Ancient Roman Baths
Like the other races mentioned, the Romans were devoted to their personal hygiene and also loved bathing. The famous Roman baths, which were erected as part of every Roman villa, also contained small side rooms, as had the early Egyptian dwellings. These side rooms were for personal ablutions, such as removing completely all body and facial hair. Roman men, however, did not shave their heads like the Egyptians but they ept their hair short with their distinctive bob, and made sure they were clean shaven everywhere else.
Roman citizens not wealthy enough to have their own baths incorporated into their homes, would frequent the public baths and depilatory shops where they could be bathed and shaved by slaves. The Romans were also fond of anointing the body with oils, mainly in the belief that such oils and lotions kept away infections. Combined with the strict personal hygiene of the race, it probably did.
Roman women, however, were much more liberated than their Greek sisters and used facial cosmetics liberally. A fine creamy skin, free from blemishes, was considered to be the height of good breeding and fine fashion. Cold cream is reputed to have been invented by Galen, a physician in Rome, and with only slight modifications, his recipe is still the basis of our present cold cream formula.With the coming of the northern slaves from Britain and Germany with their pale skins, the Roman women began to use bleach and white based cosmetics in an attempt to appear to have a lighter skin tone. They also tried bleaching their hair blonde. Possibly again to imitate the pale and classical looks of the northern slaves which seemed to excite the Roman male so much. However, they do not appear to have been too successful with their bleaches, as it has been recorded that they constantly wore wigs, made from the hair of the captured Gaulish women to cover up their own poor growths of hair.
Their constant quest for a perfect pale skin also began to take its toll as the cosmetics they used were usually a w=hite lead Jerivative. This had a very poisonous and destructive effect on the skin and sent the ladies scurrying to every seller of appointments and creams in search of an antidote to restore them, at least, to their former looks. The Roman lady of fashion appears to be the first to have openly attended a beauty salon. Special rooms were set aside at the popular baths for the painting of the face after the lady had hathed and had her body massaged with oils. These establishments then became questionable as the young males about town began hanging around them in attempts to seduce the more attractive, wealthy, or influential women.