Did you know that humans have been attempting to cure baldness for over 6,000 years? One of the earliest baldness cures was a ground mixture of dates, donkey hooves, and dog paws! Used by ancient Egyptians, it was believed to help increase hair growth. Believe it or not, this isn’t even the weirdest baldness cure from the past. Here are our top three:
The Crosley Xervac
Though it sounds like it came straight out of a science fiction movie, the Crosley Xervac was a real invention that was introduced in the 1940s in the U.S. This machine was basically a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner attached to a cap that sealed around the head. The idea was that the vacuum suction would promote blood circulation in the scalp. People attached the cap to their bare noggins, and let the vacuum attempt to encourage hair growth. Clearly, this device did not become the cure that the makers hoped for.
The Irish remedy was a baldness cure from around the year 1000 A.D. Anyone suffering from baldness was told to put mice (whether they were live or dead is up for debate) into a clay jar, and then seal the jar and bury it underground next to a fire. A year later, the sufferer would dig up the jar and apply the contents to the scalp. The concoction was said to be so powerful that the user had to wear gloves – getting the stuff on your fingers was said to cause hair to grow from your fingertips! The effectiveness of this treatment was never recorded.
Another science-fiction-worthy device, the Thermocap was introduced in the 1920s in the U.S. This cap was worn like a fez, and applied heat and blue light to the wearer’s scalp. It was believed that 15 minutes a day under this device would encourage dormant hair follicles to activate. In 1923, an advertisement suggested that the cure for baldness had at last been discovered with the Thermocap; sadly, that advertisement seems to have been wrong.
With so many strange historical remedies out there for hair loss, we can be thankful that today we have ones that actually work.