|From the Hair Archives|
Now, shampoo as we know it, didn't exist until the 30's. While some shampoos began to hit the market in the early 1900's, they caused alkaline reactions, leaving a gray film on hair. Dr. John Breck invented the first PH-balanced shampoo, and the companies ad campaign, featuring Breck Girls, lasted well into the late 70's.
|Olga Armstrong, the first Breck Girl|
|Cleo De Merode|
If you want a great example of someone trying this method out, The Gibson Girl's Guide to Glamor has a very interesting post on the matter.
So what do I do? As an adult, I found that my hair did much better only being washed every second or third day (often depending on factors like how dry the weather is, where I am in my muenstral cycle, and stress). While hair experts often disagree about how often is too often, many say that we wash our hair too often now, stripping it of it's natural oils at a rate that encourages the body to overproduce oil to catch up.
|Via. Rapunzel's Delight|
More recently, I became interested in Castile soap and switched to Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap, available at health food stores, and now at Target. The label is truly amusing...it contains everything from recipe ideas to scripture references, and reads like a 19th Century cure-all peddler's schtick. However, I have to say, the stuff works. I have switched to diluted forms of it for hand soap and cleaning, too. Direct from the bottle it is very strong, and will leave your hair stripped and tangled...I strongly discourage using it that way!
My Shampoo Recipe
3T-4T Dr. Bronner's Soap (whatever scent you prefer...eucalyptus can help with dandruff, though)
A few drops of Essential Oils
1T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Add to bottom of a large empty shampoo bottle. Fill almost to top with filtered water. Shake every time before use...this will leave a lot of foam on top that will make it easy to lather.
I use a rinse after that is Rosemary tea, and about a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar. Since the Castile soap is gentle, but not PH balanced, it makes up for that. The Rosemary is because I have dark hair, and am prone to a bit of an itchy scalp in winter. For other suggestions, go to my second link from Musings of a Kitchen Witch above.
Even though my hair is currently very short, I also brush it regularly. I find that it's more important to stimulate my scalp then anything else...and my hair is much healthier with more body. Like the Victorians, get a good brush and clean it often! Also, if you try this, expect to need less product...a lot of our modern hair products are designed to make up for removing our body's natural oils.
|The Amazing Seven Sutherland Sisters!|
What about those days when I don't have time to wash, or I'm almost to a shampoo and my hair is looking nasty?
Corn Starch Dry Shampoo
1 cup Corn Starch
Essential oils to scent the hair, or dry herbs (will scent it much more slowly...I like mint)
Mix together and store in a small container in the bathroom. To use, take about a tablespoon of the cornstarch, and rub it all over your scalp. Don't worry about ends so much...just where it looks greasy. Then brush, brush, brush. It takes about 5 min to not look like a ghost. You will be surprised at how full your hair feels (this is also a great thing to do before trying some of those old hairstyles).
So there you go! This is what works for me, personally. If you have something you do and love, please share it in the comments!