Medusa was a mythical creature that could turn all living beings into stone. However why was her hair made into snakes? Was it Medusa's eyes that turned people or the snakes'?
It was an especially cruel and specific punishment for Medusa as she was known for her beautiful golden hair
Medusa's transformation from a beautiful golden haired priestess of Athena to not-so-beautiful Gorgon snake-lady was not instant, is was a gradual and drawn out punishment:
She was originally a golden-haired, fair maiden, who, as a priestess of Athena, was devoted to a life of celibacy; however, after being wooed by Poseidon and falling for him, she forgot her vows and married him. For this offence, she was punished by the goddess in a most terrible manner. Each wavy lock of the beautiful hair that had charmed her husband was changed into a venomous snake;