From the Hairloss Learning Center:
Even 4,000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians were searching for a hair loss cure. One “cure” used around 1500 B.C. in Egypt called for reciting a magic spell to the sun god and then swallowing a mixture of onions, iron, red lead, honey and alabaster.
Around 1100 B.C. in ancient Egypt it was popular to rub the fats of various animals onto the scalp, including those of the lions, hippopotamuses, crocodiles, ibex, serpents and geese.
Another recipe for growing hair prepared for the King of Upper and Lower Egypt included toes of a dog, refuse of dates, and a hoof of an ass. Of course, these “cures” failed to re-grow hair.
But with baldness regarded as shameful in ancient Egypt, men and women were willing to put such things on their head in the hope they would work.
Yes, hair loss is even mentioned in the Bible. According to this Old Testament passage God does not condone ridiculing the bald.
Kings 2: 23 “From there Elisha went to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. "Go on up, you baldhead!" they said "go on up, you baldhead!" He turned round, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths. And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria.”
Hippocrates had a personal interest in finding a cure for baldness as he suffered from hair loss. He developed a number of different treatments including a mixture of horseradish, cumin, pigeon droppings, and nettles to the scalp. This and other treatments failed to work and he lost the rest of his hair. The area of permanent hair on the back and sides of the head (from which donor hair is taken for hair transplants) is also known as the “Hippocratic wreath.”
Moving from Greece to the Roman Empire, we find that Julius Caesar employed a variety of methods to hide his thinning hair. In addition to the laurel wreath that he wore, he first grew his hair long in the back, and then combed it forward over his bald spot. Yes, the “Comb Over” is ancient.
Soon after the Middle Ages wigs became popular for women. Then in the 1600’s the flamboyant and incredibly vain King Louis XIV of France lost his hair from a severe illness and took to wearing gigantic wigs thus setting the fashion for most men of his day.
These enormous creations featured such items as cages with live birds and could weigh up to 20 lbs.!
By the 1700’s England made another contribution to bad hair loss concealers. This was the age of the long, curly, and powdered wigs. Even today, English judges and lawyers continue this practice. Thus the expression for those in authority – “Big Wigs.”
The early 1800’s is renowned in hair loss circles as the age of the con men. There were hundreds of so-called “hair loss solutions” and many lasted well into the late 1900’s.
These treatments were marketed by fast-talking “doctors,” skilled only in bravery and possessing nerves of steel considering they were conning hardened cowboys and outlaws!
The salesmen hawked their products from the safety of their side shows and “Wild West” spectaculars. They used endless tricks to get people to buy their products, including rubbing grease into their hair to make it look thicker.
From TG: So...be it animal product, comb-over, wig, Snake Oil or current corn-row transplanted plugs, you men have also had your issues and “solutions!”