Hair is not just an attractive frame to the face, an adjunct to our vanity to be teased into a fashionable style which
makes a statement about ourselves It is indeed our crowning glory, a symbol of our virility, our desirability, and when it starts to fall out or turn grey our morale takes a decided turn for the worse.Such is our state of mind on the subject that remedies for baldness litter the pages of old encyclopedias and as little as 50 years ago otherwise sensible and seemly matrons would cheerfully pour a mixture of sulphate of iron and red wine over their heads to prevent greying. Nowadays we do far worse but would do better by ensuring that our hair is kept healthy and in a good condition by maintaining a sensible diet and lifestyle and trying to avoid using harsh and possibly damaging products on our hair.
It was thought that prematurely greying hair was caused by a diet deficient in copper and iron and could be halted by a greater intake of prunes radishes, onions, lentils, raspberries and rye bread, but gipsy women with a thick mane of glossy black hair would swear that drinking nettle tea had the same effect. In Italy women macereted the rind taken from several green oranges in olive oil for two months nad massaged this into their hair to restore the colour when it had faded. In an age when there were few artificial aids hair beauty, women grew their hair until it reached their toes.The other side of that coin is that we may now view baldness as a sign of extreme virility or why else would all these strapping chaps shave their heads.
Bay rum, which was rnade from the leaves of the bayberry tree, was a very popular hair tonic with both men and women.Another remedy for darkening grey hair was to make 600ml of strong Indian tea using 25g of leaf and let it stand until cold.The tea was then strainedand mixed with 100ml of Jamaica rum and applied once a day.
Soapwort and Camomile Shampoo
1 tablespoon each dried camomile
flowers and powdered soapwort root
275ml boiling water
Infuse the herbs in the water overnight then strain before using.Soapwort any part of the herb makes a soapy liquid which whilst it does not lather will thoroughly cleanse the hair.Camomile will strengthen and lighten weak hair but other herbs may be used to meet specific problems.
An Excellent Hair Tonic
100g each nettle leaves
nasturtium flowers, seeds and leaves
and box leaves
Chop the leaves and put them in a glass jar with the rum to macerate for three weeks Strain through a fine nylon sieve pressing well to extract all the liquid.Massage frequently into the scalp to condition the hair.It is perhaps to do this at night.
Home made Brilliantine50g white wax
400ml olive oil
4 drops each bergamot and clove oil
2 drops geranium oil
Melt the wax in a bowl over hot water then beat in the warm olive oil followed by the essential oils.Remove from the heat and continue beating until cooling.Pour into pots and seal when cold.Apply a little on the fingertips and smooth through the hair to give gloss and condition.
* Beer Rinse the hair with beer to give body.
* Lemon juice Comb lemon juice through the hair and leave to dry naturally to give light streaking if you can dry the hair in the sun the effect can be quite starling.It works best on light brown hair.
* To lighten hair Dye with rhubarb root or stem.Rinse with camomile, elderflower hair.
* To give red hues Rinse with saffron, ginger root, marigold or red oak bark.Use red henna to dye the hair.
* To highlight dark hair Rinse with cloves,lemon verbena or box.
* To colour dark, greying hair Rinse with rosemary, sage walnut leaves and shell.
Dandruff is a scaly condition of the scalp caused by the hair follicle becoming blocked with excess sebum and is therefore associated with oily skin and acne.It can equally well be caused by stress and anxiety or by keeping the head covered.
Follow this routine.Wash the hair every other day using a mild baby shampoo then rinse the scalp in either warm water to which you have added 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar or a strong infusion of one of the following burdock root, stinging nettles, raspberry leaves, sage, goosegrass, marjoram, parsley quince seeds, roseniary or southernwood. Any of the herbs can be added to soapwort shampoo.
Follow a diet high in Fresh fruits, vegetables and protein.
* Apple juice tonic Mix together 1 tablespoon of pure apple juice and 3 tablespoons of warm water and mass age into the scalp three times a week.
* Rosemary and borax Mix 5 tablespoons of strong rosemary infusion with a pinch of borax and massage into the
* Nasturtium tea Make a strong infusion with l drop of essential oil of thyme added to it. Use to rinse the hair or massage the scalp.
DRY, THINNING HAIR AND HAIR LOSS
Hair loss can be caused by anxiety, tension, shock, drugs, illness or hormonal upheavals including pregnancy.When the hair comes out in patches it is known as alopecia.Drink lots of water and improve the diet by supplementing it with brewer’s yeast and, according to some sources, beetroot juice.It is also thought that a silica deficiency might cause falling hair.Use a very mild or herbal shampoo daily and a protein or oil-based conditioner.Massaging the scalp regularly with a restorative oil or tonic will also promote growth.Treat the hair carefully using only a very soft brush or, preferably, a wide toothed comb. Ifthe condition does not improve consult a specialist.
Old fashioned cures included steeping a sliced onion in rum for hours and using the resulting liquid as a massage which, although it works very efliciently to halt falling hair, is a little antisocial.Other remedies incorporated chilli, garlic and castor oil. More practical infusions may be made from mallow root, parsley seed, catmint, rosemary, marjoram and nasturtium.
* Hot oil conditioner Heat a small bowl of olive oil or a herbal oil and massage it well into the scalp until the hair is completely saturated. Comb through with a wide toothed comb then massage again.Cover your hair in a plastic cap
and swathc your head in a hot towelLeave overnight for the best results and shampoo in the morning with a mild
* Essential oiis of ccdorwood and southern wood Dilute 3 drops of each oil in 1 teaspoon of base oil and massage into the scalp for hair loss and alopecia.
* Eucalyptus oil B.P Three parts of eucalyptus oil mixed with 1 part of clove oil rubbed into the scalp at night
will prevent hair loss.
* Yoghurt Yoghurt alone, rubbed well into the scalp after shampooing and left for 10 minutes, will condition hair and
clear up problems allecting the scalp but with 1 egg whisked into it it becomes doubly effective for line, light
and uncontrollable hair.Rinse well alter using.
* Southernwood tonic Pour 5 tablespoons each of strong southernwood infusion and mild eau de Cologne into a
bottle and shake well.Use diluted 1 tablespoon of tonic to one of warm water and massage into the scalp twice a week.Use only on oily hair which is showing signs of coming out but remember that a certain amount of hair loss is normal.
* Rosemary and castor oil Mix in the proportions of 2 tablespoons of castor oil to 4 drops of essential oil of rosemary.Massage the warmed oils into the hair, cover and leave overnight.Wash the next day using a mild shampoo.This is a healing conditioner to prevent hair loss after illness.
* Watercress Macerate 100g of watercress in 100ml of alchol for one week with 1 tablespoon of oil of geranium.Used as a tonic this promotes hair growth.
I give below a range of remedies which have not as yet turned ine into a millionaire.Many unscrupulous people have made their fortunes from the belief that baldness is a sign of sans eyes, sans teeth, sans everything which nowadays is known to be patently untrue.However I glean quiet satisfaction from the thought that as women have until recently suffered the most obvious signs of ageing it is nice to know that something drops off the chaps so publicly.The silly season of remedies includes horseradish up each. nostril, the thin rind of lemon applied to the temples or cow dung tied on to the head with a clean cloth which apparently only works with women methinks there is a chauvinist at work.
* Sunlight As keeping the head covered is said to cause hair loss, exposing the head to the elements, within
reason, is commonsense.
* Nettles Drink nettle tea to prevent hair loss.Rub nettlejuice into the scalp.Nettie leaves and burdock root
macerated in rum is another good hair restorer, as is nettle leaves macerated in warm vinegar.Another nettle remedy
and one which was guaranteed to workwas to macerate 50g cach 0F nettle tops and flowering tips marjoram in 1 litre of brandy or rum for three weeks.
* Onions Rub the head with onion juicc night and morning until red then anoint with honey.I have heard that one must suffer to bc beautiful.
Garlic Hair Unguent
100g fresh garlic
Crush the garlic very well and place it in a bowl with the beeswax.Stand this in a pan of hot water and heat until the
wax has melted then add the honey and continue to heat, stirring well, until the mixture is hot.Remove From the heat and beat until cool.Put into pots and seal.Rub a little into the head each night.
* Lavender or thyme Either of these macerated in alcohol will restore hair if applied several times a week.A strong
decoction will also prevent and arrest hair loss.
* Rosemary Apply either the essential oil or spirits of rosemary.However you could just wash with rosemary water
and dry with a flannel.
* Maidenhair and willow Simmer a handful each of chopped maiclenhair and willow leaves in olive oil.Add a pinch of cinnamon and remove from the heat.Leave to stand overnight then strain and apply nightly.Massage with olive oil as an easy alternative.
* Beetroot juice Drink this decoction rather than anoint the head with it.
This is a scurfy patch on a new baby’s head, usually at the front of the scalp, which looks dingy and oily.Some silly old women, as opposed to sensible old wives, worry new young mothers terribly with tales of` poor hair growth and scalp infections.My own daughter was born with cradle cap which persisted for quite a long time but I am pleased to say that now, in her early teens, she has a magnificently luxurious and strong growth of hair.However it is important to wash and dry the scalp properly when the baby is bathed and it helps if you gently rub a little baby oil or sweet almond oil into the patch.It does ultimately disappear so do not worry unduly.
Every now and then panic stricken notices will be sent from school indicating that head lice are once again proving a pest, These are tiny little parasites which suck blood from the skin and live in the hair.They irritate and they spread like Fury in schools.They are most likely to have first occurred in an unhygienic home where children are neglected and were obviously far more prevalent 50 years ago than today.However with the fashion For long hair which is sometimes never untied or brushed the problem today may go unnoticed until it becomes a scourge.At one time every school in Britain was regularly visited by the nit nurse who would shave the poor victims head but now the school will insist that you all buy and use a special shampoo and they will also instruct the children on the personal hygiene of never sharing head gear brushes or combs and the necessity of washing and combing the hair regularly.If your child does have head lice and you have and aversion to the recomended shampoo try instead washing the hair with cider vinegar which should be left on for half an hour before rinsing.This must be done several times a day to remove the lice and eggs.As a precautions against harbouring lice rinse the hair with a strong infusion of southernwood after shampooing.