Prehistoric Headwear

Evidence concerning the way early man clothed and decorated his body has lasted for thousands of years, but very little has been discovered about how early humans cared for or styled their hair. Even the best-preserved bodies of ancient man reveal nothing about how hair was worn. Rock paintings from the years 15,000 to 10,000 B.C.E. found in caves in France and southern Spain show no specific hairstyles, nor do rock paintings found in the African Sahara dating from 7000 to 6000 B.C.E. Most archeologists believe that hair types were as variable as are found in humans today, with many different colors and textures of hair. It seems likely that both men and women wore their hair longer, because they lacked good tools for cutting hair. Caps of fur were probably worn to keep the head warm. Also, some of the jewelry that has been discovered seems to have been intended for holding back long hair. Men likely wore facial hair, again because of the lack of tools to remove it. If hair was cut, it was probably done with the same stone cutting tools used to chop wood and scrape animal furs.


Lambert, David, and the Diagram Group. The Field Guide to Early Man. New York: Facts on File, 1987.

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