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Care Hair

scalp, grey, colour, growth, air and entrance

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HAIR, CARE OF.—Although heredity plays an important part in the development of the hair, much may be accomplished toward directing its growth in a favourable manner. lip to about its sixth year, the child's hair should be frequently cut in order to ensure a vigorous growth. It should be borne in mind that long, thick, curly hair is a great accumulator of dust, and that hair which is kept moderately short can be most readily washed and cared for. Boys should under all circumstances wear their hair closely cropped. Hair which preserves its natural lustre without being damp or greasy, does not require any other care than frequent washing with soap (about twice a week). Dry, bristly, lustreless hair is best treated with lanoline or other pomades. It is highly advisable to take care of the hair also before going to bed ; and it should be remembered that artificial measures to promote its growth can act much more efficaciously during the night I han in the dust of the day.

Hair-brushes should be selected with moderately stiff bristles, so that they may give the scalp a certain amount of massage. Broad, double brushes (one for each hand) are to be recommended. Hair-brushes should be cleaned often and thoroughly, as otherwise an incredible amount of dirt will accumulate in them. It is advisable to free the brush of hairs and dust directly after using. The combs used should have dull teeth, in order that they may not injure the scalp.

Dandruff is one of the most frequent disturbances of the growth of the hair. This affection, which is characterised by the formation of a scurf which comes off in fine scales, not only gives the hair a dusty grey, lustreless appearance, but also creates the impression of uncleanliness on the part of the individual thus affected, on account of the condition of the clothes. At the onset it should be stated that the application of alcoholic hair-tonics (and most of the widely advertised remedies of this kind contain larger or smaller amounts of alcohol) is absolutely out of place. Such remedies are

extremely harmful, since they only tend to dry the scalp in consequence of the evapora tion of the alcohol.

According to medical ex perience there is only one remedy which is efficacious in this condition, and that is shampooing the scalp with the yolk of an egg. This remedy is prepared by stir ring the yolk of an egg with ten drops of chloroform until it forms a bright yellow mass resembling ointment. This should be firmly rubbed into the scalp and around the roots of the hair, about a teaspoonful being used at a time. This process should be repeated twice a week, and after each application the excess of yolk should be washed out with a good lanolin soap and the hair rubbed dry with a linen towel.

Prematurely grey hair is another condition which is of rather frequent occurrence. The colour of the hair is due (r) to a certain pigment furnished by the hair-follicle, and derived from the colouring matter of the blood, %vhich latter also causes the racial colour of the skin ; and (2) to the light refraction from the hair. It follows, therefore, that changes in the colour of the hair may be caused either by the absence of pigment (as in circum scribed areas of grey hair ; see Fig. 205), or by the entrance of air. In the latter case the air-bubbles diminish the transparency of the hair and reflect the light which strikes it, just as dull (uneven) glass appears to be of a milky white colour because the white light is refracted in many ways. That the hair becomes grey with age is mostly due to the entrance of air into the marginal cells of the hair-shafts which have become more brittle ; much less fre quently to the absence of pig ment. The fact that the hair may turn grey all of a sudden, in consequence of sorrow, fright, excitement, pain, etc., can be explained only as being due to a sudden change in the amount of fluid contained in the hair shafts, and which paves the way for the entrance of air into the outer layer of the scalp.

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