The Victorian era in England gave us some of the best fashion and hairstyles in history. Women pranced around in corsets and full skirts, and their hair looked prim and proper in chignons and dainty curls.
But the era also gave the world industrialism—trains, steam engines, and so many mechanical things were invented then.
Steampunk style is an aesthetic that combines both the demureness of Victorian fashion and the gothic, edgy, rustic vibe of the industrial revolution. Think Jane Austen heroines, but turned into baddies in dark, femme fatale clothing with mechanical elements in their outfits.
It’s a style that’s quite common among cosplayers and video game lovers, but anyone who loves bold looks can try out steampunk hairstyles too. Want to give it a go? Here are 20 of the best steampunk hairstyle ideas we can find.
Steampunk hairstyles for females:
Short Curly Hair with Goggles
Steampunk can be an intimidating style because of the intricacy involved with the clothes and mechanical elements. Thankfully, not all steampunk hairstyles are as complicated. You can get away with simple haircuts like defined curls on chin-length hair as long as you use an industrial-looking accessory like goggles as a headband.
Tight, Uber Defined Curls
In the modern age, girls love to shake out their curls for a loose, natural touch. But in the Victorian age, ladies loved to leave their curls defined and untouched for that super perfect look.
You can try this out, too, if you want a steampunk style in your curls. Wrap a thick section of hair around a curling wand and pull the barrel out carefully from the bottom so as not to disrupt the curl’s shape. Let it cool down that way without shaking it out with your fingers.
Low, Long Pigtails
Another easy hairstyle that’s a go-to for any steampunk cosplayer is low pigtails. This is something we’ve seen in steampunk-inspired movies like Sucker Punch. It may be cute and reminiscent of a little girl, but it’s whimsical enough to be suitable for steampunk’s fantasy style.
Sleek, Short, Curly Pigtails
Here’s the opposite of the pigtails we just saw. Instead of low, messy pigtails that have a sexy vibe, you can also try short, super slicked-back curly ones for a quirkier look. It’s perfect for younger girls who want to imbibe that steampunk spirit.
Multiple Braids in a Half-Updo
Here’s a steampunk style with a royal princess touch. Create three braids on each side of your head, making six in total. Then, pull those braids towards the back of your head and twist them into each other until you get one ponytail. This creates the illusion of a half-up ponytail, except you did it with six separate braids. Tie it with an industrial, mechanical-looking barrette or clip, and you’re done.
Long Braids in Different Sizes
For a less complex braided look, try this one out. All you have to do is create multiple braids in your hair, each with a different thickness. This makes for a laidback steampunk look that is packed with attitude and free-spiritedness.
Fauxhawk with Side Braids
If you want to look like a total baddie, try out these upside-down braids that create the illusion of a super long mohawk. What’s cool about this look is that it creates the illusion of a mohawk, except you don’t have to shave your sides off.
Simply plait your hair in French braids going upwards and tie them up when you get to the crown of your head. Style the rest of your hair messily with a teasing comb for extra volume.
Space Buns and Face-Framing Braids
Look like a steampunk fantasy warrior with this charming hairstyle. Create thin braids down your temples that help frame your face. Then, put half of your hair up in trendy space buns. This style goes particularly well with bright hair colors.
Loose Leia Space Buns
Get inspiration from Star Wars Princess Leia and get these loose but perfectly rounded space buns that rest right above your ears. Leave some curtain bangs out of the buns to give you a more raw and rustic appearance. Add some earthy and industrial embellishments to your hair, like metal clips.
Braided Side Bun
Hate how space buns make you look childish? Go for a more mature alternative—a single-side bun. Make it look more whimsical and fantastical by adding a few braids in your hair before forming a chignon on one side of your head. If you want, you can even leave one or two braids loosely hanging from the bun for a rugged steampunk feel.
Chignon with Loosely Hanging Curls
Here’s another take on a chignon with pieces of hair hanging off, this time with perfectly defined curls. Instead of curling all your hair first, put up most of it in a bun already and leave out a few pieces.
Then, let your curling wand do its magic on the pieces hanging loose! A small barrel will work wonders for this hairstyle because it makes tight curls.
Long, Thick Curls on One Side
Show off your long curls while still nailing that conservative Victorian look with this hairstyle. Curl your hair and add some volume up top with a volumizing mousse. Then, tie it together with a full or half-ponytail. Lay all your hair to one side and add a flowery clip on the top of your head as a finishing touch.
French Braided Space Buns
This version of space buns has a lot of extra detail at the back for an intricate look. Divide your hair into two equal sections and start doing a French braid on each side from the bottom up. Instead of tying it in a ponytail, put each braid in a space bun at the crown of your head. Add some gold clips and embellishments for that steampunk vibe.
If you want a more regal and sophisticated steampunk look without the cutesy braids and pigtails, go for this one.
Brush your hair up from the sides to push it as sleek as possible onto your head. Then, secure that position with bobby pins when you get to the crown of your head. The top of your hair will be extra voluminous at this point. Use your curling want to make the locks here even curlier!
Double Fishtail Braids
Double braids usually come in French or Dutch braids. But if you want to look steampunk, it has to be a little more unique and eccentric than that. Try doing fishtail braids down each side of your face. It’s a little more complicated, but it gives off more of a vintage vibe.
Hair Up in a Loose Chignon
Look like a true lady of the Victorian age by putting all your hair up in a large, loose chignon. But to add that edgy steampunk streak, make it as messy as possible while still retaining its shape. You can use a teasing comb to do that in seconds.
Side-Swept Long Pixie
Go for a tomboy look with this long, angular pixie haircut swept to one side. Keep the front pieces long to create that uneven, angled look. Curl the front pieces away from your face to create flattering side bangs. This is a terrific style to go for if you hate maintaining long hair.
Victory Rolls and Side Pony
Victory rolls are some of the most popular hairstyles from decades past. It’s a wonderful addition to any steampunk hairdo. Try adding victory rolls to each side of your head before putting the rest of your hair in a side ponytail to give it a little more oomph.
Chunky Braid with Golden Leaves
Although steampunk is defined by its mechanical looks and accessories, you can also play around with other earthy elements, like leaves. Try lacing a big, long, chunky braid with golden leaf embellishments for that fantasy feel that goes well with the steampunk style.
High Ponytail with Twist Braids
Give the classic high pony an extra bit of edginess by adding three twisted braids at the very top. All you have to do is make the braids on the top of your head before pulling all your hair together in a careless high pony. This style looks awesome on hair with multiple shades and highlights.