8 December 2021

Coiffure Legendaire: The Magic of Ancient Combs

Present in everyday life from thousands of years ago, the comb is a huge part in the evolution of the image of men and women throughout history.

Today we are presenting some of the legendary ancestral combs that can be found at the Museum of History of Hairdressing of Raffel Pages, and they are little treasures of the heritage of humanity and hair… the most recent comb we present already dates back more than 500 years!

The first combs from antiquity were made of wood, bone, and in some civilizations, metal. Its function, centuries and centuries later, has not changed much: it’s a basic accessory for beautification, care and maintenance of the hair that’s simple and easy to use, and has been shared by all cultures and societies from the mists of time.

The first combs, as the oldest you will discover today, were found in Egyptian tombs. Some of the most sophisticated comb designs not only were used to comb and arrange hair, but also as a decorative element in the hairstyles. Later, in the middle ages, some combs reached the category of liturgical objects, holding a high symbolic value. In the modern age, materials such as ivory and tortoiseshell were frequently used to create refined combs as which you will discover here, belonging to the Medici family.

The genuine democratization of the comb came in the 19th century, from the invention of parkesine, created in 1861 by British inventor Alexander Parkes, who showed that it could be used to produce everyday tools such as a comb or plastic.

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