What is a Tress

Explore the meanings and uses of the word ‘tress’ in English, from historical significance to modern styling trends. Discover the cultural influence of tresses and their role in hair fashion.


A tress is a term commonly used in English to describe a long lock or braid of hair. It can also refer to a single strand or group of strands twisted or braided together. In this article, we will explore the various meanings and uses of the word ‘tress’.


The word ‘tress’ originated from the Old French word ‘tresse’, meaning a plait or braid of hair. It has been used in English since the 14th century to describe hair that is twisted or braided.

Types of Tresses

  • Single Tress: A single lock or strand of hair twisted or braided together.
  • Double Tress: Two strands of hair twisted or braided together.
  • Triple Tress: Three strands of hair twisted or braided together.

Historical Significance

In medieval Europe, elaborate tresses were a sign of wealth and status. Noblewomen would often wear their hair in intricate braids and twists to showcase their social standing. Tresses were also worn as a symbol of femininity and beauty.

Modern Usage

Today, tresses are commonly seen in hairstyles such as braids, ponytails, and updos. They can be styled in a variety of ways to create different looks, from casual to formal. Many people use tresses as a way to express their individuality and creativity.

Cultural Influence

Tresses have been a prominent feature in various cultures throughout history. In India, long tresses are considered a symbol of beauty and femininity, with many women growing their hair long and lustrous. In Africa, intricate tresses are often worn as a form of cultural expression and identity.


In conclusion, a tress is a versatile and timeless element of hair styling. Whether worn for fashion, tradition, or personal expression, tresses hold a significant place in the world of beauty and aesthetics.

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