In modern times we know surprisingly little about hair dressing in Ancient Roman society. It is not a subject that has received a large amount of scholarly attention. With that being said, there are some things that we can know, according to Janet Stephens.
Contrary to popular belief, hairstyles worn by many women in this place and time were not wigs, but were actually natural hair held in place by needles and thread, which came as a big surprise to historians.
Around the first century of the Common Era, Roman women would have servants or slaves dressing their hair. Using such a technique was an ingenious way to create intricate hairstyles.
So what evidence is there for this practice? By studying Roman busts of women, we can get a pretty accurate idea of fashion from that era, and hair styles from that period are actually quite easy to recreate using the needle and thread method. Furthermore, in Roman portraits of women, hair fasteners are absent despite elaborate hair styles.
One of the benefits of sewing hair is that it stays firmly in place because of the thread. Additionally, the thread can easily be hidden from sight within the hair. Apparently, it was not necessary to be rich and famous in order to afford a wig and have beautiful hair in Rome.