The foundation of a good head of hair ought undoubtedly to be laid down in infancy.
At this tender age, and through all the years of childhood, it should be worn short, be frequently cut, and never allowed to go a day without thorough brushing. It should also, every morning be washed at the roots with cold water. A damp sponge, rubbed thoroughly upon the scalp, will be sufficient. The practice of combing the heads of children too frequently with a fine tooth comb is a bad one, as the points of the teeth are quite sure to scratch and irritate the scalp, and are almost sure to produce scurf or dandruff.
Indeed, these rules, except as to the length of the hair, are quite applicable to adults as children. The ladies of my acquaintance, who have been most, celebrated for the beauty of their hair, usually made a practice of thoroughly cleansing its roots every morning with a damp sponge. Nor would they venture to neglect the frequent use of the brush. Indeed, the coarsest, most refractory and snarly locks can be subdued, and made comparatively soft and glossy by the use of the brush alone. Constant brushing is the first rule to subdue coarse and brittle hair.
And the morning is the best time for an extended application of the brush, because the hair is naturally more supple then any other time. This practice, thoroughly preserved in, will gradually tame down the porcupine head, unless there is some scurfy disease of the scalp, in which case the following wash will be found a quite sure remedy:-
Salts of tartar………………….3 drachms
Spirits of camphor……………..15drops
Lemon juice……………………1/2 pint
In preparing this wash, the salts should be dissolved in the lemon juice, till the effervescence ceases, and then add the other ingredients; and, after letting the whole remain exposed to the air for half an hour, it may be perfumed and bottled for use. This is one of the best and most harmless washes for the hair I have ever known. I am certain that a lady or gentleman has but to try it to be convinced of its efficacy. But let me impress upon you the importance of brushing as a cardinal means of beautifying tour hair. Brush not one minute, but ten-not once a day, but two, or three, or four times a day.
Two brushes are indispensable for the toilet-one for the rough use of cleaning the hair, and the other for polishing it. A black brush should be used for the former, and a white one for the latter. Ladies need not to be told that washing spoils the brushes. The best way to clean them is to rub them thoroughly with bran, which removes all the grease, and leaves the bristles stiff and firm as ever. When the bristle of a brush becomes limber for use, they may be hardened again by dipping them in one part of spirits of ammonia, and two of water. This will also thoroughly cleanse them from all greasy substances.
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