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The Importance of Hair Throughout History

Monk Shaving Head The Belgravia CentreThroughout history, hair has played a significant role in our society – it is associated with youthfulness and beauty in women and virility and masculinity in men; so it’s no surprise that hair loss can make many men and women feel self-conscious.

Hair and status

Hair has long been an indicator of both social and professional status, and has also been worn in different styles to denote religion. Here are some interesting facts about hair throughout history that you probably didn’t know:

  • Christian priests and monks once shaved the crowns of their head to symbolise a lack of vanity and their vow of chastity
  • In the bible, Samson took his strength to destroy the Philistines from his long, flowing mane. When Delilah cut his hair, his strength was gone
  • In Ancient Egypt, the Pharaoh always wore a wig to denote his status, whilst his sons wore their hair in buns which were always on the right side of their heads

Hair and beauty

In the past, women would wear their long hair tied up in elaborate styles – it was never loose. Hair would only be let down at night when alone or in the company of a woman’s husband, for intimate moments, and it’s said that the letting down of hair symbolised a woman’s will to submit to her spouse. Today, long hair is still seen as a symbol of youth and beauty; the fashion for hair extensions has taken the world by storm, with many celebrities sporting long hair extensions on a daily basis.

Wearing hair extensions can lead to female hair loss, as the weight is a stress on the scalp, and other external factors can also lead to hair loss in women, such as the trauma of childbirth or other stressful situations in life, such as the breakup of a relationship or bereavement.

Hair and other cultures

In other cultures and religions, hair has a special significance. For example, in Sikh religion, it is traditional for hair to be kept uncut. Hair is viewed as a symbol of strength and holiness, and uncut hair symbolises denial of vanity and acceptance of a simple life. Buddhist monks shave their heads and beards to symbolise detachment from material possessions, and the casting aside of vanity. It’s also frowned upon for monks to dye or pluck out their grey hairs, as these are reminders of the impermanence of life and the coming of old age.

Today, hair is as important to us as ever, and whilst many people are affected by hairloss at some point in their lives, there are more hair loss treatments available than ever before. Whilst many embrace their baldness, others seek treatment to restore their hair to its former glory.

The Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our online diagnostic form from 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 success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 0800 077 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.

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