The frequent use of a fine comb is fatal to hair, especially when it is falling out. However, it is necessary to cleanse the hair and the downy scalp.
The Chinese, who have abundant, but coarse, hair, use a mixture of honey and flour.
The following is an English recipe: Add a teacupful of salt to a quart of rain-water. After twelve hours this brine is ready for use. To one cupful of the mixture add one cupful of hot rain water. Wash the hair and scalp, rub well, rinse, and dry with a towel.
The creoles of Cuba make a decoction of the leaves of rosemary. This water, they maintain, cleanses, strengthens, and softens the hair.
This also is excellent: Take fifty grammes of the roots of soap-wood boiled in a pint and a half of water. Wash with the hot preparation, then dry the hair and scalp with warm cloths.
The yolk of an egg cleans the head thoroughly and causes the hair to grow. Only the scalp should be rubbed with the yolk, and the head rinsed in hot water. The beaten white of eggs is also recommended as a simple and efficacious preparation for cleansing the hair. Rub the scalp, and rinse in hot water.
The custom of shampooing originated in England. Take one quart of cold or hot water into which is melted thirty grammes of carbonate of soda and fifteen grammes of soap, cut into small pieces. Add a few drops of perfume and thirty grammes of spirits of wine. After washing with this preparation, rinse the hair in warm water. Afterward rub the hair and scalp until dry with warm towels.
The hair should always be thoroughly and rapidly dried. After drying, let it hang loosely on the shoulders for an hour or two if necessary.
Hair, especially gray, may be cleansed with powder. Afterward, it should be care fully brushed. This is an excellent method, though it is difficult to remove the traces of powder from dark hair.