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( Originally Published Mid 1800s )
"Fair tresses man's imperial race ensnare,
Curf, or dandruff, unless in a most aggravated form, is not a disease. It is the result of neglect, or, in plain English, uncleanliness. Scurf, or furfura, is a natural and healthy formation and very frequently is produced by rapidly growing and very luxuriant hair. You may keep dandruff from accumulating, but you cannot prevent its formation. When the scurf is excessive, despite great cleanliness, it denotes an unhealthy condition of the scalp. In such cases, the following lotion may be used, but always in conjunction with very frequent washings:
Extract of rosemary.... 1 drachm.
Where there is itching with the scurf or dandruff, the cause is sometimes found to be parasitical. In such cases, washing the head frequently with a good bichloride of mercury soap is most effective. This soap can be purchased at any drug store.
The following cubstances are also employed for removing parasites: aphthol,mercurialointment, tobacco, cocculusindicus, pyrethrum, carbolic acid, and sulphur. Any of these remedies ;,an be procured in the form of powders, lotions, and ointments, and some in the form of soap. A good druggist will be your best guide in the matter. Naphthol and corrosive sublimate are well adapted for the cleanly removal of the parasites. Pure naphthol and pure kerosene are too inflammable and malodorous to be recommended as applications. If used, they should be,rendered less dangerous by mixing them with olive oil. Soda, borax, vinegar, alcohol, and diluted acetic acid are useful also for destroying the nits.
Allies of these parasites in their invasion are a low tone of the system, induced by poor and insufficient diet, also bad ventilation, and other unhygienic conditions. These constitute, under the circumstance, a true disease, and it is necessary in such cases that the sufferer should be invigorated by tonics, and at the same time that all depressing influences be removed.
VIGIER'S REMEDY FOR PARASITES
Doctor Vigier declares that the following formula will destroy parasitical life. It may be used upon the face or head:
Bichloride of mercury in solution.... 5 grammes.
TO KEEP THE HAIR AND SCALP HEALTHY
To prevent dandruff always use scrupulously clean hair brushes and do not use a fine comb. Do not wear anything which will heat the head. The following is recommended as a most excellent preventive of dandruff:
Tincture of cantharides....1 ounce.
Mix all together with six ounces of rose water. Rub the scalp thoroughly with this preparation until no further evidence of dandruff is noticed.
To keep the hair and scalp both in a healthy condition, it is necessary that they should be kept scrupulously clean.
SHAMPOO FOR DANDRUFF
Yolk of one egg, one pint of hot rain water, one ounce of spirit of rosemary; beat the mixture up thoroughly, and use it warm, rubbing it well into the skin of the head. Rinse thoroughly in several waters. This wash is good for dandruff where the ordinary shampoo fails.
TO CLEANSE THE SCALP
This is by no means easy with some constitutions. Lately I have heard of the wonderful effect produced by rubbing the scalp with a fresh lime. I advise subjects with obstinate cases to try this:
Divide the fruit in two, and as you need it, cut it for a fresh surface. At the end of a week wash the head with a yolk of an egg beaten in half a pint of warm water ; afterward rinse thoroughly, and repeat the whole process at the end of another week, if necessary.
ECZEMA OF THE SCALP A good remedy for eczema of the scalp can be prepared as follows :
Cocoa butter, twenty grammes;
Mix in pomade. Then apply to the affected spots. Allow the pomade to remain on all night. Wear a nightcap, if possible, to prevent soiling the bed linen. ln the morning wash the whole head carefully and gently with a pure hygienic soap and warm water. Rinse and dry thoroughly. Repeat this operation night and morning as long as necessary.
Where there is great physical debility and a great failure of health in connection with the falling hair, a course of tonic medicines taken internally is often very serl Tice able. A few excellent hair tonics to be used exterr.ally are made as follows:
FOR FALLING HAIR
Phenic acid ...2 grammes.
Apply to the roots of the hair with a soft sponge once or twice a day. This lotion is especially good for very dry hair.
THE JABARONDI TONIC FOR FALLING HAIR
This tonic is not a very late discovery. It has been used for some time and is excellent for falling hair, It is made as follows;
Hydrochlorate of pilocarpine....6 grains
It must be applied to the scalp every night. Rub it in thoroughly.
WHEN THE HAIR HAS FALLEN OUT AFTER FEVER
This is very successful when the hair falls out after a fever:
Cologne ....8 ounces.
Apply to the roots of the hair once or twice a day. It is positively necessary that the scalp should be kept clean.Shampoo at least once a week.
CASTOR-OIL HAIR TONIC
Castor oil ....80 grammes.
Twisting the hair tightly at night is a very injurious habit. The hair needs ventilation, and to prevent the free circulation of the air through its roots not only interferes with the growth of new hair, but weakens the roots of the old. Every woman should brush her hair carefully at night before going to bed and braid it loosely for the night.
A child's hair should be washed at least once a week, with olive-oil soap shampoo. First wet the hair thoroughly with warm water, then rub the shampoo mixture well into the roots. Rinse thoroughly in several waters. Then carefully dry.
FOREIGN REMEDIES FOR FALLING HAIR
Doctor Monin, the celebrated French hygienist, highly extols the following preparation for falling hair:
White vaseline....40 grammes.