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Thread: how did women wash their hair before shampoo?

  1. #41
    Mad Scientist mira-chan's Avatar
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    Default Re: how did women wash their hair before shampoo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blueglass View Post
    Another thing I wonder about, how did people tye off the end of thier braid? I'm sure the native Americans used sinew, but what about Europeans/others? My braid never holds with out a rubber band. What was used before most of the world know rubber?
    Fabric ribbons, any fabric available would do. Silk ribbons are the best but I've used scraps of fabric left over from my sewing projects. All work fine. I'm sure leather sting was used too.

    In Japan they also used a sturdy type of paper.

  2. #42
    Member k_hepburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: how did women wash their hair before shampoo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkhorse1 View Post
    Blueglass--I think they used string or twine. Not sure when the bobby pin was invented, but I would guess that's how buns were kept up. I think, from old photos I've seen, women in that era would braid their hair, then bun it. It's quite possible the rubber band had been invented by the 1800s. I'd have to do a search on that.
    You know, I can see a PhD thesis in the making here - several, in fact, on hair care and styling routines through different eras. LHC could be sprouting an entire new branch of scientific research!

    katharine

  3. #43
    Member Darkhorse1's Avatar
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    Default Re: how did women wash their hair before shampoo?

    http://www.costumegallery.com/hairstyles.htm

    Some really cool info here!

  4. #44
    Member Darkhorse1's Avatar
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    Default Re: how did women wash their hair before shampoo?

    Just an FYI--some of those links work, and some you need a password for. Not sure why.

    Apparently to read some of the info, you need to 'pay' for a library card. Hmmmm.
    Last edited by Darkhorse1; September 2nd, 2008 at 10:15 AM. Reason: addition

  5. #45
    Member Darkhorse1's Avatar
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    Default Re: how did women wash their hair before shampoo?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shampoo

    This is fascinating. Enjoy!

  6. #46
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    Default Re: how did women wash their hair before shampoo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Starr View Post
    (snip) until about the 14th century when of course plague and syphilis spread through Europe on and off for next 300 years or so and hygiene was all but abandoned (after all a wet bath/pleasure house with no filtration system was a prime candidate for spread disease and STDs) due to the fact it was believed that the black death was spread through water (partially true)- thus the rational became no water=no plague (although I wonder why no one thought it could be all the rats, lice, fleas, garbage or squalor?) (snip)
    They did. Beginning only two to three years after the dawn of the Second Pandemic (Black Death) in Europe (called at that time simply the Plague or the Pestilence), laws were enacted about garbage disposal and garbage burning in an effort to stave off plague. Household if not necessarily bodily hygiene was enforced upon people in various ways and there were even penalties for not keeping with a given town's hygiene practices. Even though it obviously didn't immediately "work" (the Plague in various forms, which may have been more than one disease, continued for three more centuries), it was not an alien notion that filth encouraged illness, including "Plague".

    ETA: Reference (this can probably be found online): "Directions for Cleansing", from S.J. Chadwick, "Some Papers Relating to the Plauge in Yorkshire," Yorkshire Archaeological Journal...this is from the 1500s. (European plague is recorded from 1347 in Italy but I just briefly thumbed through a book I had and listed the first reference I came across. Much earlier ones obviously exist.) And yes, many believed bodily cleansing could encourage the plague, though typically this was based on ancient Hippocratic teachings about opening of the pores rather than the belief that "something" was in the water. (The water theory was supposed poisoning on the part of the Jews, part of an anti-Semitic sentiment.) However, this was only one theory; the entire populace did not agree at any given time in any given place on what "caused" the Plague. The air ("miasma") was another theoretical carrier of the plague, and obviously, divine punishment was up there on the list. A theory was even circulated in pamphlets at least in England but I believe in Germany and Italy as well that too much exercise caused one to fall ill with the Plague. So too were beliefs in too much food and wine or too little food and wine. But general filth, not necessarily on the body but in the streets and in households, was absolutely looked upon as a possible plague encourager...though people were not necessarily sure why.
    Last edited by GlennaGirl; September 2nd, 2008 at 11:16 AM.

  7. #47

    Default Re: how did women wash their hair before shampoo?

    Rainwater and wood ashes makes Lye, which is used to make soap..

  8. #48

    Default Re: how did

    Quote Originally Posted by ktani View Post
    This is interesting, IMO.

    "A formula for soap consisting of water, alkali and cassia oil ... on a Babylonian clay tablet around 2200 BC." See “Early history”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soap

    But it appears not to be cassia senna.

    Biblical Cassia
    http://books.google.ca/books?id=42UDAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA10&lpg=PA10&dq=cassia+o il+babylon&source=web&ots=DkX7imEZU0&sig=5P0FK99Q1 _1BLbNIE3gJHI2wSc0&hl=en#PPA10,M1

    Cassia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassia
    WOO HOO!! Very cool information!

  9. #49

    Default Re: how did women wash their hair before shampoo?

    Ok, on this same sort of subject I'm trying to gather information specific to 19th century hair care for women. Recipes for shampoos and other treatments and I'm having a dickens of a time trying to find stuff.

    Does anyone have any sources for information they would care to share?

  10. #50
    magical moony loony melikai's Avatar
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    Default Re: how did women wash their hair before shampoo?

    Darkhorse1: I found this part in that Wiki article to be particularly interesting - "While both soaps and shampoos contain surfactants, soap bonds to oils with such affinity that it removes too much if used on hair. Shampoo uses a different class of surfactants balanced to avoid removing too much oil from the hair."

    This seems to imply that soap shouldn't be used for hair....
    my hair colour in different types of light



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