Search This Blog

Monday, 18 May 2015

Hair coloring

Blond hair was rare and admired by the Ancient Greeks, and both sexes tried bleaching their hair with potash water and infusions of yellow flowers.

The Romans adopted many elements of Greek culture including their love of blond hair. Roman recipes for bleaching hair included mixtures of beech wood ashes, goat's fat, vinegar, pigeon dung and saffron. The result in many cases was complete hair loss.

In the first century AD, Roman women used a mixture of boiled walnuts and leeks to make their hair appear dark and shin.

Ancient Gauls dyed their hair red to indicate preferred social status.

In 15th century Italy, both men and women strove to achieve blond hair by either using a bleach or saffron or onion skin dye, or, in the case of Italian women, by sitting for hours in a crownless hat in the sun.

Women of the Renaissance era used a mixture of black sulfur, alum and honey to achieve the desired golden color hair.

In the last years of the 16th century, the Italian artist Titian popularized a red-blond hair color in his paintings. Venetian women who wanted to achieve the color applied mixtures of alum, sulfur, soda, and rhubarb to their hair and sat in the sun to let it dry.

In Renaissance France the custom was to pulverize flowers in a powder and then apply the mixture to the hair with a gluey substance.

A French chemist named Eugene Schueller invented the first synthetic hair dye. He began manufacturing his product, which covered gray hair with natural-looking colors in a permanent process in his Paris flat and founded the company L'Oreal in 1909 to sell it.

Today, hair coloring is immensely popular, with over 75 percent of American women dyeing their hair.

Sources  BBC History Magazine, Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia, 

No comments:

Post a Comment