Hair has played an evolving role in history and every part of the world had their preferences. In the ancient Middle East the loss of a person’s hair was a shameful symbolization and was believed to act as a public announcement signifying to the world that a man had lost his virility. The ancient Egyptians loved decadent fashions and were obsessed with elaborate and ornate wigs and headdresses. Many affluent ancient Egyptians shaved their heads and donned expensive and detailed wigs to shield them from the harsh sun. Archaeological evidence has been uncovered to show that the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks spent time and money on potions and salves they believed would help them regrow hair.
Some common hair loss treatments used in ancient times include the toes of a dog, the hoof of a donkey, and papyrus embers. Men in ancient Persia would never consider shaving their facial hair and found the practice to be absurd, but the Hittites on the other hand, shaved their beards, mustaches, eyebrows and patches of hair near their temples. It’s been documented that the ancient Celts would shave their beards, but maintained their mustaches. The ancient Greeks were known to wear beards and long hair until the 4th century BC when Alexander great ordered his soldiers to shave their beards and trim their hair short.
The Romans have a rich history with hair and fashion. Roman law once stated that prostitutes were required to wear blonde wigs, but the law was repealed when the emperor’s wife, Messalina, began wearing yellow wigs out to society functions and blonde wigs saw a rise in posh society circles. It is said that Caesar was so ashamed of his hair loss that he continuously wore a ceremonial laurel wreath to try and cover his balding. It was no secret that Caesar placed a high importance on hair. When he defeated an enemy he was known to cut off his enemy’s hair as a show of dominance. In 400 BC, the mathematician Hippocrates began prescribing a mixture of cumin, horseradish, pigeon droppings, and beetroots to help prevent hair loss. There is no proof that his cure actually worked.
In the 1500’s men’s hair was cut short, but their beards were worn long. Women kept their hair in braids and often kept it covered. In the 1620’s Louis XIII of France ushered in a new era of fashionable wigs. Wigs maintained their popularity until the American and French revolutions. The British also favored wigs which reigned in popularity in the 1700’s.
During the 1800’s, American cowboys kept tonic peddlers in business by purchasing blends of mystery brews and potions like ‘Snake Oil’ to help them regrow their hair. Cowboys would also rub grease in their hair to give it a fuller, thicker appearance. Cowboys also believed that potions made from boiled vinegar and corn kernels could be rubbed into the scalp to encourage new hair growth.
Modern technologies and solutions to hair loss have steered hair loss sufferers in new more successful directions. Whether you are looking for a hair transplant in New York or another location entirely, just remember that we’ve come a long way toward giving you that full head of hair you deserve.