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History of Hygiene
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Hair Care

A brief history of…HAIR CARE

Ancient Egypt: Women used creams as hair moisturisers, providing protection from the hot, dry climate. Egyptian men shaved their heads.

Ancient hairstyling: Assyrian kings and other nobles had their hair curled with heated iron bars (1500 BC). Western Africans curled their hair with sticks and set it with clay (500 BC). A European hair gel recipe used lizard tallow blended with swallow droppings (1300s).

Early conditioners: European women conditioned their hair with dead lizards boiled in olive oil (1300s). Chinese women used seeds from the cedrela tree (Chinese cedar) to make a finishing hair rinse. Filipino women made a hair conditioner from aloe soaked in water. And Americans used oil mixed with eggs (1600s).

1603: Bizarre hairdressing. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I people set their hair with lard and slept with a cage or nightcap over their hair to protect it from rats!

1908: New York hair advice. “…specialists recommend the shampooing of the hair as often as every two weeks, but from a month to six weeks should be a better interval if the hair is in fairly good condition.” White castile soap or tar soap were recommended as good shampoos, and the treatment recommended for split ends was singeing and clipping.

Lightbulb   Developments towards modern-day hair care

1898: The first commercial shampoo? German chemist Hans Schwarzkopf developed a water-soluble powder shampoo that became hugely popular. 1927: Liquid shampoos were developed. 1930s: The first pH-balanced shampoo was developed. 1950: The first synthetic shampoo was available. 1963: The first anti-dandruff shampoo.

1900: The first “conditioner”? Parisian perfumer Edouard Pinaud presented ‘Brilliantine’, a formula to soften men's hair. 1970: The first rinse-off conditioner was marketed.

Today, developments have provided many specialised shampoos and conditioners to meet specific hair needs.


useful stuff...

How Australian pandemics have changed! The 1919 Spanish Flu pandemic caused over 10,000 deaths in Australia,14 whereas the 2009-10 H1N1 pandemic ("Swine Flu") caused 191 deaths.15 English knights were required to bathe at least once in their lives - during the ritual of their knighthood ceremony. Because of this tradition, during the reign of King Henry IV there originated an order called "Knights of the Bath".16 The term "shampoo" came from Indian language and originally meant "massage".17 English society ladies held vacuuming parties after invention of the horse-drawn electric vacuum in 1901.18
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