Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the Iranian government requires women to wear loose-fitting clothes as well as a headscarf that covers the hair.
Throughout the history of Persia, women in Iran, used make-up, wore jewelry and dyed their hair. Moreover, their garments were both elaborate and colorful, with clothing styles distinguished more by social status than gender. Women in modern Iran decide upon expressing themselves in various manners, both according to fashion and state regulation.
Traditionally a “Persian woman” followed a pre-defined appearance set by social norms that were common for all women in their society.For example, the observations of a late Qajar era orientalist read:
“The Persian ladies’ hair is very luxuriant and never cut. It is nearly always dyed red, or with indigo to a blue-black tinge. It is naturally a glossy black. Fair hair is not esteemed. Blue eyes are not uncommon, but brown ones are the rule. A full moon face is much admired, and a dark complexion (termed Namak) is the native idea of the highest beauty. The eyebrows are widened and painted until they appear to meet, and the color is used freely in painting the faces.
The ordinary headscarf is called rusari in Persian. A type of head covering common among students and government employees is the maghnae The maghnae is a “wimple-like head covering”, that is “usually required on college campuses and at other public institutions” in Iran.