CHAMPAGNE FOR THE HAIR
A hair specialist has told one of his lady customers (says our London correspondent) that she must not brush her hair at all, but must comb it with a rather coarse comb if it gets untidy, and rub the scalp with a velvet pad or a piece of chamois leather. The brush now has the reputation of spoiling the hair and thinning it, pulling it out by the roots. About half an hour should be spent nightly using the velvet pad or the pad of chamois. Then champagne is the latest announced liquid in which the hair should be washed. The first process consists in ridding the hair of grease by rubbing in the white of eggs for blonde hair, and by using the yolks for dark tresses. This should be rinsed off, and then the champagne bath has to follow, while red wine—preferably Burgundy of good body is recommended for tinting dark hair or rich auburn, and lemon juice is considered to be good for washing white hair, or hair that is on the way to getting white, as the lemon juice will by degrees impart a silvery hue. Soaking the head in champagne is said to impart a soft golden tint, and drying in the sun is recommended if there happens to be any sun available. If not, it should be fanned dry in a warm room.
New Zealand Herald 12 April 1911: p. 10
Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Mrs Daffodil has always felt that those historic personages who bathed in expensive liquids were being ostentatiously wasteful; certainly the Hall butler, Mr Sterling-Kidd, would tender his resignation if Her Ladyship were to demand the Bollinger Vielles Vignes ’04 merely to rinse her hair.
A more economical, if prosaic, solution is found here:
Colored Hair Powders.
Almost every woman has a tendency to wash her hair too often in order to keep it soft and fluffy and glossy. It’s a great mistake, for in the end, it tells upon the hair’s good health.
But, you will say, after one or two weeks, my hair becomes so oily and flat, it packs so it can not be dressed nicely—I know, there are dozens of objections. I get them in nearly every mail.
The solution is to use powder between shampoos, to dry up this extra oil, to keep the hair thick and fluffy, and to cleanse it. You’ll say to this—powder can cleanse only the hair not the scalp. That’s true, but the scalp is so well protected it doesn’t need too frequent a cleansing. You’ll say more seriously—powder leaves the hair dusty, it’s almost impossible to get it out, it takes off all the gloss.
Not colored hair powders, which smart beauty shops sell at the most exorbitant rates—and only a few shops at that. You probably won’t be able to buy colored powder, but you can make it yourself by following these simple directions.
If you’ve dark hair, make an exceedingly strong pint of coffee and strain and let it get cold. Add lumps of laundry starch, let them dissolve, pour off the liquid, let it drain and dry. Crush up the colored starch, until soft and free of lumps, add sachet powder to do away with any odor, and keep ready for use. If you’ve light hair, try strong tea.
Then dust the hair liberally with powder, rub through, shake and brush out. I’ve had all sorts of trouble with oily hair, and this I find the best remedy.
Fort Worth [TX] Star-Telegram 29 December 1922: p. 10
And, if money is no object or if one is Empress Eugenie, golden hair powder is a charming way to lighten the hair.
GOLDEN HAIR POWDER
Powder d’or was first worn by the Empress Eugenie, at the Festival of Boeuf Gras, 1860. Since then this pretty conceit, as the wave of fashion always does, has extended from its centre to the circle of all who pretend to move within its sphere.
The best quality consists of crushed gold leaf, the common kind, or “speckles,” is nothing more than a coarse bronze powder.
The Art of Perfumery and the Methods of Obtaining the Odors of Plants, George William Septimus Piesse, 1878: p. 331
For the extreme fad of bleaching one’s hair, see this post.
Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes
You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.