Taboos, Tools, Techniques in Hair History

Hair History Around The World

Hair has always been a hot topic in societies around the world. For as long as humans have been in existence, they have been on a search for methods to remove their hair. Whether for vanity, religion, or even safety, there have been interesting beliefs about hair and there have certainly been some odd methods of removing it. In this article, we will discuss some fascinating hair removal taboos, tools and techniques throughout history and the world.

Contrary to contemporary times, hair removal has not always been about vanity. Throughout the caveman era, ancient Greece and Egypt, men believed that hair removal was essential for survival. They speculated that removing hair from their head and beard would protect them from any invading force that could potentially try to grab onto them during battle. They felt that hair removal was truly a shield of safety in war times. Hair removal has held other significance as well. In some Buddhist, Muslim, Christian and Hindu traditions, head and eyebrow shaving has played a role in regards to joining a monastic community or beginning school.

Women in a variety of cultures have also indulged in hair removal practices. In ancient Egypt, Greece and the Middle East, women aimed to rid their body of all hair, head to toe. Sometimes they would literally rid the head on their hair! In the late 1500s, women began removing hair from their eyebrows and foreheads, which they believed made them appear more fashionable. Many women even used walnut oil on kids’ foreheads to stave off hair growth. Possibly, one of the strangest techniques of all, women even created bandages of ammonia (cat feces and vinegar) to prevent hair growth.

In the early 1900s, societal beliefs about hair in the US and Europe took at turn. Ads claimed that hair on face, neck, legs and arms was “humiliating.”  Models were featured in magazines with no armpit or leg hair. These types of media campaigns set the stage for the mainstream public’s acceptance of hair removal, which is still widely understood today.

When it comes to the techniques for hair removal, there have been many throughout time. In the earliest of times, people simply used what they could find! According to History Undressed, this meant items like sharp rocks, pumice stones, flint blades, bronze and seashells. Items like these were dangerous and, likely, pretty painful. Not to mention, scraping at the skin with these tools was time consuming. It has been said that ridding hair in a single area could take place over the course of three years.

However, several historic techniques are still applied today, through many have been modified for safety and ease. Waxing was utilized in olden times. By applying a beeswax paste followed by a thin cloth, hair was pulled out in patches. In the Roman Empire, wealthy class citizens harnessed creams, razors, and tweezers. Another ancient method was threading, which meant weaving yarn through fingers and roughly rubbing it on the hair. This technique would result in pulling the hair away from the body and is practiced through today.

We hope you enjoyed learning a bit about hair history. As this article illustrates, you are certainly not alone in your quest for a hair free life. Men and women around the entire globe have sought for a silky, smooth skin for centuries. It is not always easy to find the best method that suits your goals. Of all the methods available in the market today, electrolysis is the ONLY permanent, FDA approved hair removal method. If you are interested in exploring electrolysis or would like to book an appointment, please call us today.

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