume Goddess title.

Photo of Dina Lydia, The Costume Goddess

The Costume Goddess Tells All Costuming Books

Dina has published six books of her own on belly dance costuming as well as writing nearly all the costuming section for The Belly Dance Book. For information on her series of books, The Costume Goddess Tells All, see her web site at For reviews here on of some of her books, see:

Photo of Dina Lydia, the Costume Goddess

Costume Goddess Photos

To view a photo gallery featuring pictures of Dina, costumes she has designed, and her friends, either click on the choices below or visit her web site:


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The contents of this page are copyrighted 2009 by Dina Lydia. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is forbidden.



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