Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Civil War Era Hair Oils

Did you ever wonder how people kept their hair so tidy? Remember, hair pins were not like modern "bobby pins" and were incapable of holding down flyaways. People used hair oils which tended to be a simple oil, such as almond oil, and a scent and pomatums to keep their hair sleek. Ladies tended to use "pomatum" and men used hair oil.

"Hair Oil.-- The best hair oil is made by mixing high proofed alcohol and cold pressed castor oil. These ingredients are the base of all the celebrated hair oils." -- M. L. Dunlap, The Illinois Farmer Vol. 8 (Springfield: Baker & Phillips, 1863), 117.