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Brilliant Advice On How To Best Take Care Of Hair - Woman Beautiful

Brilliant Advice On How To Best Take Care Of Hair - Woman Beautiful



Her luxuriant hair—it was like the sweep of a swift wing in visions.—Willis.


Pretty hair can redeem a whole host of irregular features. With little waves and kinks, and clinging, cunning tendrils that lie close to the temples, a “crown of glory” will transform an ordinarily plain woman into one passably good to look upon. If you doubt this, just create a mental picture of yourself in the last stages of a shampoo! Isn’t it awful? The damp, straight locks hanging in one’s eyes, and the long, fluffy strands, that aren’t fluffy at all but as unwavy as a shower bouquet of macaroni, and the tag ends and whisps sprouting out here and there like a box full of paint brushes six ways for Sundays—well, one is always mentally thankful at such times that one’s “dearest and best” isn’t anywhere around to behold the horrible sight. But after awhile the long, damp tresses are patted and fussed over until they are dry, and then they’re combed out and curled up and kinked and twisted, and, oh, my countrymen, what a change is there! The harsh lines of the mouth are softened, the eyes look bright and pretty, the complexion comes out in all its sweetness like the glorious rainbow of a week ago.
It makes all the difference in the world!
But of course you will straightway exclaim: “That’s all right to say about those lucky girls who have nice long tresses, but how about us poor mortals whose ‘crown’ consists of eighteen hairs of eighteen different lengths, and all of them falling out as fast as they can?” To be sure, conditions do—once in a while—alter cases. But I claim, and always will claim—till the day comes when beauty matters won’t matter at all—that every woman can have pretty hair if she will take the time and use the good, uncommon sense which seems necessary to acquire it.
You know, and I know, and every other woman knows, that women treat their hair as they treat their watches—to unpardonable abuse. Of course, one’s hair isn’t dropped on the sidewalk or prodded with stickpins until the mainspring breaks, but it is subjected to even deeper and more trying insults. One night, when the little woman is in a real good, amiable mood, the tresses are carefully taken down, brushed, doctored with a nice “smelly” tonic, patted caressingly and gently plaited in nice little braids. The next night it is crimped until each individual hair has acute curvature of the spine; then it is burned off in chunks and triangles and squares; it is yanked out by the handfuls, it is wadded and twisted and tugged at and built up into an Eiffel tower, and—after a few hours of such torture—the little woman takes out the sixty odd hairpins, shakes it loose, gets every hair into a three-ply tangle of its own, and then hops into bed! When she gets up in the morning she pulls out and combs out more hair than she can make grow in after seven months’ careful treatment.
I tell you that is the one great trouble with women. They will not stick to one particular method. If they feel like fussing and coddling they will, but if they’re tired or cross or in a hurry to get to sleep, well, they just let their hair take care of itself. One’s tresses need regular care just as do plants or babies or people. Make up your mind that you have hit upon the best way to treat your hair and then stick to it, no matter whether school keeps or not.

To disentangle the hair use only a coarse comb, being sure that every tooth is smooth and firm, so that it will not tear or split the silky fibers. The fine comb is a thing of horror, and has no place upon the dressing-table. It irritates the scalp, bringing forth a prosperity year crop of dandruff and attendant unhappiness. Added to this, it splits the hair shafts and injures the roots.
Brushing the hair is sadly overestimated. A dozen or two strong strokes each night will remove the day’s dust and dirt, will promote circulation and sweep out flaky matter. The brushing must be done firmly but gently, and not with the violent methods of a carpet sweeping machine. Really, it is simply appalling the way some women dress their hair. A few tugs and yanks with a comb of uneven, unsmooth teeth, a scattering brushing back of scolding locks, some singes here and there with a red-hot curling iron, a twist, a roll, a pat and the application of a dozen hairpins, and the hairdressing for the day is done.
Instead, the comb should be used with gentleness, not dug into the scalp, as is the practice of some mistaken beskirted mortals. There is an old saying to this effect: “Wash the scalp, but not the hair; comb the hair, but not the scalp,” which saying, I leave to you, is good enough to paste in one’s hat—or rather on the back of one’s hair brush.
After the brushing each night it is an excellent plan to part the hair into small strands and wipe off with a cloth slightly moistened. This is a sort of sponge bath which tones and invigorates the growth.
Combs should never be washed, but cleaned with a stout thread. Brushes, however, must have frequent washings in warm ammonia water, taking care to keep the backs dry. They should never be put in the sunlight when wet, but left to dry in an open window.
Curling irons certainly do heaps of damage. Any woman who has ever found herself suddenly bereft of a nice fluffy bang, and in its place a stubby little burned-off fringe, will say that this is true, while those numerous hair-crimping girls who have known the humiliating and painful experience of having a hot curling iron do frolics down their backs can add startling testimony, and, what is more, show disfiguring scars as proof.

If the iron is used carefully and at proper heat, the hair is not injured. But certain it is that when the iron is smoking-hot it kills the life and lovely texture of the hair. Besides, how very ugly and unkempt those burned little ends look! It was surely not of such that Pope wrote:
Fair tresses man’s imperial race ensnare,
And beauty draws us with a single hair.
Soft papers in which the short locks are wound is a good method for the girl who singes her top-knot every time she tries to curl a few little tendrils. Kid curlers are all right, providing the hair does not become entangled in the small ends, and so have to be torn when the hair is taken down. There is a certain secret in the hair-curling process which is too intangible for written description. The hair must not be wound tightly and the effect must be loose, fluffy and natural.
The great necessity for keeping the hair perfectly trimmed is to rid it of the split ends, for hair cannot be nice under such conditions. When the nourishment within each hair shaft does not extend the full length, then the hair cracks into several finer hairs, and one of these perhaps resumes the growth. That leaves a rough, bad shaft. The best way to keep the hair clipped properly is to twist it in rolls and to singe off all the little ends that stick out.
It is almost impossible to state positively how often the hair should be shampooed. Oily hair needs a thorough washing every two weeks, while drier tresses should not be given a bath oftener than once a month. Half the reason for falling hair, or hair that seems never to grow, is caused by improper shampooing. The scalp must be kept scrupulously clean. And I doubt very much whether the soap and soiled water can be thoroughly rinsed out without the use of running water, the bath spray being the most convenient means of getting this. How often, after washing one’s hair, one finds a white, sticky substance clinging to the teeth of the comb! This should never be, and the hair must be continually washed until it is fluffy and soft and absolutely without any suggestion of the shampoo. When the hair is very oily a dessertspoonful of ammonia and a pinch of borax should be added to two quarts of warm water. This will soften the water and make the soap more easily rinsed out of the hair. The liquid verbena soap makes a delightful shampoo. Recipe can be found at the end of this chapter.
When shampooing, rub the lather through the strands gently, and with the finger tips remove all the little particles of dust and dandruff which may be clinging to the scalp. And may I gently suggest that you do not go at the task as if you were scrubbing a grease spot out of a rug? You must neither dig the scalp with your nails nor wring out your hair as you would a wash-rag. Try not to get your hair into a more mussed-up and tangled condition than is absolutely necessary. After using the bath spray liberally dry with warm towels, then—if possible—get some one to vigorously massage the scalp. This will almost invariably prevent one from taking cold. Never begin combing out your locks until they are nearly dry. A sun bath of twenty minutes is a good tonic.
Occasionally an egg shampoo is more beneficial than the usual one of soap. This is especially true when one has just recovered from a fever or when one’s scalp is in an unhealthy condition or afflicted with dandruff. The rosemary formula is very effective.
Dandruff is nearly always the result of neglect. If the scalp is washed as frequently as it should be, dandruff is not so likely to accumulate, although it is a perfectly natural formation. When the hair is excessively oily or the scalp unusually crowded with dandruff, the weekly shampoo should not be neglected.
Blond hair should always be washed with the yolk of an egg, as that will make it keep its golden tints. Mixing the egg with a pinch of borax and a pint of warm water is a good plan.
Hair dyeing is one of the mistakes of unwise femininity. All dyes containing either mercury or lead are very dangerous. But why should women dye their hair? Goodness only knows. One might as well ask why women fib about their age, or why women shop three hours just to buy a pair of dress shields. There are some questions of life which we are destined never to solve. There is nothing lovelier than white hair. Combine with it a fine complexion and a pair of animated brown eyes and you have as picturesque a beauty as ever awakened emotions in the heart of man. But, nevertheless, women moan and wail over every stray gray hair. They go off downtown and proceed to lug home a cartload of mysterious bottles which they keep religiously away from hubby’s investigating eye. I won’t tell the result of the experience, for it is too well known. It is a certain episode through which half the women of forty years have passed—sooner or later. When comes the desire to transform those little threads of silver into deeper shades remember the charming lines of Bancroft:
“By common consent gray hairs are a crown of glory, the only object of respect that can never excite envy.”

Unknown washes, as well as dyes, do great mischief. Good health, wholesome food and proper care of the scalp are the three most important essentials toward beautiful and luxuriant hair. There are some simple lotions, harmless and easily prepared, which will assist the growth and nourish the roots.


Excerpt From – Woman Beautiful By Helen Follett Stevans


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