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iVillage: Global Beauty: Skincare Traditions from Around the World

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Nile River Delta: Black Seed Oil as a Hair Thickener

The Pharoahs relied on black seed oil, derived from a variety of cumin seed, to thicken and condition their famously lustrous hair, and thousands of years later, people living near the Nile massage the oil into their scalps for the same effect. Some even credit the treatment with preventing premature graying, which is rare in Egypt.

Cultural practice: The seeds are milled into unrefined, highly fragrant oil that is applied directly to the scalp. (City-dwellers often buy the oil in easy-to-used capsules that can be mixed into shampoo.)

(CREDIT: Getty Images)
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