Schermafbeelding 2020-03-09 om 21.20.52k

Ancient extensions


From the very beginning of pharaonic history, hair extensions have been used. Some were made of human hair, but also goat hair and other animal hair extensions have been found by archaeologists. Extensions were often added loose to the inventory of ancient tombs and graves.

On this page you will find images of what some of these extensions looked like. On the image at the bottom of the page, the making of a hairpiece or extension is depicted on an ancient Egyptian relief from the tomb of Neferu. The extensions may have been added to the original hair of the wearer by, for instance, braiding the extensions into a braid of the hairstyle. This can be seen in the images here as well.

Extensions with the same hair colour as the hair of the wearer may be used to produce a hairstyle, but from ancient Egypt we also find extensions where the person wearing the extensions shows a very different hair colour than that of the extension hair.


The sizes of the ancient extensions vary considerably. In Amarna, extensions were found with bulbs of 1 cm or more in diameter. But also extensions with bulbs the size of 2 or 3 mm were found. In ancient times so it seems, the extensions were worn clearly visible in the hair: the ties, wraps and colour of the extensions were not hidden in the hairstyles like we would nowadays.