How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?


Woman washing hair in waterfall

That sounds like a very personal question – sorry! But this little gem from our archives made me wonder. Back in the “Friend” of 1877, the advice was very different from today’s practices.

“It is occasionally necessary to thoroughly cleanse the hair,” we noted. “One or two precautions must be taken, however. Never use soap if you can avoid it; if you do, let it be the very mildest and unperfumed. Avoid so-called hair cleansing fluids, and use rain-water filtered. The yolks of two new-laid eggs are much to be preferred to soap; they make a beautiful lather, and when the washing is finished, and the hair thoroughly rinsed in the purest rain-water, you will find, when dry, that the gloss will not be destroyed, which an alkali never fails to do. The first water must not be very hot, only just warm, and the last perfectly cold. Dry with soft towels – but do not rub till the skin is tender – and afterwards brush. Be always careful to have your brushes and combs perfectly clean and free from grease.”

A far cry indeed from all the shampoos and styling sprays we use today!

You’ll find more unmissable extracts from our archives in “The People’s Friend” 150th Anniversary Special Collector’s Edition, on sale now.

Angela Gilchrist

I am the former Editor-in-Chief of “The People’s Friend” magazine. My passions include cats, Highland ponies, good books, vegetarian food and long walks in the Scottish countryside. My favourite place to get away from it all is the magical Isle of Skye.

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

Woman washing hair in waterfall

That sounds like a very personal question – sorry! But this little gem from our archives made me wonder. Back in the “Friend” of 1877, the advice was very different from today’s practices.

“It is occasionally necessary to thoroughly cleanse the hair,” we noted. “One or two precautions must be taken, however. Never use soap if you can avoid it; if you do, let it be the very mildest and unperfumed. Avoid so-called hair cleansing fluids, and use rain-water filtered. The yolks of two new-laid eggs are much to be preferred to soap; they make a beautiful lather, and when the washing is finished, and the hair thoroughly rinsed in the purest rain-water, you will find, when dry, that the gloss will not be destroyed, which an alkali never fails to do. The first water must not be very hot, only just warm, and the last perfectly cold. Dry with soft towels – but do not rub till the skin is tender – and afterwards brush. Be always careful to have your brushes and combs perfectly clean and free from grease.”

A far cry indeed from all the shampoos and styling sprays we use today!

You’ll find more unmissable extracts from our archives in “The People’s Friend” 150th Anniversary Special Collector’s Edition, on sale now.

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