Monday, 9 May 2011

The History of Hair

Back in 4000bc the Egyptians made references to modern day hair care, using dried fish bones as combs, and using concoctions of citric juices and water, and a combination of animal fats and plant extracts to clarify and nourish their hair. Artifacts resembling curling iorns dating back to 1500bc have been discovered. The rods of iron were heated to help curl the hair of kings and other noblemen, and in Africa sticks and clay were used in place of modern day curlers and setting lotions.

In the First Century AD the Romans were the pioneers of hair color using a combination of boiled walnuts and leeks to give their hair a rich brown tone.  Married women of 16th- century Italy,  were expected to cover or braid their hair in the interest of modesty. Around the same time, French women frizzed their hair with heat and then sculpted it to towering heights. Red hair and wigs were made fashionable in England by Queen Elizabeth, and "blending" was a hit, with a homespun dye composed of wine, spices, and herbs.

The first hair Salon of the time was introduced in 1635. It was called champagne and was located in Paris. It marked the birth of hairdressing as an art form. with hair towering so high women had to kneel as the sat in their carriages in order not to destroy their do's.

In the 1800 Salons made an appearance in the US. Styles popular at that time were centennial chignons and dainty bunches of curls. In the 1880's, women charted the course for Crystal Gayle, wearing their hair all the way down their backs, even to the ankles.

In the 1900 when corsets were all the rage hairstylist became more creative, using hair extensions to give them the appearance of fuller heads of hair and more extravagant up styles. In 1907, the first chemical hair color formula was born. Named Aureole by its originator, Eugene Schueller, and then later rechristened L'Oreal. Charles Nestle invented the first permanent-wave machine in 1905. Madame CJ. Walker began selling hair care products for African-Americans in 1906, which later became a multimillion-dollar business.
In 1917, the double-process blonding technique was invented, giving blonds worldwide more fun than ever! Inspired by the vacuum-cleaner hose, the first hair dryer was invented in 1920, blowing away the old air-drying methods. By 1925, there were already 25,000 beauty parlors in the United States! Breck International set up shop in the 1930s.

Present-day conditioner was created in the 1950s, when chemists discovered that ingredients used in fabric softeners could also soften hair. The aerosol spray can was invented in 1956, making hair spray possible.

Redken popularized pH-balanced and protein-enriched shampoos for better conditioning in the 1960s. In 1971, the first hand-held blow-dryer limited trips to the salon by making it easy to simply "blow and go," and a special iron was invented in 1972 by Geri Cusenza that crimped  hair. Hairstyles underwent rapid changes in the 20th century as well. To have a look at Hollywood celebrities in the last century click HERE.

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