Hair in Ancient Egypt – Similarities and Differences

This is the first in a series of articles which take a look at hair and hair styles and how over the centuries they have come to influence our views and attitudes in the present day

The history of Ancient Egypt is long and complicated, so of course hairstyles and what they meant were changing all the time, much as modern hairstyles do. That being said, we begin by looking at the significance of hair during the famous New Kingdom period, the most important period in Ancient Egypt.

In the New Kingdom hair was worn long, and women’s hair was very decorative, with ribbons and flowers. In order to keep an element of hygiene and practicality many Egyptians would shave their heads and use the hair to make wigs so they could have a fabulous hairstyle without the troubles of actually having long hair. Because of this, hair became a valuable commodity, which people would buy and sell in order to create the wigs and conversely, the wigs would reflect the individual’s status and style.
Some Egyptians preferred to keep their own hair intact and even as far back as the New Kingdom, inevitably many would experience hair loss and balding and just as happens in the present day, a number of those experiencing loss would try different remedies, including fir tree resin or applying chopped lettuce to the bald patch.

Wearing lettuce on your head!!! Luckily hair treatment and replacement has come a long way since the times of Ancient Egypt, and while it might be a lot more complex, the end result is a head of hair which looks and feels fabulous, just as nature intended.