Photo: Getty Images
Egyptians apparently liked it hot when it came to hair, a la Marilyn Monroe.
Ancient Egyptians Styled Hair Like ‘Marilyn Monroe and Rihanna’
By Erin Donnelly
08/29/11 at 11:35 AM
"Mummy knows best!We may not walk like the Egyptians, but we apparently coif like them, with new research on mummies revealing the use of hair gel and curling tongs, the Telegraph reports.
The Journal of Archaeological Science has published the study from The University of Manchester's KNH Center of Biomedical Egyptology, which analyzed hair samples from 18 male and female mummies aged 4 to 58.
The research shows that Cleopatra wasn’t the only one with a knack for beauty. Scientists discovered the presence of a gel-like fatty substance “being used to hold hair in place,” as well as an alluring array of ’dos that wouldn't be out of place on a modern-day red carpet.
“There was a variety of hair styles and cuts—some of the mummies had really beautiful curled hair,” team leader Dr. Natalie McCreesh told the paper. “Under the microscope we could see the fat was used specifically on the curls, to hold them in place—just like people would now.
“One of the mummies had quite short hair and we joked she looked like Marilyn Monroe. Some others had longer curly hair, a little bit like Rihanna. Some of the younger men had their hair parted and slicked down with the product.”
What, no Bieber bowl cut? The fatty product was found on nine of the mummies (which date back 2,300 to 3,500 years), and contained palmitic and stearic acids.
“It’s reasonable to think that some people would have styled their hair and others wouldn’t—just like today,” adds Dr. McCreesh. “Because some of them were preserved naturally, we can see that they used it in everyday life as well as when they were being preserved in death.
“It probably wouldn’t have been the very poorest, but it certainly wasn’t restricted to just pharaohs or high nobility—ordinary people used it too. It’s absolutely fascinating. You can almost imagine them tending their hair and setting their curls, just like we might today.”
Researchers also found that the ancient Egyptians braided in hair extensions to lengthen their manes. Hey, nobody said being a Sphinx minx was easy ..."