July 17, 2017
Hair has fascinated people since the beginnings of time, and we use cuts, colours and styles to try to discover interesting facts about ancient civilisations. Hair has always been used as a tribal signature, with some of the most elaborate creations seen, including colossal crest formations adorned with ornaments and feathers. People of the remote African Surma and Mursi tribes for instance, use body painting and hair decoration with materials gathered from the surrounding landscape as a form of expression.
It is believed that in ancient Egypt, the embalming process was adapted to preserve the striking hair styles of the time, coating them in a fat based substance. The hair styles of Egyptian mummies, give us information on their age, sex and social status, and objects which resemble curling tongs have even been found in tombs.
The Romans also used hair along with clothes to indicate position and social standing, and attractiveness was judged by how beautifully the hair was dressed and presented. Hair grooming was seen as the elegant and cultured female demonstrating taste, fashion sense and wealth. An array of wigs and hair pieces were favoured by many, and even marble busts were sometimes created with detachable marble wigs, in order to keep up with changing fashions.
Dying hair was a popular practice, although the frequency was not always healthy for the hair. Unusual concoctions prevailed and a nightly application of paste containing herbs and earthworms was thought to prevent grey hair, while pigeon dung was used to lighten hair. Dying hair black involved applying leeches which had been rotted in red wine for 40 days!
Hair loss was often tackled by slathering on a mixture of sow’s gall bladder, mixed with bulls urine. Or there was always the option of the ashes of an ass’s genitals, or the ashes of a deer’s antlers mixed with wine. Head lice were dispatched using copious amounts of goat’s milk or goat’s dung. One hopes there was enough perfume to go around!
If you would like a more conventional approach to hairdressing, try Trimmers Hair Salon in Skelmersdale, Lancashire. Trimmers are specialists in cutting, colouring, extensions, straightening and conditioning. Call them to book an appointment on 01695 721414.
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