The history of hair: from the past to the present

The history of hair is very important in the trichological sector, it shows how hair was, from the earliest times, a symbol of personal identification . Influenced by fashions from social classes, peoples, cultures and traditions, religion, sex and age, hair is “used” to send a message about who we are and how we want other people to see us.

There was not a moment in the history of hair in which these were not the protagonists; Hair has always had a specific value and meaning, whether it is a message of rebellion or social belonging.

FROM THE PAST

The history of hair began many years ago; in fact, findings of some tombs and some papyrus from ancient Egypt, of amphorae containing linseed oil with olive oil, show how important hair care was and how the power of seduction was attributed to hairstyles.

Over time, long , thick, well-groomed hair represented strength, power and beauty, while shaved hair and hair loss symbolized purification, punishment or shame.

IN THE CULTURES OF THE WORLD

Egyptians :  Those who belonged to a lower class shaved their heads, while in the upper classes the males wore fringe and braids and the women dressed up and adorned with precious jewels.

Romans: As in many portraits the Roman emperors were depicted with crowns of laurels wrapped in hair and women with braids and ribbons wrapped together.  It is said that the name “Caesar”, attributed to the sovereigns of the Roman era, concerns the meaning of the Latin word “caesaries” which means hair.

Greeks:  young people used to cut their hair short to consecrate themselves to gods, while

women gathered their hair with ribbons and tiaras. The women of Athens were the first to try and experiment with the first  hair dyes using white, red and golden powders to color their hair.

Chinese: it is a culture that boasts a long tradition of hairstyles, in fact, for Chinese people to neglect their hair is a sign of illness or depression. Women wore long hair gathered in braids or other hairstyles that distinguished them from married women to single women.

IN TIME

Middle Ages:  the hair was considered as an external branch of the soul, so that the  hair cut or fallen to the ground were immediately burned so that they were not used for the common superstition of that time of rituals that it was believed that, through the hair, could inflict evil spells and evil eyes. Over time the  hair was tied in small locks with multicolored ribbons and became a gift and a proof of love to give to the beloved, who lovingly kept them in small precious boxes until his death.

Eighteenth century: hair became an “exhibition” instrument. We had to create bizarre and uncomfortable hairstyles  to amaze the people of that era. Unfortunately, most of the time, these hairstyles led the hair to weaken and gradually fall, which is why the wig was invented ,  which gave a turning point to the fashion of those times and that all good people wore. The wigs were created by the poor people who cut their hair to take some change.

1960s: In this period the hippies took over and with their flowers, their sense of freedom and peace created a new fashion and the hairstyles became freer and simpler. Their clothes and hairstyles became so popular that they were worn by the whole world, even by those who did not share their thoughts and their principles.

1970s:  During this period, men often wore long hair, with sideburns and unkempt hair and women had very long or permanent hair.

With the arrival of reggae music and its main spokesman Bob Marley, hair fashion is transformed and becomes not only a new hairstyle but also a new religion: the Rasta religion.

1990s:  Hair was tangled and unkempt, in short, left in a mess. The men began to cut the short hair on the sides of the head and a hint of crest appears. The era of gel, lacquers, coloring and bleaching begins.

2000s: Since the beginning of the second millennium, hair fashion has been turned upside down and changed from year to year, if not from season to season with spring / summer fashions and autumn / winter fashions, hairstyles, fashion effects and colors. At this moment, everything is allowed: from the retro style, to the classic style, to the modern up to the most bizarre and extravagant. The role of hair in this period is to represent ourselves and our personality, they are part of the image of ourselves that communicates to the outside world who we are.

We have seen how hair fashion has changed over time, but it certainly has not changed the way we see hair as a symbol of beauty that is still imprinted today.

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