How Did People Brush Their Hair in Ancient Times?

In ancient times, brushing hair was not as simple as it is today. People had to rely on primitive tools and techniques to keep their hair healthy and well-groomed. Let’s take a look at how people in different cultures brushed their hair in ancient times.

Ancient Egyptians

The ancient Egyptians were known for their elaborate hairstyles, which required a great deal of maintenance. They used combs made of wood or bone to detangle their hair, and then used a mixture of oils and perfumes to keep it smelling good. Women often wore wigs made of human hair or wool, which were also styled using combs.

Ancient Greeks

The ancient Greeks believed that having long, flowing hair was a sign of beauty and masculinity. Men would often tie their hair back in a ponytail or wear it loose, while women would braid their hair or wear it up in elaborate styles. They used combs made of ivory or bronze to maintain their hair, and also used olive oil as a conditioner.

Ancient Romans

In ancient Rome, both men and women would use combs made of bone or ivory to keep their hair neat and tidy. Women would often wear their hair up in elaborate styles using pins and other accessories, while men would either wear it short or tie it back in a ponytail.

Native Americans

Native American tribes had different methods for maintaining their hair depending on the region they lived in. Some tribes would use combs made of bone or wood to detangle their hair, while others preferred brushing with animal bones or porcupine quills. They also used natural oils like jojoba or coconut to condition their hair.


The Vikings were known for their long, braided hairstyles which were often adorned with beads and other ornaments. They used wooden combs to detangle their hair, and also used a mixture of tar and animal fat to keep it clean and healthy.


As you can see, people in ancient times had to rely on a variety of tools and techniques to keep their hair looking its best. While we may take our modern hairbrushes for granted, it’s important to remember the ingenuity and resourcefulness of our ancestors when it comes to maintaining their appearance.