Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Before Hair Spray What???????

Woman, Girl, Curler, HairstyleIf hair spray did not make an appearance prior to the 1950's what was used to hold locks in place?  Well, depending on when, will determine what was used.

In Victorian times, women used something called bandoline, a clear liquid made of quince seed, rose water, cologne, and alcohol if made a home.  If purchased, it might contain gum tragacanth.  Either way, the gummy solution was considered the best to hold hair.

The solution could be applied to the hair via fingers or a sponge, depending on the style.  Fashion magazines and others advised women to wash the gummy mixture from their hair once a week to avoid buildup.  Although bandoline fell out of favor in the late 1870's, women continued using something including waxy mixtures to attain the ideal look.

Before that, people used Pomades beginning in the 18th century.  Originally, pomades were made from mashed apples mixed with animal fat and herbs and used by the upper classes.  Also known as pomatum, it was mixed into the hair to help style it. A recipe from the time called for  pigs lard, mutton fat, essence of lemon and clove oil mixed together. Over time, the ingredients changed and it became more of a male dominated hair application.

If you go all the way back to the Egyptians, it appears they used a certain type of fat based hair gel to hold their hair in place both in life and death.  In addition, there are traces of beeswax found on the remains of Egyptian wigs to hold the styles in place. There are indications the Irish used a pine tree resin gel in their hair back in 400 to 200 BC range.  Archeologists used analysis to check what was used on the hair of mummies and on a body found in a bog in Ireland to obtain this information.

Someone found a recipe for hair gel from the 1300's which required lizard tallow mixed with swallow (bird) droppings.  In the early 1600's people used lard to set their hair but they had to sleep with a cage or night cap to protect it from the rats.

Throughout history, most women used pieces, pads, etc to help create the height of the style, or fullness.  Most women did not wash their hair regularly because shampoos didn't exist or if they did, they were not good for the hair, so women created a system of dry shampoos to keep their hair in shape.  If hair reached a point where it was dull, greasy, and horrid, they might wash it but they tried to avoid it.

It was hard to find information on what they used to hold their hair instead of hair spray.  The above information is what I could find.  Tomorrow, will be a quick look at canned foods because those have been around a couple centuries longer than shampoos.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

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