10 Gross Hygiene Trends That Were A Thing Back Then

History | Health | Did You Know

10 Gross Hygiene Trends That Were A Thing Back Then

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Throughout history, people have gone to great lengths to keep clean, ward off diseases, and become more attractive.

We still do it today, and we'll probably be shamed for it in the future, but nothing beats these 10 hygiene trends from history.

Seriously, what were people thinking...

1. Chicken poop to cure baldness.

The combination of chicken poop and potassium was thought to help hair grow back in the 17th century.

2. Poisonous plants used for blush.

Belladonna, a poisonous plant that works as a hallucinogen, was used to create the effect of blush. Women in the 16th and 17th century rubbed the leaves on their cheeks to give them flushed cheeks. There was definitely a chemical reaction going on there that made their cheeks red.

3. Removing body hair with x-rays.

In the early 20th century, people exposed themselves to deadly rays for more than 20 hours to make their hair fall out. Of course it worked, but they eventually developed cancer from all that radiation.

4. Dentures made out of the teeth of dead soldiers.

They would remove a soldiers's teeth, place them in artificial gums, and give it to patients.

5. Crocodile dung used as contraception.

In ancient Egypt they believed these reptile droppings would prevent pregnancies. I really hope they didn't insert the poo in their lady parts!

Keep reading to learn about more bizarre hygiene trends...

6. People ate chalk to become more "beautiful."

Putting whitening powder on your face is one thing, but eating it is another. Some women in the 18th and 19th century ate chalk believing that it will give them a beautiful pale face. It actually worked! Their face went pale because they felt so ill, but they didn't look more attractive.

7. Radium used as hair dye.

We're all aggravated by our gray hairs, but putting super harsh chemicals on them may not be the smartest thing to do. Women were obsessed with applying radium to restore their gray hairs to their original color. Their hair just ended up falling out because of the radioactive isotopes.

8. Urine used as mouthwash.

The ancient Greeks believed pee could prevent many diseases and also whiten their teeth. Yuck.

9. Moss used as menstruation pads.

Women can't imagine living without modern day menstrual products, but before pads and tampons were invented, women used the strangest things to absorb their vaginal discharges. You gotta do what you gotta do.

10. Communal baths.

I mean it makes sense that people shared bath water with each other, since it took a long time to heat up enough water, but it still doesn't make it any less gross. Everyone's dead skin cells should not be mingling with each other! I'm just saying.

Which historical hygiene trend is the most gross?

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.