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Thread: Nanny Pauline's Recipes and Techniques

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    Member Gladtobemom's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Nanny Pauline's Recipes and Techniques

    Nanny Pauline had calf length hair that she wore in a coronet (braid wrapped around her head) almost every day. Her hair was shiny and amazingly healthy until she died. Some of my fondest memories are of watching her brush and braid her hair.

    Nanny Pauline was an incredible lady. She was a voracious learner and a wonderful teacher. I didn’t really go to school much until high school because we traveled a lot. So Nanny cared for me and handled my education. She took care of me from when I was 3 weeks old until I was grown. (My siblings are all MUCH younger than I am and by that time we didn’t travel so much so I went to a conventional high school.)

    I'm going to try put some of her recipes and haircare techniques in this thread. Many of you have read some of my posts about Nanny, she was an extraordinary lady.

    I have her journals and recipe books. She kept two main recipe books which she called "receipt" books. These were large leather bound books that were kept at her desk. One was her mother's and she just continued to add to it and continued to write her own opinions and modifications inside. The other was her own that she started as a young girl, learning to cook and take care of a household.

    Nanny NEVER took her receipt books into the kitchen. She would transcribe a "receipt" on a separate piece of paper and take it to where she was working. Notations and new recipes were added throughout her lifetime. The last recipe in her book is for a Chicken Casserole that was Richard Nixon's favorite, she tried it from the newspaper and it was good enough to add to the book. The first recipe in her own book is for a sweet oil hair pomade, made with Macassar Oil and Sweet Olive Oil.

    Nanny's sister, Mary has helped me decipher some of the things. Many of these techniques are born of the 19th century idea of beauty . . . creamy clear skin and long thick healthy hair.

    I will only place things here that I have tried. I welcome your experiences and comments. If you try a recipe and find some worthwhile alteration, please feel free to put it here, that would be entirely in keeping with her tradition. She would have LOVED the Longhaircommunity--she was well known for her hair concoctions and turning the kitchen into her own little laboratory.

    Links to recipts:

    Nanny Pauline's Washing Technique

    Nanny Pauline's Airing Powder Recipe (Dry Shampoo)

    (Archive Airing Powder Thread)

    Nanny's Coronet
    Last edited by Gladtobemom; June 8th, 2008 at 10:02 PM.
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    Member Mrs_Zombie's Avatar
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    That is so amazing about your Nanny Pauline. When i read about her airing powder i copy and pasted the "receipt" right away. I'm still meaning to try it as my hair is still fairly short, and i have no problems washing it, yet.

    I'm looking forward to whatever else recipe your nanny made that you've tried. However the links that you posted don't work. Thought i'd give you a heads up

    Thank you for posting this
    1st Mini Goal: SL (MET!!) 2nd Mini-Goal: APL (MET!), 3rd Mini Goal: BSL (Done), 4th Mini Goal: Waist(And DONE!!), Goal: Hip Length
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    Member Gladtobemom's Avatar
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    Default Nanny Pauline's Washing Techniques

    Nanny always maintained that washing her scalp with diluted pine tar soap once every couple of weeks was best for her because too much water damaged her hair. She did a scalp wash every 10 days or so, depending on weather and the condition of her scalp.

    As far as I know, she never liked any store-bought shampoo. I know that she tried a few, but they never stuck around.

    This may be useful to those who either have very long hair or are considering it. Some may find them just interesting. The bulk of her hair was shin length, with "wispys" brushing at her ankles and touching the floor. She did trim back to knee length every few years, and once she trimmed it to "just below her seat."

    Nanny’s Scalp Wash Method
    1) Shave off a little Packer’s Pine Tar Soap in an enamel pan with some water and warm it on the stove until melted. Then mix well with some cool water so it's just warm. Transfer to a pointy squirt bottle.


    2) Detangle with a dressing comb, bringing hair forward in large strands to inspect it and snip out any crease-bent hairs or bad hairs. Brush thoroughly with natural (boar bristle) brush to remove dust. Add a cheesecloth to brush with a few drops of hair oil to polish hair and help gather up any skin particles left.

    3) Braid, with hair still thrown forward, starting at arm's length. Leaving all hair loose till out at least a foot from head.

    4) Get length out of the way. She looped her hair over a padded coat Hanger and secured it with a silk ribbon. Then she just hung that on the shower rod (or if it was too high, from another hanger). She then kneeled with her head forward over the tub. This position allowed her to wash her scalp and rinse it without wetting the rest of her hair.

    5) Pour or squirt diluted pine tar soap on her scalp and massage very vigorously. Make sure to get nape of neck and around ears (where sweat accumulates).

    6) Using a hose hooked to the spigot rinse very very well. (she preferred the hose NOT to have a sprayer so she could flood her scalp)

    7) Finish with a mixture of vinegar and distilled water (1 Tbl vinegar to 1 Quart water). Let drain for a few minutes. Take down length (don't unbraid.

    Sit on the floor with braid thrown up over something (like the ironing board or a chair) until scalp hair is dry. This gave her fullness at the scalp and kept it fluffy around her face (which she liked).

    In between scalp washes I remember she used her airing powder, and then brushed it out with pieces of cheesecloth on her brush. She didn't wash her whole length very often, about once every 3-4 weeks.

    She did detangle and brush though every morning. She was always very patient with combing her hair and would brush hair a little at a time piece by piece. Many times she had cheesecloth over the brush to take out any dust. At night she just took down her braid(s) and left them down for sleeping.

    She kept her brushes and combs immaculately clean. She had:
    a large cushion BBB,
    a softer BBB that she called her luster brush,
    a huge horn dressing comb (which I still use), and
    a large horn horse mane comb.

    Nanny also believed in Coconut Oil. She purchased it in little cans (they looked like sardine cans) that had a key on top to open. She would melt it out of the can into a little jar on her dresser with Rose Absolute and Lavender E.O.. She would dip or scratch her fingers in it and rub her comb and her hair. She also often would oil the ends of her braids quite a bit.

    When Nanny did wash her hair, she did it kneeling outside the bathtub and would lean her head forward—floating her hair into the water. She would get it wet then pour the Packer’s Pine Tar Soap melted in distilled water over her head and work it into her hair, allowing it to flow into the water where her length was floating. She would pick up a bar of the soap and rub it just a little bit along her length. She would massage her scalp and work the soap into the length.

    She’d let the water out of the tub (holding her length). Then use the length of hose to rinse quite well. She would refill the tub and let her hair float dipping her head very low, she said she was checking for soap. She rinsed a lot.

    At the end she would stand and let the water out of the tub. Then pour a quart of distilled water over her head that was mixed with ¼ c. vinegar, and 1/4c. honey. I remember that as she got older she modified this and added some pink “cream rinse” that she bought in a large bottle.
    She would finger comb her hair as best she could, then rinse with distilled water (the rest of the gallon).

    I used to sit next to her and watch her and hand her things. When she got older, I went to her house and helped her wash her hair every 3-4 weeks.


    She never combed her hair when it was wet. She would just usually sit outside with it tossed up over the clothesline to dry. Or she would sit on the floor with it tossed up over the ironing board.

    We'd usually play or have some "school time" while her hair dried.

    She died of a very unexpected heart attack. I used her airing powder on her hair and braided it into her usual coronet before everyone saw her.
    I miss her every day.



    Last edited by Gladtobemom; June 8th, 2008 at 06:58 PM.
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    Member Gladtobemom's Avatar
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    I used Packer's Pine Tar soap for years.

    I have discovered that Grandpa's Coconut Based Pine Tar Soap washes cleaner and seems to leave my hair softer. I still use it as my travel/camping shampoo. It leaves my hair and scalp clean and not dry.

    This is a soap wash (alkaline pH) so it is very very important to follow with something that will bring the pH back down.

    I like to use either of these rinses (not all of them together):

    1) 2 Tbl. Apple Cider Vinegar or even White Vinegar with 3-4 cups of water. (rinse optional)

    2) 1/4 tsp citric acid powder in 1/2 cup of water with a very big squirt of cheap conditioner (like VO5 Tea therapy or Sunkissed Raspberry). Then rinse.

    3) 1/2 tsp citric acid powder in a couple of cups of water. Then rinse well.
    Last edited by Gladtobemom; June 8th, 2008 at 10:03 PM.
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    I ♥ My Silvers mellie's Avatar
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    GladToBeMom,

    Would you please re-post the link to Nanny Pauline's Airing Powder? I would love to see the recipe! Thank you!

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    Member Gladtobemom's Avatar
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    Default Nanny Pauline's Airing Powder

    This is a “dry shampoo” that does an amazing job of freshening the hair. It seems to really mobilize the oils and allow me to brush them through my hair. It leaves my hair fluffy, fresh, and smelling of violets.

    I've made it and have been using it for over a year with Excellent results.

    Nanny Pauline’s Orris Root Airing Powder for the Hair
    (Dry Shampoo)

    2 quart glass canning jar
    3.5 c. Orris Root Powder
    3 c. Cornstarch
    3-9 drops Rosemary EO
    3-9 drops Lavender EO
    3-9 drops Honey EO (I used Honey Absolute, I hope it's the same)
    9 dried rose petals or 9 little pieces of silk about the size of rose petals.

    1. Put 1 c. of Orris Root powder in the jar
    2. Put 2 c. of the cornstarch in the jar
    3. Close and roll a bit to mix. Do not shake.
    4. Put 1-3 drops of EO on a rose petal or silk swatch and drop in the jar after the oil is well absorbed. Roll the jar a bit (don't shake). Do this with each drop of EO. Roll in between additions.
    5. Put the rest of the Of the powders in and roll again.
    6. Place the powder in a cool cupboard for 3 weeks, Roll jar every couple of days. It takes a while for the oils to integrate with the powders.

    7. Store in an airtight canning jar or in a wax paper bag inside a tin—in a cool dry place.

    I also need to stress--don't open the jar after you roll it, you'll get a cloud of powder. If you shake the jar, just don't open it for quite a while.

    How to Use the Airing Powder:
    1. Put some of the powder into a fairly free flowing salt shaker. You can keep it in the shaker if the shaker has an airtight lid. (I used a glass spice jar that has a shaker and screw on lid)
    2. Cut some cheesecloth into squares that are slightly larger than your boar bristle brush. Remove all the old hairs from your brush and use a clean brush if possible.
    3. Starting on top of head, sprinkle powder as close to scalp as possible. I part every 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Pay special attention get it to the scalp. 1 tablespoons of powder is enough, try not to use more than 2 Tbl.
    4. Lift hair gently with fingers next to scalp. The idea is to create a little friction. You can shift your hair around, lifting and letting the powders move a bit at the scalp if you like. Sometimes I flip my head forward, side and back a few times.
    5. After 20 minutes (or longer) begin to brush carefully with BBB. It is important to brush thoroughly with a clean BBB first, without the cheesecloth. This lets the oils polish your hair.

    6. After completely brushing once, start putting cheesecloth over brush.
    (Get the hair out of the brush and press a single layer of cheesecloth into the brush a bit. It helps to collect the powder and rub it against your hair.)
    6. If necessary, repeat the whole procedure. (I’ve never done an immediate repeat, but it’s in the original recipe this way.)
    7. Your hair will be fluffy and smell wonderful.

    I do find that no matter what, I seem to use nearly 1½ Tbl. I put some in an empty spice jar that has a shaker and a cover for application.
    You could make a 1/3 recipe quite easily.


    Important Notes from Gladtobemom:
    1) don't use this on clean hair, it's really tough to get out of clean hair
    2) be patient, don't try to remove it too soon
    3) if you brush your hair in sections first, then in larger clumps, the powder seems to create better gloss.

    4) I find that it is important to sprinkle it close to the roots and to sort of stick my fingers in and lightly shake/massage after it is in.
    5) If you try to remove it too soon, it is much more difficult to remove. The neat thing is that if you miss some, later it will just swell up with oil and be easy to brush out.
    6) When I’m brushing it out, stroking the oily powder (now laden with sebum) through my hair generates a lot of gloss.

    7) Then I clean my brush with a comb and start with the cheesecloth. I get it all out fairly easily. It is easily it brushed out. A lot of the powder sticks to the cheesecloth. Each time I change it (a single ply, 4-10 times), my hair just gets shinier.
    __________________

    About the cheesecloth:
    --I just cut cheesecloth into rectangles slightly larger than the surface of my brush. Separate the cheesecloth into single layers.
    --I pull the hairs out of my brush then press a single layer of cheesecloth about 3/8 of an inch into it.
    --Then go on brushing.
    __________________

    Nanny's sister, Mary, was thrilled to hear I was putting these recipes on the web. She offered these words:

    This recipe is based on their mother's recipe. It originally had fresh fragrant violet petals in it too. She would add at least 200 blossoms straight to the jar while in the garden.

    The Essential Oils that are in the recipe are not there for fragrance.

    She says the Honey E.O. is for shine and "fuzz control". She also says that if you leave out the Lavender or get cheated into buying fake lavender oil, the powders can go “off.”

    Rosemary is for shine and is an antiseptic, astringent, helps make the hair shiney, and "is good for hair growth."

    Lavender is an antiseptic (strong one). Good deodorant quality.

    P.S. She cracks me up. Mary says that she and Nanny are only, "reasonable facsimiles" of their mother, who made everything from scratch.
    __________________
    Honey absolute is used in perfume making. It turns out that the combination of Honey and Vanilla absolute are used alot in perfume making.
    Shalimar has a vanilla with honey base.

    Honey absolute is also used for Catholic Church candles. Those gigantic beeswax candles they use in Catholic churches have honey absolute, Propolis, beeswax, and amber in them. That’s why they smell so good when they burn.


    I looked up some information at the library and only found honey E.O. listed in perfumery books. It's considered a middle/base note that is full bodied and sweet.

    I found one reference to Honey E.O. being used in a hair pomade. The pomade contained Macassar Oil, Honey E.O., beeswax, and a few other E.O.'s. This was in a book titled, "Womanly Guide to Home and Health" It was so old that it didn't have a copyright page.


    The Honey Absolute was purchased from Biblical Scents (they were the only place I could find it in stock). The honey absolute smells very sweet and rich. It does add to the aroma of the powder.
    http://www.victorie-inc.us/honey.html

    From Nature with Love also sells Honey Absolute:
    http://www.fromnaturewithlove.com/pr...ct_id=abshoney
    __________________

    I did make a small batch without the honey EO. It worked nearly as well. Honey EO (asolute), smells heavenly absolutely intoxicating, so I did miss the smell. But the effect of leaving it out was surprising--my root area stayed flatter and my ends were sort of tangly without it. It is supposed to be a strong humectant. And the combination of this and the Rosemary EO seem to be the source of the clean shiney hair look and smell.

    I’ve also tried using just cornstarch, left my hair tangly and dull.

    Orris Root alone actually works fairly well, but it doesn’t do quite as good at soaking up the scalp oil and making my hair fluff away from my scalp. My hair was far less shiny also.
    __________________
    Orris root powder has a pretty strong violet/iris scent if it is perfume grade. If it is the lower grade, it smells more earthy and slightly green. Both work well for this recipe. I vastly prefer the perfume grade because I just love the scent, but it is much more pricey.
    __________________
    As always, let us know your recipe and how it worked out.
    Last edited by Gladtobemom; June 8th, 2008 at 11:55 PM.
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    Glampire Slayer manderly's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing these again! Though I've read it before, I found myself re-reading the story of Nanny washing her hair and all her lovely recipes! One of these days I will have to try them

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    Kitchen Witch Nat242's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for sharing stories about Nanny Pauline, and for sharing some of her receipts.

    I really want to try that airing powder, although I don't know where to get Orris Root powder.

    -- Natalie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat242 View Post

    I really want to try that airing powder, although I don't know where to get Orris Root powder.

    -- Natalie
    I don't see it on their list of herbs, but this place might be able to get it for you.

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    I ♥ My Silvers mellie's Avatar
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    Thank you! I will definitely be trying it!

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