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June 1967

Facts, Legends, and Myths About the Scalp Throughout History

Author Affiliations

Beaverton, Ore

From the Department of Cutaneous Biology, Oregon Regional Primate Research Center, Beaverton, Ore.

Arch Dermatol. 1967;95(6):629-631. doi:10.1001/archderm.1967.01600360075012

The literature on the human scalp is almost as vast as the myths, legends, and superstitions that flourished around it. From the 40-century-old medical papyri of the Egyptians, throughout Greek and Roman epochs, and down to modern times, the hair has been the object of both admiration and disgust: it was lauded in one of the earliest written poems, degraded by the Romans, and dignified by early Christianity. The first dermatological symposium was held in the 17th century and the subject was "De capelli e peli." This event probably paved the way to Malpighi, who first described correctly the anatomy of the human scalp.

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