Hair

The gold ring's chemical composition suggests it originated in Cornwall, England, and likely traveled to Germany via a vast trade network.

Cool Finds

Did a Bronze Age Woman Wear This 3,800-Year-Old Gold Spiral in Her Hair?

The precious metal accessory is the oldest gold object ever found in southwest Germany

Researchers are unsure whether the figurine is of Roman or Celtic origin.

Cool Finds

Did Early Britons Sport Mullets and Mustaches?

A first-century figurine found in England may reveal the ancient roots of a much-maligned hairstyle

Smithsonian anthropologists hold up the world’s longest beard after it was donated to the National Museum of Natural History in 1967.

Smithsonian Voices

Celebrate Five of Nature's Best Beards on World Beard Day

In the sea, the sky and the land between, organisms sport bristles, fuzz and fur of all styles

Women Who Shaped History

A Tour of Beauty Industry Pioneer Madam C.J. Walker’s Indianapolis

The hair-care magnate at the center of the new Netflix series 'Self Made' left her imprint on the city where she launched her career

Some soldiers (although not necessarily the ones pictured here) dyed their lighter locks to avoid appearing washed out in photographs.

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Find Hair Dye Bottles Used by Self-Conscious Civil War Soldiers Posing for Portraits

Hair-do it for the gram

On the lid of the two-ounce can of Madam C. J. Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower, her top-selling product, appears an African-American woman with thick, flowing hair. That woman was Walker herself.

Ingenious Women

How Business Executive Madam C. J. Walker Became a Powerful Influencer of the Early 20th Century

A tin of hair conditioner in the Smithsonian collections reveals a story of the entrepreneurial and philanthropic success of a former washerwoman

Expect a hair-raising good time at the annual International Hair Freezing Contest.

Expect Stiff Competition at This Year’s International Hair Freezing Contest

The annual event at Canada’s Takhini Hot Pools draws people from around the world competing for the title of the world’s coolest ’do

The Cairns Broch site in Orkney, Scotland

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Find 2,000-Year-Old Wooden Bowl, Strands of Hair in Northern Scotland

The Iron Age artifacts were sealed in a subterranean chamber of the Cairns Broch, a tower-like stone structure

Researchers have found that graphene could work as a hair dye.

Graphene Hair Dye Is Gentle on Your Locks. But Is It Safe?

Unlike traditional hair dyes, graphene coats the hair surface without chemically altering it

Gilbert Stuart Williamstown Portrait of George Washington

Lock of Washington’s Hair Found in 18th-Century Almanac

It was once common practice to give away locks of hair as gifts and keepsakes

Many animals, like this red sphinx cat, are bred to be hairless. Other times, animal baldness is a symptom of stress and other factors.

Ask Smithsonian

Do Other Animals Besides Humans Go Bald?

From Andean bears to Rhesus macaques, non-human mammals have hair woes of their own

During World War I, a critical shaving tool caused critical illness in hundreds of people.

World War I: 100 Years Later

How Shaving Brushes Gave World War I Soldiers Anthrax

A new paper looks back on an old epidemic—and raises fresh questions about antique shaving brushes

Clerks (right) will no longer have to wear their distinctive wigs in the House of Commons.

Trending Today

British Parliament Is Losing its Wigs

They’re itchy, formal—and part of centuries of tradition

Capt. (Dr.) Tejdeep Singh Rattan (right) checks in a patient during the triage portion of an exercise during the Basic Officer Leadership Course at Camp Bullis, Texas in 2010. Rattan was the first Sikh allowed to keep his articles of faith while in uniform in 23 years.

Trending Today

Muslim and Sikh Troops Can Now Wear Beards, Turbans and Headscarves

The U.S. Army just changed its grooming regulations to accommodate observant soldiers

Hair removal is personal—but it may be time to bring science to the party.

Bare Down There? New Study Suggests You’re More Susceptible to STIs

Your pubic preferences could be linked to your sexual health

Female workers make wigs to be exported at a hair products factory in China's Sichuan province.

The Secret History of Buying and Selling Hair

Globalization hit the hair trade centuries ago, and the business is still thriving

Trending Today

British Barber Proposes Beard Tax

Inspired by historical examples, Antony Kent wants men to pay a 100-pound fee to rock a bushy beard

How many curls can you count?

Cool Finds

A Buddha in Japan Is Missing Half of Its Curls

What happened to the Buddha of Nara's famous 'do?

Curly or straight, hairstyles are "a personal expression of beauty."

New Research

Curly Hair Science Is Revealing How Different Locks React to Heat

A mechanical engineer tackles the understudied problem of how to style curls without frying hair

Cool Finds

People Used to Wear Dunce Caps to Shower

“Extinguisher caps” were nineteenth-century shower caps

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