In some cultures, baldness is respected. The more your hairline recedes, the wealthier and more dignified your appearance is. However, to other places in today’s society, balding is looked upon with disgust. This has led to thousands of treatments for the condition. Whether it is to stop the loss of hair, grow it back again, or prevent baldness entirely, options exist. Some of them are very effective while others haven’t enjoyed that high of a success rate.
Ancient Egypt – 1550BC
Back in 1550 BC, there was a medical journal published by the Egyptians that provided some suggestions for a cure for baldness. Some of these were pretty crazy, and included hippopotamus fat, crocodiles, snakes, and the ibex. According to hair regrowth experts, porcupine quills boiled and topically applied to the head would also be very beneficial. Other crazy remedies of the time included the hoof of a donkey and the leg of a greyhound.
Hippocrates – 460BC
Hippocrates, who wasn’t hypocritical in the slightest, is often called the founder of modern medicine. He was also a bald man, and would constantly try to cure the baldness with various remedies. These included a potent mixture containing opium, pigeon poop, beetroot, and more. Of course, this did not work at all. He then went on to prescribe castration for men suffering baldness. In 1995 AD, researchers conducting studies into this treatment found that it did have the potential to prevent hair fall.
The great emperor of Rome suffered from baldness. When Caesar began to lose his gorgeous head of hair, he tried many remedies, including growing his hair out in the back and combing it over the rest of his head (the world’s first combover?). He would also experiment with a concoction consisting of mice, the teeth of horses, and grease from slaughtered bear carcasses. Neither remedy worked, especially the former in a world without styling mousse. The final solution? A laurel wreath.
King Louis XIII
Louis the Thirteenth was truly unlucky, being the 13th king of France in the 1600s. This wasn’t a cure for baldness so much as it was a coverup for the effects of the condition. Toupees were first worn by this sad noble, along with huge wigs that soon became a fashion trend among the nobility of England and France. In the USA, before it was the USA, these wigs became the best way to show off wealth and power (which oddly coincided with baldness in men).
One of the last known crazy remedies for baldness was snake oil in the US in the 1800s. This was sold by salesmen across the country as well as quacks of various specialties. Thought to be extracted from the venom of poisonous snakes, this was also a failed remedy for the condition. Today, these crazy remedies no longer exist. If you have male pattern baldness, see a doctor about your options. You can rest assured that castration isn’t one of the recommended options anyway.
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