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Thread: how did women wash their hair before shampoo?

  1. #61
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    Default Re: how did women wash their hair before shampoo?

    I keep reading where people used ashes to make a "soap"

    I was reading this article on how to make your own lye and it is made with wood ashes, there is a whole system of a funnell and straw to filter it, I used to have directions but decided it was easier to buy it.

    But it would be way cool to make my own sometime, if I had the time to take the steps to do it.

    I make hot process soap, I love doing it, and I would love to make it some day out of 100 percent all natural ingredients that I harvested myself. I think the oil would be the tricky part to manufacture though, I would want it to be vegetable matter, and I have no idea how that would be obtained.

  2. #62
    Rebel Reverend Kirin's Avatar
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    Default Re: how did women wash their hair before shampoo?

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyshannonanne View Post
    My grandma washed her hair with tar soap once a week until she was married. My great grandma melted the soap and diluted it a bit, then washed her and her daughter's hair. I've seen pictures of my grandma as a young girl and she had the shiniest hair!

    "Soap" is funny to me. All soap gets lumped together, but there are so many varieties and qualities. Take, for instance, Naptha soap (or basically any commercial soap). It's made with petroleum. Sorry, but not what I'd want on my hair and scalp. Then there are soaps that have added surfectants. Also, not sounding so great. But castille soaps and other plant based soaps are great, as long as you rinse them well with vinegar.
    Most commercial soaps are made from Tallow (beef fat) or Vegetable oils these days. Only industrial grade soaps (like lava soap, naptha) made to get like car grease off of hands are made with petroleum. Most older folks I know say they've washed their hair when young with either Ivory (tallow based) or castille (olive oil based)

    All soaps are made the same way, Lye reacting with fats for saponification
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  3. #63
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    Default Re: how did women wash their hair before shampoo?

    My gramma said that when she was younger her and her sisters used Tide! That was like 50ish years ago...? They lived on a farm in Texas and were penny pinchers, I think you might say. She also said her mom made their soap with tallow.
    Last edited by Gecko; September 23rd, 2008 at 10:08 PM.

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

    I guess they used plants and things that had natural cleansing properties. And water in itself is pretty cleansing.
    "She walks in beauty, like the night/ Of cloudless climes and starry skies;/And all that's best of dark and bright/Meet in her aspect and her eyes..."-George Gordan, Lord Byron

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

    Interesting topic.

    My grandmother used lye soap made by herself when I was a child. Later on she switched to shampoos.

    There were some poeple who did not wash their hair every week like my grandmother though. And their hair still looked good. I think it really didn't gather up grease. I know a woman who used to wash her hair only one time/year, and her hair didn't look bad.She just brushed it.
    My grandfather washes his hair every week too, but he only uses plain water, just like he always has, and hair looks normal.He thinks washing the hair with shampoo/soap is a women's occupation.

    I'm from a formerly communist country, the communism ended in 1989. There were no quality shampoos until the 90's. We had some very bad shampoos that most people used to wash their cars reallyi, or children used their dolls with, it just made your hair like crap and it was far worse than any lye soap. So most people did use lye soap made by themselfs until the 90's, and some even further on, you know, costoms change slowly.

    I was born in 88, so I don't know too much details, just what I've noticed as a shockwave from the past years, plus the stories others told.
    hair routine-ocasional honey mask,and on regular basis the shampoo+conditioner.And I dye black/brunette.

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    Member |Xei's Avatar
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    Default Re: how did women wash their hair before shampoo?

    My mother used some type of soap to clean her hair as a young girl. I think she just rinsed with plain water. Occasionally, she would beat an egg and put it into her hair to condition it. This was in Hong Kong, by the way.

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

    In 19th century England they thought bathing too often lead to disease and sickness. Many never washed their hair. People usually only washed what was seen, the face and hands.

    Marie Antoinette was criticized for bathing frequently.

    Most people did have lice. They cut out the nits and buildup with a knife. The wealthy wore wigs.
    ~Cariad~A~

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