Wigs have been popular for thousands of years, but it was the ancient manuscript the Eber papyrus, dated 1553BC, which kick-started the long history of hair loss treatments. After swallowing a mixture including oxide, lead, honey and alligator fat, the patient would make an invocation to the Sun God. Thankfully, hair loss treatment has moved on since then…
Hippocrates, the Greek philosopher and father of modern medicine, experienced male pattern baldness and applied a mixture of horseradish and pigeon droppings, amongst other things, in a bid to stimulate the scalp. It wasn’t a success, although Hippocrates did conceive another, rather more radical, treatment for hair loss when he noticed eunuchs didn’t experience baldness.
Ever wondered about the laurel wreath so popular with Roman emperors? It seems it was Julius Cesar’s way of disguising his hair loss, having first tried growing his hair longer at the back and then combing it over. Cesar’s trick worked – the laurel wreath is still associated with power and virility today.
In the 17th century, Louis XIII took to wearing a toupee to cover his thinning locks and the fashion spread like wildfire – first to the court of King Charles II of England and then to the colonies of America. Towering powdered wigs became a symbol of power and authority, the bigger the better.
If you’ve ever heard the expression ‘snake oil salesman’, you’ll know it refers to an unscrupulous seller making bogus claims. The 1800s were the heyday of the snake oil salesman, peddling completely ineffective – but incredibly popular – hair loss cures, often composed of nothing but alcohol, water and colouring. Unfortunately, the practice still goes on today.
Stimulate your scalp
By the beginning of the 20th century, a new invention was gaining in popularity as a miraculous cure-all. Electric scalp stimulators were all the rage in the 1920s, sometimes combined with a vacuuming action, to unclog pores and nourish the follicles.
The birth of hair transplants
Finally, in 1939, a Japanese dermatologist named Dr Shoji Okuda published his technique for hair transplants that actually worked. It was the basis for all modern transplantation techniques and the reason that DHI Manchester can help you regain the confidence and self-esteem you experience with a full head of hair.