Hair loss has been around since the dawn of recorded history. Every race and culture deals with hair loss differently. An interesting finding is that every race, social class, and culture experiences hair loss. Each region of the world, each time in history, and every culture views hair loss and hair differently. This article will discuss ancient customs and beliefs about the loss of hair and how people managed it.
In Ancient Rome, both genders viewed hair as a status of wealth and power. The most elite class had numerous slaves that tended only to braiding and fixing the nobleman’s hair. During the Qing Dynasty in China, the Manchu people forced everyone else to wear their hair in ponytails with half of their head’s shaved, as a way to differentiate themselves. In Ancient Egypt, being bald meant that the person was cursed by the gods. However, in Ancient Europe, baldness was a sign of wisdom. Monks decided to begin shaving their heads to look wiser than they were. Throughout history, some cultures embraced baldness, while others covered it up with wigs, braids, and intricate hairstyles.
What is known to be true is that genetics play an important role in hair loss. Certain regions of the world experience hair loss differently. Mediterranean people tend to have hair loss on their crown, while Northern Europeans experience receding hairlines. Genetically speaking, baldness is an inherited trait. It is passed down on the X chromosome.
Today, while male hair loss is more common than female hair loss, everyone is able to have their hair restored surgically. There is also a number of products on the market promising to regrow lost hair. In any case, hair loss will most likely always be around until genetic manipulation gains traction, potentially eradicating the hair loss gene.