Ancient Egypt: Hair and wigs
Wigs and hairpieces
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Comb, hairpin and wig piece 
Hair and wigs
Barber shaving the head of a soldier
May my mother be my hairdresser, so as to do for me what is pleasantFashions changed over the millennia. There were periods when the head was clean shaven, others when it was left to grow, cropped short or worn shoulder-long or even longer by both men and women. Priests are shown with cleanly shaved heads since the New Kingdom, but most people seem to have had some hair on their heads and taken good care of it, as the many remedies against hair loss or grey hair indicate.
Young girls often had pigtails while boys had shaved heads. Some, like the young Ramses II, had one braided lock worn on one side.
Royal child with side lock
Teen-age girls and young women  wore their hair long enough to be able to braid it:
My heart thought of my love of you,
Braided hair of Anhapu, New Kingdom.
Upright neck, shining breast,Rich women used elaborately carved combs, hairpins, razors and hand held metal mirrors and curled their hair.
The beard was apparently shaved off, but during the New Kingdom statues of high officials had chin beards, which were somewhat shorter than the pharaonic beard. This mark of authority was so important that Queen Hatshepsut wore a false beard after becoming pharaoh.
During the Middle and New Kingdoms the shaving was done with copper and bronze razors, metals not renowned for keeping a sharp edge, and shaving must have been somewhat of an ordeal. Only during the Late Dynastic Period did iron razors come into use.
Many men entrusted themselves to professional barbers who plied their trade in public places.
The barber barbers till nightfall. He betakes himself to town, he sets himself up in his corner, he moves from street to street, looking for someone to barber.
The beards worn by the pharaohs including Queen Hatshepsut, were artificial and indicative of their status as kings. 11] but, given the softness of the metal, it is doubtful they were used for shaving. Some depictions which show women naked or in diaphanous clothing suggest that they removed their pubic hair, others that they did not, but nothing is known about the artistic conventions of the day concerning body hair. There may also have been differences between social classes and between professions, and fashion may have changed over time.
Depiction of the goddess Nut raising the sun on a sarcophagus lid belonging to Djedhor.
The priests shave their whole body every other day, that no lice or other impure thing may adhere to them when they are engaged in the service of the gods.For body epilation a mixtures of crushed bird bones, oil, sycamore juice, and gum, or like concoctions were heated and applied to the skin. After cooling the hardened layer was then presumably pulled off, removing the hair glued to it. Metal tweezers, with which they could have pulled out unwanted hair, were known since the Early Dynastic Period. 14].
One should think that in a society were people often had clean shaved heads baldness would not be much of a problem, but it seems some disliked losing their hair and combatted it by applying oils and fats or placing chopped lettuce leaves on their skin.
Remedy for making hair grow
Mummy of New Kingdom female (possible queen Nefertari).
Wb. refers to A. Erman, H. Grapow, Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache, 13 volumes, 1926–1963
 Source: Rosicrucian Order website
 M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol.3, p.167
 Adolf Erman, Aegypten und ägyptisches Leben im Altertum, Laupp, Tübingen 1885, p.302
 David P. Silverman, Edward Brovarski, Searching for ancient Egypt: art, architecture, and artifacts from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cornell University Press, 1997, p.247
 In the tale of The Two Brothers, Anpu and Bata, the younger brother returned home to fetch seed grain:
His young brother found the wife of his elder brother seated braiding her hair. M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol.2, p.191
 G. Elliot Smith, Catalogue général des antiquités égyptiennes du musée du Caire, 1912, plate IV
 M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol.2, p.182
 Edna R. Russmann, Thomas Garnet Henry James, Eternal Egypt: masterworks of ancient art from the British Museum, University of California Press, 2001, p.124
 M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol.1, p.186
 Virginia Sarah Smith, Clean: a history of personal hygiene and purity, Oxford World's Classics, Oxford University Press, 2007, pp.66f.
 Papyrus Ebers (No.447) and the Hearst Papyrus have a few such recipes:
Remedy for removing hairs from any body parts The Hearst papyrus has three recipes for preventing greying, two of which would have appealed only to the desperate vain:
Remedy for preventing the greying of the hair After W.Wreszinski ed., Der Londoner Medizinische Papyrus und der Papyrus Hearst, Leipzig 1912
 Egypt Revealed: Ancient Egyptians Wore Wigs, accessed at http://www.egyptrevealed.com/052900-wigs.shtml
 G. Elliot Smith, Catalogue général des antiquités égyptiennes du musée du Caire, 1912, plate VII
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| Petrie Museum website: UC40555 - Copper tweezers, Early Dynastic Period|
|Wig of human hair , 18th dynasty (British Museum)|
|Combs (Brian Yare's website)|
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