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Mummy of Queen Tiye

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Scene from the sarcophagus of Princess Kawit. It depicts a maid standing behind the princess, putting a hair pin to her hair.
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Mummy of Queen Tiye

Everyone had noticed Queen Tiye’s brown, long, beautifully curled hair in the golden parade and most of us started questioning how her hair is still preserved in this good condition and how it’s still that beautiful?

Would you like to know ancient Egyptian’s hair routine?

Well, Ancient Egyptians, men and women had cared about their hair cleanliness and its good look, al­though, most of the time, they seem to have kept it short and worn wigs. They were keen on washing their hair and using combs to brush and clean hair from insects. They had also used various prescriptions to treat hair diseases. Ebers Papyrus – one of the most famous ancient Egyptian medical papyrus – includes a whole section that concerns the treatment of baldness, as well as, hair and scalp welfare and hair preservation. Their prescription for treating baldness is to mix castor oil with fat from a hippopotamus, cat, crocodile, snake and an Ibex then rub this mixture on the head. They had used different kinds of creams and oils such as castor oil which were found in jars in several tombs. Also, after examining the hair of several mummies, we found out that ancient Egyptians had also used almond oil, scented oils, beeswax, pine oil and animal fat. Animal fats were like gel creams nowadays and were used to keep the curls stable and to protect their hair from Egypt’s dry weather along with other different uses. For the care of the scalp, they used a mixture of oils such as castor oil and moringa oil. They had also used beeswax and resin to get rid of head lice. Archaeologists had excavated many artefacts related to hair accessories such as hairpins, combs, implements possibly used for curling or braiding hair. Ancient Egyptians did not like grey hair. They made dyes from juniper berries and other types of plants to cover it up. The hair was usually washed and scented, and wealthy individuals employed hairdressers.

Bibliography:

Kandil, Hoda & Mohamdy, Mahmoud. (2018). Role of the Hair in Ancient Egypt. International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Management. Vol. 1, pp. 77-95.

Valdesogo, M. R. (2019). Hair and death in ancient Egypt: Mourning rits in the Pharaonic period.

Aldred, C. (1957). Hairstyles and History. Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. n.s. 15: 141 7.

Drioton, É. (1949). La coiffure feminine dans l'ancienne Égypte, dans la Femme nouvelle. Le Caire pp. 27–34.

Green, L. (2001). Hairstyles. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Vol. 2. Ed. D. B. Redford. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 73–6

Kriesel, C. (1958). Altagyptische Haar- und Barttrachten. Leipzig: Diplomarbeit (diploma).

Manniche, L. (1989). An Ancient Egyptian Herbal. London: British Museum Press.

Image Resources:

Kabil, N. (2021). The Secret to Queen Tiye’s Hair Routine. Rahetbally.com. [Accessed on: 19 April 2021]. Retrieved from: https://momsmag.rahetbally.com/en/secret-queen-tiyes-hair-routine/

Image of the sarcophagus of Princess Kawit, Retrieved from:

https://egymonuments.gov.eg/collections/kawit-sarcophagus-4/

Comments (1)

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  • John Doe

    Karim

    Jan 16, 2022 09:37:01

    Great

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