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  • Hair Raising Coifs: A History
  • Ana Tiwathia

Hair Raising Coifs: A History

The world’s most exotic ‘dos

 Hair Raising Coif's Blog April

When it comes to hair, humanity has collectively developed some strange customs over the years (cow dung hair gel, anyone?). What seems ordinary, intuitive and beautiful today might have folks wincing in disbelief in 100 years. Here are a few of the most entertaining:


The Maya lead the pack when it comes to strange hair customs. In ancient times it was common practice for the men to burn hair off of their scalp in a pattern to create a kind of artificial ‘receding hairline’ effect. Wealthy women wore their hair in tightly woven braids hung with elaborate (and heavy) ornaments. Seems like the ladies got the better end of that deal…

 Victorian Era Europe

While the Maya devised bizarre ways to get rid of hair, Europeans were busy trying to grow it. In the 1800s and 1900s hair vacuums became popular. An individual could have a giant vacuum attached to their lock-challenged scalp for a sucking session that was thought to increase circulation and thus promote hair growth.

 During the 18th century, wealthy women wore towering, elaborate wigs, affixed and held in place with copious amounts of animal lard. While the fat proved an effective sculptor, women would continue to wear the same wig for months even after they became infested with lice and other insects (‘high class’ problem?).

Long-horn Miao

China's Long-horn Miao minority had and still have a tradition of saving the hair of their ancestors to craft elaborate head dresses or hats which they trot out for special occasions. You can think of them as heirloom extensions. 

Mwila Tribe

Women of the Mwila tribe in Angola section their hair into thick ‘braids’ and mold them with a thick mix of mud, cow dung and butter. The effect is a dramatic ‘do that stays in place and looks striking with the other ornamentation commonly worn.

Somewhere close to you, in the not too distant past…

Before foil there were highlight caps. Essentially a plastic bathing cap with holes through which sections of hair would be pulled and dyed, these funny-looking contraptions were used by folks looking to lighten their locks.

Trends may come and go, but some beauty practices remain constant and those are the ones that have inspired us at T’zikal. Like harnessing the most luxurious, effective, high-quality ingredients straight from the earth and enhancing them with modern science for optimal results. You’ll find this approach to beauty, this reverence for nature, can be found in all of our products, from Deep Hydrating Shampoo to Shine Rich Dry Oil Mist, Hand Balm to Hair Serum. Discover the collection and see for yourself:

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