History of Hair Loss (Part 1): Hair Loss and Remedies Over Time
If you are experiencing premature hair loss, or thinning hair, you are not alone. In fact, premature hair loss has been an issue for people throughout history. Thousands of years ago, ancient Egyptians shaved their heads and wore wigs or elaborate head pieces to combat hair loss and display royalty and wealth. They also created a variety of potions, ointments, and other methods to treat hair loss. Some ointments included boiled porcupine hair or hippopotamus fat, according to the 1550 B.C. medical text, The Ebers Papyrus. Clearly, these options would not be FDA-approved today.
The Bible also mentions hair loss a few times. In 2 Kings 2:23-24, Elisha was mocked by a number of youths, shouting "bald head" and "baldy" at him as he walked into the town of Bethel. Angered and embarrassed, he cursed them and took his revenge by summoning two bears from the woods. It didn't cure his baldness, but it also didn't end well for the youths.
Julius Caesar wore the original Caesar hair style, but he was also bothered by his hair loss. According to Suetonius, Caesar combed his "scanty locks" forward to hide his thinning head of hair. Some also speculate that he wore the traditional laurel wreath to cover up his baldness. Oddly enough, the Latin word "caesaries" translates to "long/flowing/luxuriant hair."
In the Middle Ages, King Louis XIII of France began the big wig era by wearing a long, curly wig after losing his hair prematurely. This fashion trend spread throughout Europe and across the pond to the American colonies. Many European and American politicians and scholars—men and women alike—wore large wigs, not only to be fashionable, but to hide their thinning hair or bald heads. Even after the American and French Revolutions, when the big wig was seen as a symbol of the old regime, people wore white, powdered wigs.
Cowboys in 19th century America attempted to stop thinning hair with various snake oil products and messy grease rubbed into the scalp. Also, let's not forget the infamous cowboy hats, which offered protection from the sun, and conveniently hid bald heads underneath.
In the modern era, hair loss continues to be an issue. For some people, losing hair is an emotional and stressful time, while it is a health issue for others. Hair loss can lead to lower self-esteem, high anxiety, depression, and issues with sexual attractiveness and social acceptance. It can also trigger fears about getting older, and even dying. Avacor Physician's Formulation® is an FDA-approved hair restoration and re-growth product that has been clinically proven to revitalize hair follicles in as little as two months. Thankfully, we live in a time when we do not need to rely on snake oils, obnoxiously large wigs, animal fats, or vicious bears.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of The History of Hair Loss, which will discuss the importance and symbolism of hair throughout history.