View Full Version : Did the Vikings used to dye their Hair?

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006, 01:33 PM
I remember reading a while back, that "Blondism" was a highly prized thing in Viking times, and some would use Henna and Lye to dye their hair a strawberry Blonde colour.

Does anyone have anymore information on this?

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006, 01:43 PM
The Arabic observer Ibn Fadlan noted that men of the Rus bleached their beards to a saffron yellow. Some scholars therefore believe that it is likely that they bleached their hair as well. This bleaching was accomplished using a soft, strongly basic soap, where the excess lye in the mixture provided the bleaching action. Pliny the Elder noted this practice among the Germanic tribes, and states that men were more likely to bleach their hair than women:

Soap is the invention of the Gauls and this is used to redden the hair. It is made from fat and ashes -- the best is beech wood ash and goat fat, the two combined, thick and clear. Many among the Germans use it, the men more than the women.

Most probably blonde hair was most prized among the Vikings, and the brunette women could bleach their hair, using the same method known to the Celts, in which a strongly basic soap was made and applied to the hair, with the bleaching action provided by the lye resulting in a red or red-gold hair colour.

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006, 09:20 PM
Would be a good way of returning to childhood's red...:D