Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The hair of the Celts

Astérix and Obélix.
Today's trivia: the ancient Celts of the first century B.C. had a combination bleaching/spiking treatment for their hair: quicklime. We know this thanks to the testimony of the Sicilian historian Diodorus, whose Universal History describes them this way:
The Gauls are tall of body, with rippling muscles, and white of skin, and their hair is blond, and not only naturally so, but they also make it their practice by artificial means to increase the distinguishing color which nature has given it. For they are always washing their hair in lime-water, and they pull it back from the forehead to the top of the head and back to the nape of the neck, with the result that their appearance is like that of Satyrs and Pans, since the treatment of their hair makes it so heavy and coarse that it differs in no respect from the mane of horses.

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