The Find

Hair do’s and don’ts

Hair as an artform, in Mexico, about 1935. Hair as an artform, in Mexico, about 1935. (Scholastic Inc.)
By Jan Gardner
Globe Correspondent / July 31, 2011

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Aristotle and Julius Caesar were both desperate to find a cure for their baldness. The Greek philosopher rubbed goat urine on his head, and Queen Cleopatra applied a blend of horse teeth, deer marrow, and toasted mice to Caesar’s bald pate. What men and women through the ages have done to their hair is just as wild. They’ve dyed it with saffron and lye, rubbed avocado in to make it velvety, and whitened it with chalk. A book for young and old alike, “Big Wig: A Little History of Hair’’ (Scholastic) by Kathleen Krull and illustrator Peter Malone takes an irreverent look at an obsession that shows no signs of letting up.