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Going Back to Our Roots

Going Back to Our Roots

Did you know that hair care in the Philippines started as early as the 15th century? Learn about how our pre-colonial ancestors began the hair care practices we know today here!

This coming Sunday, June 12, we will be celebrating Independence Day, marking 126 years since the Philippines gained independence from Spain and became a free country. To celebrate Independence Day this year, we want to take this time to go back to our roots.

Ever wonder how hair care was done in the Philippines more than 400 years ago? Keep reading to find out how our ancestors in pre-colonial times did their hair care and how you can keep those traditions alive today!

Hair in the Past

In the 15th-16th century Philippines, both men and women had long hair and were known to be very proud of their hair. Some Visayans were even recorded to have hair down to their waists. Some Filipinos held their hair in such high regard that cutting it served as a punishment or a sign for mourning. “It was only cut when they were being punished for a crime as a sort of shame, or someone, a close relative for example, died.” (Pinoy-Culture, 2013).

Hair Care in the Past

Even during the pre-colonial times, hair care was highly valued by our ancestors. Both men and women coated their hair with perfumes acquired from flowers and plants to give it a pleasant aroma, alongside oils such as sesame oil to nourish it. Moreover, a vine called Gugo (sounds familiar?) was crushed, dried, and then soaked in water to draw out its juices to be used as a natural shampoo.

Aside from flower perfumes, sesame oil, and Gugo, the use of aloe vera and coconut oil was already practiced as early as the 15th century to stimulate healthy and fuller hair. And with our ancestors viewing their hair as ornaments, both men and women took hair care a step forward by placing flowers in their hair as a means of decoration.

Hair Today

Today, there are many ways to style your hair to give it your own personal touch. Unlike our pre-colonial ancestors, long hair is not the norm given the variety of hairstyles available to us now. Some may opt for shorter hairstyles like pixie, under, or buzz cuts, while others may go for longer ones such as those tailored through layering. 

Simultaneously, modern hair trends such as coloring one’s hair different colors are frequently seen in contemporary times. With a multitude of colors ranging from classic blacks, browns, and whites, all the way to more vibrant reds, blues, and greens—dyeing one’s hair further makes it a statement of who you are.

Hair Care Today 

Although our ancestors started natural hair care practices way back in the 15th century, these solutions are still alive today. Local brands like us at Zenutrients have products containing the rich and natural ingredients used then. Among these are our Aloe Vera Moisturizing Shampoo, Virgin Coconut Oil balm, Coco Honey Shampoo and Conditioner, and our best-selling Gugo Shampoo and Conditioner.

Shop our hair care collection now and keep hair care traditions of the past alive with Zenutrients!

What was your favorite fun fact from this blog? Let us know in the comments.


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