WE CAN HELP
Book a FREE consultation  
For a free consultation or assistance, please call 020 7730 6666

Browse by Category

Hair And The Culture Of The Ancient Maya

The culture of the Maya people of Central America has been the subject of considerable attention and interest in recent months, thanks to the conclusion of the 13th b’ak’tun, a time period in the Mayan Long Count calendar, which fell at the end of December of last year. Although apocalyptic predictions concerning the end of the world stole much of the limelight, there are actually many other, interesting aspects to the Maya culture. One thing that the Maya are actually known for is their intricate, but scalp-damaging hair styles which almost certainly caused hair loss!

Hair Amongst The Classical Maya

During the height of the Classical Mayan Civilisation (250 AD – 900 AD), hair was used to denote rank. Ordinary people cut their hair short, while elites sported long, flowing ponytails. Elite women styled their hair into braids, woven with ornaments and ribbons on special occasions, whilst the men took the drastic step of burning the hair of their fringe to create their own receding hairlines, permanently damaging the follicles to create the effect of a higher forehead.

All this was done to create a more elongated profile; something that for the ancient Maya was the height of beauty. The elites took this notion to the extreme, by binding boards around the heads of their children as they grew to create a long cranial shape and slightly crossed-eyes – evidence of which can still be seen in the skulls of dead Maya from that period. Warriors sported a tuft of hair on the left side of their heads, which was moved to the right once they had slain their first enemy in war.

Strenuous Styles

Fascinating though all this complexity is, it wouldn’t have been without its downsides. Head-bindings and ornate hairstyles, pulled tight and weighed down with ornaments, could have caused Traction Alopecia – hair loss due to mechanical stress on the hair follicles. Meanwhile, the burning of the hair on the forehead would have permanently damaged the scalp, leaving scar tissue and bald patches of skin where all the hair has been lost.

Thoroughly Modern Maya

The Maya people still live in the rainforests and highlands of Southern Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. As with anywhere else in the world, some people have their hair cut in contemporary, fashionable styles you’d recognise on the streets of Mexico City or Milan, while others adopt a more traditional cut. Luckily, these days traction alopecia can be treated effectively by a personalised treatment programme which contains high strength minoxidil 10% and 12.5% + azelaic acid creams, so any Maya sticking to their traditional style needn’t, in theory, suffer the hair loss associated with it. Watch the video for more information on this clinically approved hair loss medication.

The Ancient Maya may not have believed the world was going to end on a dramatic date, but their extreme hair practices are certainly a reminder to the modern world to style with caution!

The Belgravia Centre—————————————————————————————————–

The Belgravia Centre is the leading hair loss clinic in the UK, based in Central London. We offer clinically proven treatments for hair loss, as part of comprehensive treatment programmes offered by our hair loss specialists. Our in-house pharmacy produces high-strength medications for hair loss that contain medically proven ingredients and are available at no other clinic worldwide. Treatment programmes are available by visiting the centre or for home-use, anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our hair loss success stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of hair regrowth so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 0800 077 6666 for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.

Share this article

No Comments

No comments yet.

Comment on this article

* required field

Will not be published

Online Consultation

Submit an instant online consultation so that one of Belgravia’s hair loss specialists can diagnose your condition and recommend an effective course of treatment, wherever you live.

26 Apr

BGT Winner Says Street Dance Headspin Moves Caused Hair Loss

The soaring popularity of street dance has become something of a phenomenon across the UK in recent years. This has been helped in part by its heightened visibility thanks to acts like Diversity and George Sampson, both winners of the high profile TV talent show, Britain’s Got Talent, who have gone on to have successful […]

Read full article »
25 Apr

Success Story Alert! New Female Hair Loss Treatment Entry

A new entry has just been added to Belgravia’s Female Pattern Hair Loss Treatment Success Stories gallery. Miss D has seen positive results in all thinning areas since she started using her bespoke Belgravia treatment plan. Find out what this client had to say and see her regrowth results close up, or find out more about treating […]

Read full article »
25 Apr

What is Invisible Hair Loss and How Do You Tell if You Have it?

In what could be the oddest bit of “rebranding” for some time, an article on a US website has given a new name to the genetic hair loss condition, Male Pattern Baldness. The Fox News website explains how a typical healthy scalp has around 100,000 hairs and that around half of these can be lost before […]

Read full article »