Hair extensions: evolution through time

Hair extensions often seem like such an innovative solution that they must be a modern invention. However, the reality is that humans have been loving hair extensions for thousands of years. They have been one of the most consistently used beauty products throughout history and it all started with the Ancient Egyptians..

A timeline of hair extensions

  • Ancient Egypt. Cleopatra was an icon in many ways so it’s no surprise that she was a fan of hair extensions. She used her hair extensions to create a wide range of different hair styles to boost her power and status. In general, the Ancient Egyptians loved their hair extensions in a variety of colours, such as red, gold and blue. They were made from a combination of human hair, sheep’s wool and palm leaf fibres, attached with natural wax.
  • 16th Century. Another queen – this time Elizabeth I – triggered a trend for red hair extensions (just like her own hair) at this time in history. These extensions were made from horse, goat and human hair.
  • 17th Century. French king Louis XIII was an early adopter of extensions for men, as he had a custom designed hair piece made to cover up a bald patch. His extensions were probably mostly human hair (the most expensive option) and often strung with pearls and decorations for events.
  • The Victorian era. The 18th century saw a trend for oversize hairstyles that spiked the demand for hair extensions. The most popular pieces were “postiches,” (“added hair”) and “switches,” which were the Victorian equivalent of clip-in hair extensions.
  • 1900s. Until this point in the hair extensions timeline it was mostly the rich and the royals who could afford to get creative with their hair. However, in the 1900s hats and hairpins became very popular and this gave everyone the chance to experiment with piling up their hair and making it look bigger – many women simply collected their own stray hairs with which to do this.
  • 1960s. Fast forward to the 1960s and the beehive hairstyle was something that many women could only achieve with hair extensions. This was the first decade when synthetic hair was used so that more people could afford to access wigs, extensions and hair pieces.
  • 1980s. In the era of the perm and the mullet, hair extensions got a lot more creative and “monofibre” extensions were introduced for the first time.
  • 1990s. Hair extensions were now a bona fide trend and synthetic hair was everywhere. Coloured clip-ins were some of the most popular thanks to music stars like Xtina.

Hair extensions today

The hair extensions market today is huge and there are lots of brands to choose from. Gold Fever is a market leader in luxury hair extensions, committed to ethical sourcing of hair for extensions and a more sustainable industry. Gold Fever is passionate about hair and creating the most innovative, high quality hair extensions that have a beautiful, realistic finish. Cutting edge technology, a compassionate commitment and exclusive formulas make Gold Fever a reliable choice for both excellence and ethics.

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