Tuesday, 5 March 2013

The History of Hair

Ancient Egypt

Looking back in history, no civilization was as advanced as the Ancient Egyptian. They lasted more then 3000 years, and we can still see remains of greatest achievements today. Throughout history there is no better documentation of hairstyles and accessories then in Ancient Egypt.

The Ancient Egyptian are well known for using shaving instruments to groom and remove the unwanted hair from their bodies and faces, however when it came to the hair on their head, they treated it very differently. It was a status symbol for both men and women.

 According to Egyptologist, Joann Fletcher," Human hair was of great importance in ancient Egypt. The rich and the poor of both genders treated their natural hair, or locks obtained elsewhere as a highly pliable means of self-expression."

  Hair care was an intricate part of grooming in Egypt, and much time was devoted to styling it. Setting lotions were used, made of bee’s wax and resin. Women braided their hair, or wore it in ringlets. When hair was worn short, it was cut in the severe crop that is the epitome of Egyptian style. Artificial hair extensions were sometimes added to the natural hair.

Cleanliness was a major issue for the Egyptian. In those days they did not have shampoos as we know them today. Instead they used a combination of animal fats, perfumes and ash to clean their locks. Head lice was also a problem they encountered back then, with the oldest head lice discovered on a mummy from Abydos dating back 5000 years.

To avoid lice, the Ancient Egyptian shaved their heads and wore wigs. The Wigs were also used to protect the scalp for burning in the sun. The wigs discovered by archaeologists were lined with date palm fibers, and created out of natural human hair. Wigs and extensions were fashioned with a variety of clever weaves and knots that were secured into or onto the real hair or scalp with beeswax and resins.

The ancient Egyptians hated gray hair and would use vegetable henna, a product still used to this day 5000 years later.

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