Saturday, 11 June 2011

Hair care


A beautiful hairdo begins with taking care of the hair. The recommendations in the 1940’s were a bit different from today, for example how often one should wash. There are different bids, though. I have found one recommendation for washing normal hair once a week and greasy hair even less often. Another book states that really dry hair should only be washed every third week- if possible only every forth, while greasy hair should be washed every seventh or tenth day. But whatever advice you follow, the rule is that the hair should be as clean as possible.




If you don’t wash your hair every day, there are other ways to keep it clean, like making sure that combs and brushes are cleansed at least once every week. Wash them in soapy water with some ammonia added. With this clean tool and throughout brushing should be done every evening remove lint and dirt. Wrap a brush with gauze bandage so the bristles poke through. Brush the hair at least for five minutes and then discard the gauze after one brushing. If that is done every day, there will be no need to use dry shampoo.



Dry, dark hair should not be washed in shampoo powder as it is too drying. Instead boil a piece of Marseille soap in some water. Whisk two egg yolks into the boiling water and then wash the hair and scalp in it. Rinse several times in tepid water, finishing with a rinse with cold water. If possible, let the hair dry naturally. If the hair feels dry after, then dampen some cotton wool in oil and rub it on to a clean comb. Before a washing, the scalp should have been rubbed with some tepid olive, almond or Makassar oil, one to two hours beforehand.



Dry, fair hair should be treated like dark, but with some additional treatment to upkeep the blondness. When boiling the soap, put some bran in a fabric bag and boil with it. Then when rinsing, rinse every other time with chamomile tea (25 gram chamomile to 1 liter water) and the next with pressed lemon mixed with some water. After drying, don’t put oil in it, but rather some Vaseline.




Greasy hair should be washed in a solution that in Swedish is called såpsprit, which consists of soft soap, ethanol and water, or a lye made from the bark of the Quilaya. I have no idea kind of tree that is. To make the hair soft, add some borax or vinegar to the rinse. To make the hair shiny, add a few drops of olive oil to the rinse, the amount will be so small that it doesn’t do the hair greasy.



Grey hair on the elderly should not be dyed and should be treated accordingly if it is greasy or dry. To give it a nice tone, add some bluing to the rinse. To make hair white, wash the scalp every other day in brandy. If going prematurely grey, then it is perfectly fine to dye it, but don’t ever do it on your own.



As you see, the advices given are rather sound, possibly with the exception of what fat hairs should be washed in. Hair generally doesn’t need to be cleaned every day as it strips the scalp of their natural oils. Personally I clean my hair every fifth day, or so, depending on what I have been doing and where I have been.

9 comments:

paisleyapron said...

This is fascinating! I think you mean "greasy" hair, not "fat" hair. As an interesting anecdote, my grandmother was a teenager in the forties and she still washes her hair once a week, with a vinegar rinse at the end. She has beautiful, very long hair. Perhaps there's some secret in the "old-fashioned" way of washing hair...

Isis said...

paisleyapron: Thank you, that is exactly what I meant. I knew it didn't rang quite true when I wrote it. Well, the joys of not writing in your native language... I shall edit the post. :)

Yes, I do think there are! And if not, it is still fun to hear how it was done. :)

Emily & Gracie said...

This is indeed interesting! I think people nowadays, at least in America, are obsessed with hair washing - its kind of taboo to admit you don't wash it everyday! I used to wash my hair once or even twice a day, but once I switched to once every two or three days, my hair has gotten much less dry and much thicker! So its nice to see a compilation of vintage hair advice thats encouraging this. :) Also the pictures accompanying it are lovely!
- Emily

kitchen bumpkin said...

I totally agree wih this, my curls are much more lustorous and shiny after the 4th day. This may sound gross but it is true! :) I dont let it get greasy though.

Isis said...

Emily: I agree, there is a kind of a taboo, though hair can't possibly get dirty in just one day, unless in extreme cicumstances.

kitchen: I don't think it sounds gross. :) My hair is usually at it's best 2-4 days after a wash, and then I ususally wash it the fifth. I have very dry hair, though, so it diesn't get greasy ever.

Erin said...

I wash my hair every other day but I wish I didn't need to wash it so often. My hair is dry but the roots get greasy looking after the second day. I love these tips though, I think I may try the brush + gauze idea! -^_^- Thanks!

Isis said...

Ein: The hair takes a little while to get used to not being washed so often. I strated with letting it go one day longer between washes for several weekes before I added a day. I have never tried to brush with gauze- I'd love to hear what you make of it if you do.

Rowenna said...

Great post! I wash every two-three days--my curls tend to mash up and frizz horribly after three days so I don't go much longer than that. But my stylist always compliments my healthy hair, and I think it's mostly from not overwashing!

Isis said...

Rowenna: Glad you enjoyed it! I wouldn't be surprised if that is why your hair is in good condition!

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