Mommy Katie: The History of Hair Loss Treatments

Monday, April 11, 2016

The History of Hair Loss Treatments

While some people accept and embrace hair loss, it can be  a major concern for others and it can sometimes even lead to more serious health conditions such as anxiety and depression. However, if you experience hair loss and you aren’t ready to accept your changing looks, it’s important to note that you don’t necessarily need to suffer in silence.

There are a whole host of treatments available that have been specially designed to tackle the problem. From caffeinated shampoos and lotions to medically-proven pills, such treatments are accessible from pharmacies and from your GP, and you can seek more information from websites such as LloydsPharmacy.

People have been experiencing hair loss for a long time. Today, we have access to useful advice and a whole range of effective treatments. However, it hasn’t always been this easy. So, let’s go back in time to see how hair loss used to be dealt with.

The Ebers Papyrus
The first acknowledgment that history gives us of hair loss dates back to around 1553 BC. At this time, a piece of medical text was found, known to us today as the Ebers Papyrus. This was a collection of remedies put together by the Egyptians about 2,000 years before it was discovered. Within it, there was a supposed solution for hair loss which included the ingredients onions, honey, alabaster, red lead, iron oxide and the fat of animals such as lions, snakes, hippopotamuses and crocodiles. This interesting albeit strange mix was designed to be taken immediately after reciting a poem for maximum effect.

The combover
During his reign over the Roman empire, Julius Caesar attempted to cover up his bald spot by developing a ‘comb forward’ - a hairstyle we refer to today as a comb over. While this strategic tactic worked for a while, Caesar soon realised that he no longer had enough hair, and so he came up with another solution for the problem. Instead, he started wearing laurel wreaths to distract from his fading follicles. So, it could be argued that Caesar’s lack of hair is to thank for his iconic and powerful look.

The wig craze
In 1624, wigs became all the rage. The French king, Louis XIII, was known to regularly sport a headpiece so that he could cover up his thinning tresses. However, the trend soon caught on, and even those with a head full of hair started wearing them too. It was believed by many that a wig was associated with authority and power.

The gas-filled combs
The 1920s saw many American manufacturers develop and release a whole range of products that were designed for hair loss. For example, it was at this time that gas-filled glass combs were introduced. These combs were designed to run over the scalp to encourage hair regrowth. Unfortunately, this contraption was too good to be true; the comb was later found to have no hair restoring qualities at all.

The breakthrough
The world’s first hair transplant method was created in 1939 by Dr Shoji Okuda. The technique involved taking hair follicles from the back of the head and grafting them to the area where hair no longer grew. From here onwards, there have been a number of breakthroughs in regards to hair loss treatments. Minoxidil was scientifically proven to trigger hair regrowth in 1988, with finasteride becoming available 10 years later as an effective hair loss medicine.

So, while your fading follicles may be getting you down, you could find comfort in knowing how far hair loss treatments have come and how easy it can be for you to resolve your hair woes.


Rose-Marie said...

Wow I never knew any of this, except for the current! I got a chuckle out of the real reason for the laurel wreath, and those concoctions - what a smell they must have had! And the original comb-over! Great post!!!

Janet W. said...

This was so interesting to read! I love seeing pictures from the wig craze time.