How to make your hair more beautiful: Questionable advice from the olden days (1914)

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How to make your hair more beautiful (1914)

Questionable advice from the olden days on how to make your hair more beautiful

Reader question

Dear Mrs Thompson: Please give me a good shampoo or tonic that is not harmful for falling hair. I am only twenty years old, have no scalp disease or dandruff, but have falling hair. Also, will too frequent shampooing cause falling hair?

Please tell me how I can have pretty hair and lots of it. Tell me what to use to make it look alive and make it grow.

How to make your hair more beautiful (1914)

Answer from columnist Mrs Elizabeth Thompson, for Heart and Home Problems:

It may be that your general health needs to be improved. You can not hope to have good healthy hair unless your whole body is good and healthy. Take plenty of outdoor exercise (not too violent), eat nourishing food, sleep at least nine hours every night, keep clean inside and out.

Now for the hair: The great secret of pretty hair is cleanliness and muscle. The cleanliness applies to your brushes and combs as well as to the hair. The muscle applies to brushing. Get a medium stiff brush which will reach through the hair to the scalp, and brush your hair thoroughly every day, giving it at least 100 good, firm strokes. This means EVERY day.

Once a week, dip this brush in kerosene (coal oil) and brush the hair thoroughly with it. Kerosene is about the safest germicide you can use, and a little kerosene on the brush is good for the hair. [Modern day editor’s note: This is really not a good idea.]

To take out the superfluous oil, rub the scalp daily with a mixture of alcohol, two ounces; witch hazel, two ounces; resorcin, 14 grains.

Every night, before retiring, rub a little bit of castor oil into the scalp and gently massage the scalp. Let your hair have plenty of air and light.

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The hair may seem to come out a bit worse at first, but in a month you will see an improvement.

Once every three or four weeks is often enough for a shampoo. Use eggs for shampooing. Beat up two eggs, rub well into the hair and scalp, let dry. Then rinse out the eggs with lukewarm water into which you have put a little ammonia or baking soda. Rinse the hair several times in clear lukewarm water after this, then brush it dry.

By following these directions carefully, you will find yourself a quite different looking person in three months. But you must keep at it everlastingly if you want to be and stay good looking.

vintage-photo-Woman combing her hair in railroad car

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