The hair loss has been an issue for the human society for thousands of years and throughout the years, people tried to invent new solutions or try new strategies to fight hair loss and baldness. The reason for all these time, resources and human power put in to find a solution for these problems is because aesthetically the hair is a very important part of a human’s body and it has been this way for six thousand years.
The earliest known sources that show the efforts made for finding a solution to hair loss and baldness are from the Ancient Egyptian civilization. And after the Ancient Egyptians, countless methods were tried by different people in different civilizations throughout the ages. The first attempts made by the Ancient Egyptians in the years around 4000 B.C. which was extracting and applying the fats of various animals such as snakes, cats, lions and hippopotamuses are now replaced by the most permanent and effective result today: the hair transplant operation.
Hair loss in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome
The Ancient Egyptians around the year 4000 B.C. were the first ones who developed a special formula for baldness. This formula was special and it was made only for the pharaohs of Egypt. Creating the formula required a lot of time and study and it consisted of various odd ingredients but at the end, the formula was found to be unsuccessful.
In Ancient Greece, Hypocrites who is known as the father of the medicine was also suffering from baldness and he attempted to prepare a solution for himself. The ingredients of his formula consisted of pigeon manure, dead nettle, cummin and opium, but the results were negative and even the father of the medicine was unable to find a solution for baldness.
The Roman Emperor Caesar in 100 B.C. was also suffering from hair loss and he gathered a team that consisted of all the doctors that were inside the boundaries of his mighty empire but just like the attempts that were made in the other civilizations before, this attempt for fighting baldness also failed.
Hair loss history in medieval times
In medieval times, due to malnourishment and the stress brought by the constant wars, the hair loss was a quite common situation among the regular citizens. But for the elites and the monarchs of the countries, this was not acceptable and that is why Louis the XIII. of France was wearing a wig to hide his baldness. But of course, this was not a natural or permanent solution either.
Hair loss history in the 19th century
In the 19th century, a smart salesman made a phoney cure for hair loss which was ‘’snake oil’’. It was the same ingredient that was tried by the Egyptians and had failed and of course, it failed again.
First steps that lead to the modern hair transplant operation
- In 1939 the Japanese dermatologist Dr. Okuda performed the first successful hair transplant in history but this was not a hair transplant operation to the scalp. This operation was performed on the eyebrows and eyelashes of a soldier who lost them in war.
- The second milestone was in the year of 1950, U.S.A. Dermatologist Orentreich performed the first successful hair transplant on male subjects.
- In 1995 a couple of doctors published the first scientific article about follicular transplantation.
- In 2002 Dr. William Rassman and Robert Bernstein introduced the FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) method as the method which gives the less damage to the tissue during the hair transplant operation because the donor area was left unharmed throughout the operation. This method is still the most developed and sophisticated method of hair transplant today and it offers a permanent solution for baldness.