New discovery: Hair extensions are as old as ancient Egyptians
Nevine El-Aref, Wednesday 24 Sep 2014
A newly discovered body of an ancient Egypitan woman reveals that the Amarna people used hair extensions in their coiffures

During recent excavation work at Tel Al-Amarna city – the ancient Egyptian capital during the reign of monotheistic pharaoh Akhnaten – archaeologists discovered a woman with more than 70 elaborate and lengthy hair extensions. The discovery sheds light on Amarna’s hairstyles.

Archaeologist Jolanda Bos – who leads research of Amarna’s hairstyles – published in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology stated that during her study she found that the uncovered woman was not mummified but that her body was wrapped in a mat.

“Her head was covered with a very complex hairdo with almost 70 extensions fastened in different layers and heights on her head,” Bos wrote in the journal. She suggested that the hair was most likely styled after death before being buried adding that “these hairstyles were also used in everyday life.”

Bos continued that studies on the necropolis at Amarna revealed that 28 out of 100 recently excavated skulls have different coiffures worn in Egypt between 1353-1335 BC. Some of them have curly black hair while others have brown straight hair while the rest have gray to white hair.

“Multiple people donated their hair to create extensions,” Bos pointed out. She also revealed that most of the skulls have braids with different sizes and some of them have died hair with henna to hide the gray colour.