HAIR CARE THROUGHOUT HISTORY
Nowadays, most of us tend to wash our hair regularly, often on a daily basis. However, before the turn of the century, hair washing was not an as important part of Americans’ hygiene practices as it is today. Throughout history, our ancestors have taken many different approaches when it comes to hair care. Before modern science was used, hair was maintained using various available animal, vegetable and mineral ingredients. Join ViTA on a journey back to some of the most surprising and odd hair care routines of all times…
A BRIEF HISTORY OF HAIR CARE…
ANCIENT EGYPT. While Egyptian men shaved their heads, women in ancient Egypt chose creams made of both animal and plant fats (like castor and almond oil) as hair moisturizers to provide protection from the hot climate. Apparently good hair care products were so important that they were even taken to the afterlife: Mummies believed to be from 300 BC were found buried with curling tongs.
ANCIENT GREEKS. Ancient Greek not only used olive oil for cooking purposes, but also to condition their hair. Additionally, lotions, ointments, and bee wax were applied to make the hair brighter.
RENAISSANCE ERA. Now for something a little more surprising! Around the year 1300, lizard tallow (which is rendered from the fat of animals) was blended with swallow droppings to create hair gel. Women also conditioned their hair by boiling dead lizards in olive oil.
ELIZABETHAN ERA. In the 1600s, women would set their hair with lard. While that might not sound too bad, the smell attracted rats at night, which meant that women had to sleep with nightcaps, or even cages over their heads to protect their locks. In the US, women preferred to use oil mixed with eggs.
AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT. Unfortunately, lice were a huge problem during this period, which is why men shaved their heads and wore wigs. White was the color of choice; the rich would use starch and oils like lavender to keep their wigs white, while the poor relied on adding large amounts of flour to their wigs.
VICTORIAN AND EDWARDIAN ERA. During these periods hair care products focused on treating grayness and balding. Typically these products were made of hemoglobin, a protein derived from bull blood.
APPROACHING MODERN DAY HAIR CARE. The first real commercial shampoo was developed by German chemist Hans Schwarzkopf in 1898. His water-soluble powder shampoo became a huge success and was soon followed by various liquid shampoos. By the early 1900s, bathinghad become an essential aspect of personal hygiene, and shampoos started to become more and more common. During the beginning of the 20th Century the general recommendation was to shampoo as often as every two weeks (preferably using castile soap or tar soap), or even every four to six weeks, if the hair was in good condition since commonly used shampoos, were known to dry out and damage the hair. The first synthetic shampoos were introduced into the market in 1950 and followed by the first anti-dandruff shampoo in 1963.
THE MOST SIGNIFICANT EVOLUTION OF CLEANING HAIR?
Although what we call shampoo today has existed for less than a century, the story of taking care of one’s locks is thousands of years old. Every day countless new and specialized products are being created to address a number of hair types, be it thick, thin, curly, straight, dry or colored hair. The quest for the perfect shampoo seems never-ending, yet many companies continue to rely on harmful, toxic ingredients, which can seriously impact your health and the environment.
For ViTA, the most significant evolution of cleaning hair is creating formulas loaded with natural, plant science enhanced ingredients, that are free of synthetic fragrances, SLS, parabens, silicones, and phthalates. Certified free of Environmental Working Group’s ingredients of concern, ViTA’s non-toxic hair care duo is formulated with powerful plant-derived ingredients, like neem, argan oil, meadowfoam, jojoba oil, aloe vera and coconut to effectively reverse the damage done by harsh, chemical ingredients, while protecting the environment from ocean plastic pollution with the world’s first 100% OceanBound recycled plastic bottles - the final chapter in the history of shampoo!