Did a post on her a while back recreating the ‘do of the vestal virgins. here’s a short video with a little bit more background.
It mentions that it was thought that some/most/all of these hairstyles were wigs, but Stephens thinks they were real hairstyles. I suppose it could go either way: on the one hand, we know that many Egyptians wore wigs, although some of that practice was a result of the cultural practice among some among the elites of shaving their heads. Wigs would also allow for the well-heeled Roman woman to have a variety of wigs depending on her mood and without having to go through the rigors of complicated styles all the time. Then again, these may have been very occasional things, worn to special events and then immortalized in sculpture.
So I suppose I’m arguing it could go either way, or both. Mr. Wishy Washy I know. . . .
But I like this sort of experimental archaeology; it combines modern-day expertise and at least serves to show that it was possible.