Hairdressers in ancient Rome had a difficult job. Many high class women demanded raven-black hair or manes of golden locks. Neither was that easy to achieve. Hair dyes were made from walnuts, cuttlefish ink and gall. Rich matrons might wear caps of fine gold mesh, poor women used animal bladders instead.
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“In those days, hair treatments required ingredients like decomposed leeches, urine and pigeon droppings.
A more highly sought after position was that of a flabifeller.
“Open to males or females, it involved carrying a fan for the mistress, flapping it on command. During the hot days of August, slaves might be in for some marathon fanning; most of the time, however, flabellifers were there for show, and knew it.
Musically inclined slaves nabbed the coveted fistulator positions, available only to those whose owners were public speakers. Fistulators carried a reed pitchpipe. To start, the fistulator gave a subtle toot or two so that the great man could proceed to orate at just the correct pitch. Gracchus, famed orator in republican times, was said to have been the first to flaunt a fistulator.
Dita and Scarlett appear in Flaunt Magazine