The Hairstyles of Legend of Zhen Huan: Zhen Huan (Part I)

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It’s no secret that I LOVE the hairstyles in The Legend of Zhen Huan! All of the hairstyles, whether they be for the main characters or for the side characters, are intricate and exquisite.  So it’s about time that I write about them, right?  😉  Of course, LZH has dozens of characters, each of which has many hairstyles.  It’s impossible to include all of them in one post!  O_O  So instead, I will separate this into a series of posts.  Each post will feature different hairstyles from LZH.  Part I is a round-up of five of Zhen Huan’s hairstyles, most of which are from the first part of the drama.


When she wore it:

I might as well start out this series with Zhen Huan’s very first hairstyle, right?  This is the first hairstyle we see Zhen Huan wearing in episode 1.  She wears this when she visits the temple to pray before entering the palace for the concubine selection.

What she wore it with:

A pale bluish aqua outfit.


This is probably the most simple hairstyle you’ll ever see on Zhen Huan; the only other minimal hairstyle I can think of is the one she wears at the nunnery.  Zhen Huan’s wispy bangs and simple hair accessories remind me of how she used to be a young woman who didn’t want to attract the emperor’s attention…all she wanted was a simple life.  Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Zhen Huan started out this way, especially when her hairstyles & dress become more and more elaborate as she rises up in status.

Anyways, one of the reasons why I like this hairstyle is that it’s the only hairstyle that can be feasibly worn by us fans. 😛  After all, it seems easy enough to wear two buns, right? All we need are some flower hair pins to decorate the buns.  Then again, if you look really closely, you’ll see that the stylist actually used black hair netting to hold the buns in place.  (This is quite common in most of the hairstyles in LZH.)  Soooo maybe the hairstyle is more complicated than it looks.  =_=


When she wore it:

This hairstyle is also first introduced in episode 1.  Zhen Huan first wears it during the concubine selections (bottom left pic).  She purposely wears this simple piece so as not to attract too much attention.  Zhen Huan continues to wear this hairstyle when she first enters the palace.

What she wore it with:

Light blue, yellow.


Until I looked for pictures of this hairstyle for this post, I never realized that Zhen Huan wears this style with different hair accessories.  Take a look at the stills above to compare the slight differences.   She keeps the silver flower and leaves accessories on the sides, as well as the black brocade.  But Zhen Huan wears various accessories including a jade pin and two different floral pins.  This just goes to show how many little details I missed when I watched LZH for the first time!


When she wore it:

This hairstyle appears early on in the drama around episode 11ish, marking Zhen Huan’s transition to becoming a favored concubine.  Initially she wore this hairstyle with her bangs, but she later grew them out and parted them in the middle.  It seems like Zhen Huan also started using some kind of hair gel to make her hair look more glossy. (Compare this to how her bangs looked before.)

What she wore it with:

Bright & pale pinks, light blue.


There is a very marked distinction between this fancy hairstyle and Zhen Huan’s previous simple styles.  I have to say that I really love the colors, the pearled buyao (dangling accessory on the left side), and the floral theme.  I tend to associate this hairstyle with a summery, spring-like feeling.  Zhen Huan wears this when she’s one of the most favored and is in the prime of her love life with the emperor.  The light pinks and flowers give the piece a youthful feel to reflect her romanticism towards the emperor.  However, Zhen Huan also starts to grow up during this time, because she has to protect both herself and Ling Rong.  This is represented by her transition to wearing the style without bangs, which gives her a much more mature look.



 When she wore it:

This is another one of Zhen Huan’s earlier headpieces, which she started wearing around eps 14-17.  She wore it on  several occasions.

What she wore it with:

Pale green, pale peach/pink, lavender, and blue.  She especially paired this with her pale green ceremonial robe. (middle pics)


Admittedly, at first this was one of my least favorite hairstyles of Zhen Huan’s.  I guess it’s because I didn’t really like the color combination of pale red and turquoise as much?  I also never really liked Zhen Huan’s pale green ceremonial robe.  I mean, Zhen Huan can pull off anything, including pale green, but still!  However, while I was gathering pics of her in this hairstyle, it started to grow on me.  What can I say, it’s hard to dislike any of the hairstyles in LZH, lol.

Like I said, Zhen Huan wears this hairstyle a lot with various different outifts.  But I think this hairstyle is associated the most with Zhen Huan’s pale green ceremonial robe.  I think the hairstyle is quite suited for formal celebrations because it looks more refined.  It’s not too elaborate, but not too plain…it feels just right for formal occasions.




When she wore it:

Zhen Huan starts wearing this headpiece sometime around episodes 18-21.   The earliest I can find pictures of her wearing it is when she is newly favored by the emperor.  But, she wears this style rather sporadically.  This style is most prominent in episode 34.

What she wore it with:

Light blues and pinks.  Winter clothes.  Most of the pictures of her with this hairstyle also show her fur-lined robe or vest, which indicates that she mostly wore this during the wintertime.


I totally love this headpiece because it’s so elegant.  I love everything about it–the purple and blue colors, the golden phoenix buyao, the rose and flower pins on the right side, etc.  It’s quite fancy but at the same time, it doesn’t feel overwhelmingly elaborate.  (In contrast, I think the 3rd hairstyle in this post has more of the “wow” factor with tons of flower accessories.  This one is a BIT more toned down, but still really ornate and beautiful.)   Sadly, Zhen Huan doesn’t wear this hairstyle very often.  :'( I wish she had worn it more often!

Of course, the scene that this hairstyle is associated with the most is the cherry blossom/butterfly scene in episode 34.  This is when Zhen Huan recaptures the emperor’s affections by orchestrating a ‘coincidental’ encounter with him in the cherry blossom garden.  She stuffs her robe with live butterflies, so that when the emperor sees her, butterflies ~magically~ appear around her!  HEHEH..I know, it sounds cheesy..but this scene was quite a magical moment.  I always remember the one still of Zhen Huan wearing this hairstyle, with the backdrop of red cherry blossoms behind her. (bottom left pic)

The other thing I wanted to point out about this style is that the large rose flower pin looks VERY similar to the ones she wears later on:

I wonder if it is the same hair pin?

So, that’s all for part I of this round-up.  Which of these hairstyles is your favorite?  Stay tuned for Part II of The Hairstyles of Legend of Zhen Huan!


I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
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  • Yayyy a lzh post!!!! My all time favourite drama ever even after so long… So glad to see a post about it and will be looking forward to the next one 🙂

    • Same here, it’s still my favorite Cdrama! Yup there are plenty more LZH hairstyle posts to come in this series, since there are tons of hairstyles in this drama! :3

  • Thank you for this post, and advance thank yous for the upcoming posts about LZH! I haven’t watched the series but I just love to see the screencaps of this drama. Maybe because they remind me of Princess Pearl/My Fair Princess?

    Looking forward to the future posts ^^v

    • Hehe, I did the same with your Empress Ki posts. I would look at all of your pretty screencaps, even though I wasn’t watching the drama. 😉

  • I loved LZH but I never paid so much attention to all these tiny details. This was a fascinating post and I’m looking forward to the next post! I like the one she had when she first entered the palace but I think the hairstyle she paired with the ceremonial robe was the most Zhen Huan-worthy hairstyle here.

    • It’s amazing how even a few years later, there are still little details to be discovered in LZH. O_O Can’t believe how many outfits Zhen Huan wears, omg. I think the headpiece with the ceremonial robe is the most regal looking out of these 5 hairstyles. But it seems like Zhen Huan tends to prefer floral & gold accessories more than the turquoise and silver ones. This hairstyle feels like an outlier because Zhen Huan doesn’t wear any other hairstyles like it.

  • HI!

    All these years and Zhen Huan remains my favourite C-drama. I even watched the DVD last night because I was bored and didn’t know what to do.

    My favourite hairstyle for ZH is the one she had when she returned to the place after the brief stint in the monastery. The hairstyle with what look like a hat for me.

    • Same here, I really love that hairstyle! I think it’s Zhen Huan’s most elaborate headpiece, even more elaborate than the one she wore when she became empress.

  • Yay, I’m so glad to see there are going to be so many more LZH posts from now on! Looking forward to seeing them. 😀

    My personal favourite of the above hairstyles is the 4th “formal” one. I think the decorations on it are suitably simple and elegant, in keeping with ZH’s overall understated style. I know the 3rd hairstyle is supposed to look romantic and pretty, corresponding to ZH’s “honeymoon” period with the Emperor. But it just seems uncharacteristically frivolous to me, hmm…

    • Yup there are plenty more hairstyle posts to come. 😉 I think 3rd hairstyle is one that is meant to stand out, whereas some of her other early hairstyles are meant to be understated and minimal.

  • I’m still trying to find another Chinese drama to fill in the void left by Bu Bu Jing Xin and Zhen Huan. Ironically the two dramas were set in the Qing Dynasty while my favorite hanfu were from the Tang Dynasty. Anyway I wanted to say that I love their hairpieces. I am so jealous that I don’t have occasions to wear beautiful jewelry in my hair. See I love artistic and beautiful things.

    • Heheh aren’t we all? 😛 I think all of these hair ornaments would be super heavy to wear though. X_X Also it’d be so hard to walk around with the buyao right next to my face! It’s just like with the nail guards..they look pretty but gosh if I ever wore them I’d be scared of poking my eyes out!

  • Is there a part 2 for Zhen Huan? There are so many that she wears as Xi Fei, I feel like they should be included or this would be incomplete. DX DX DX

  • I’ve been watching this series on Netflix and absolutely love it. The acting is pretty good, the costume design is incredible (all those details! Wow..), and it’s historical fiction. I’ve been googling a bit for explanations of certain things and had a fair amount of success… except for information about the white neck ribbons embroidered with different emblems. What is the significance of the ribbon? And what to do the different emblems symbolize? All I could find was that they seemed to be worn mostly by Manchu women, though the Emperor mentions specifically that there *aren’t* that many concubines from the Manchu clans in the harem… and if that’s the case, why are ALL the women in the harem wearing them? I’d be thrilled if you could help clear up some of my confusion. Thanks for posting all the wonderful pictures and information on the series! ♥

  • Is there anyway to find out what the symbols mean? In episode 8 it seems Cao Guiren and Li Pin have the same style print on their ribbons “double flower”, but different colors. The Empress always wears the same patterned ribbon, so I am assuming that is the “I am the Empress” ribbon. Hua Fei and later Zhen Huan wear the same patterned ribbon with repeating symbols, I have to guess this is the ribbon of the person is “the head of the harem.” Thanks!

  • Thank you for this overview, do you know what came about in the very last episode? Subtitles quit on Episode 76. I watched it anyway, enjoying the architecture, scenery, costumes, and all…but What Were They Saying??? So, now I’ll watch Netflix’s 6 and try to go figure…I loved the original 75 episodes, #76 left me stymied, wondering how come no one ventured any translation for that final crowning episode? What what what ?

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