pigeon poo for hair loss?One of the great historical truths for men throughout the ages is that it’s very likely that you’ll lose your hair as you get older. The hair restoration industry is predicted to be worth over $3 billion in 2017 – it’s a serious business and proves that men are preoccupied with stemming the ravages of time. Of course there are a number of clinically proven options now from transplants to low level laser therapy but what could you do before these modern treatments became available?

Drinking chicken urine

Even at the dawn of civilization in ancient Greece there is evidence of a preoccupation with hair loss with no lesser a person than Hippocrates, the father of medicine prescribing himself with treatments for his own baldness. The topical application of pigeon droppings, opium, beetroot, horseradish and spices would certainly have made for an interesting aroma but apparently had no effect on his hair loss. He then advised drinking chicken urine although again there is no evidence of any positive results. It’s not just chicken urine that was thought to do the trick. In india Hindu worshippers advise drinking the urine of virgin cows, although this has to be before sunrise for the treatment to work apparently.

Herbs and cow dung?

The Ancient Egyptians, not wanting to be outdone, had a range of hair loss remedies including a topical mixture of hippopotamus, ibex and crocodile fats which should be applied to the scalp for four days. This was probably preferable to the alternative of herbs and cow dung although it’s not clear which was the more effective of the two treatments. The weird and whacky even carried on into the 20th century with the invention of the Xervac by the Crosley Corporation from Cincinnati. Embracing the invention of the vacuum cleaner they proposed similar technology to suck hair out of the head to help it grow. Whilst many of these “cures” might seem amusing now the extent to which men will go to restore their youthful looks show that this is clearly no laughing matter.

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By Ian Watson

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