Hair Care: Then and Today

James Cook Ayer began selling pills and potions in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1843. By the early 1870’s he was a multimillionaire. One of his most popular products, though not exactly promoted as a medication, was “Ayer’s Hair Vigor.”

Ayer’s Hair Vigor was first bottled in 1867, sold in a beautiful cobalt blue bottle with a glass stopper. The accompanying literature, while not making direct claims of restoring hair or preventing grey, broadly hinted at such benefits while throwing in an occasional disclaimer.

An interesting feature of the descriptive literature is that it not only names the ingredients, (required in 1906) it also gives a brief rundown of the “possible” benefits of each, while encouraging the user to review the information with his own personal medical practitioner. The particulars are printed in English, French and Spanish (indicating this hair product was sold widely).

By the time that “Hair Vigor” was being widely advertised, people had just begun to learn of the “germ theory of disease” established by Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch in 1870. Though the theory was not yet well accepted or understood, it seems that many medicine promoters were quick to use this new scientific discovery to promote their wares, by attributing almost any symptom to “germs.”

For instance, Hair Vigor included:

  • Sulphur – “destroys the dandruff germ and the germ which causes falling hair”. (Though sulphur is sometimes used in dandruff medications today, it is not specified for the “falling hair germ”).
  • Glycerin – “for soothing and healing and a positive and distinct food value aiding nature in producing abundant luxuriant hair – food to the hairbulbs – destroys germ life.”
  • Quinine – (Benefit not specified, but was most often used to treat. Malaria)
  • Sodium Chloride – “for cleansing and healing” (table salt)
  • Cantharides – “Arouses into full activity all the glands of the scalp.” (Formerly used as a counter-irritant for skinblisters, a diuretic and and an aphrodisiac. It is now an illegal substance in most countries)
  • Alcohol – “preservative and valuable antiseptic” (and in this case, not meant to be ingested)
  • Water / Perfume – “lavender, lemon and nerol.” (this must be some form of diluted down essential oil or possibly the hydosol from distillation of the essential oils)

This product’s promoters had an interesting way of proclaiming wonderful benefits to it’s customers without making any actual promises. The informational insert says it:

“Makes hair grow because it increases circulation of blood in the scalp and directly nourishes hair bulbs. But it will not do impossible things. It will not work contrary to any law of nature. We wish we could honestly say that Ayer’s Hair Vigor will grow hair on a bald head. But we cannot so state. No power in the world can make hair grow on an old thin shiny scalp. But if there is any life left in the hair bulbs it will stimulate them to do all they possibly can. Therefore we can only say that Ayer’s Hair Vigor will sometimes, but not always, make hair grow on bald heads. The only way to know is to try.”

Having covered the problem of balding, the pamphlet goes on to address graying hair and if not improving the condition, it at least makes you feel better about it, saying:

“While it prevents premature gray, it certainly will not prevent the gray and white hair which nature has declared should be a crown of beauty and dignity for ripe old age.”

The Ayer’s Co. had several other products including Cherry Pectoral, The Ague Cure, and Sarsaparilla which appeared around the mid 1800’s. Like many such companies the Ayer’s Co. promoted itself with almanacs that were filled with handy hints and profuse advertisements for it’s line of items.

Hair Care: What We Are Faced With “Today”

Unlike days a century ago, the average woman today can wear on her body over 500 chemicals every single day according to a recent study in the UK.

Even though today’s hair products do not contain Cantharides and Quinine we are still faced with ingredients that are very harmful to our health.

The UK study showed that of the 2,016 women polled, more than 70 percent said they were not concerned about the number of chemicals they put on their skin and only 1 in 10 opted for chemical-free products.

Additionally, more than 1/3 of the women in the study were unaware of the ingredients in their personal care products. And, only 9 percent were aware of most of the ingredients.

Baby Steps???

Although the study covered all kinds of personal care products (from deodorant to make-up, and lotions to hair products) I want to focus on hair care in this weeks newsletter so it’s more manageable. Hey, we all have to start somewhere, right!?

While we will never be able to completely eliminate every toxic chemical from our lives we can certainly ‘minimize’ them and their negative impacts to our health.

Moms will most likely want to be aware of this… the EWG (Environmental Working Group) tested 10 newborn babies for 413 chemicals, pollutants and pesticides (The Pollution in Newborns) and learned that the newborns were born polluted with hundreds of chemicals. This means that ‘we’ are carrying these toxic compounds in our bodies, whether we’re pregnant or not, female or male (men actually carry more in their bodies because of the types of work that are most associated with men).

The good news is that we do NOT have to have some of these toxins in our bodies at all, if we are conscious of what we’re doing and using – and – our exposure to others can be severely minimized with a little conscious effort.

The Challenge

I want to give you some homework this week, I want you to go into your bathroom and read the ingredients on the label. I know, it sounds like a drag and like I’m being a pain, especially if you think you know that your brand is natural and good for you… you’ll be shocked.

Have Hair Care Products Really Gotten Much Better? The Ingredients List…

  • Parabens (Methyl-, ethyl-, propyl- and butyl-parabens)
  • Coal Tar Colors (FC&C Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5 & 6, D&C Red 33)
  • Diethanolamine (cocamide DEA, TEA and MEA are related ingredients that can be contaminated with DEA)
  • Nonoxynol or nonylphenol ethoxylate, phthalates (can be listed as DEHP, DHP, or DBP5 or hidden in “fragrance” Red 33)
  • Diethanolamine (cocamide DEA, TEA and MEA are related ingredients that can be contaminated with DEA)
  • Nonoxynol or nonylphenol ethoxylate
  • Phthalates (can be listed as DEHP, DHP, or DBP5 or hidden in “fragrance”)(Phthalates are carcinogenic and hormone disruptors. Their purpose in products is to help lotions penetrate and soften the skin and are essential to scented products, and help fragrances last longer)
  • DMDM hydantoin
  • Triclosan
  • Sodum lauryl and laureth sulfates (in toothpaste too, yup, even all-natural ones – just look at the label!)
  • Toluene
  • Formaldehyde (considered a probable carcinogen by the U.S. EPA)
  • PEGs
  • Fragrance / Perfume (these consist mostly of chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs) (Calvin Klein’s Eternity by an independent lab, commissioned by Environmental Health Network (EHN), revealed that the perfume contained over 800 compounds)
  • Anything with “glycol” or “methyl” as part of the name

Hidden Chemicals – Buyer Beware!

Just like companies are hiding MSG in processed foods (yes, even in natural and organics), personal care product companies are hiding their chemicals now too. For instance, Phthalates are rarely listed on labels, but when the EWG tested 72 products which did not list Phthalates it was discovered that almost 75 percent DID contain Phthalates.

What’s in the personal care products you’re buying?

Learn what’s in the personal care products you’re buying

Phthlate Exposure Impairs Testicular Function (feminization of boys)

Aggregate Exposures to Phthalates in Humans (PDF Report) (there’s little doubt in my mind that phthalates are the likely cause of reproductive problems in birds, reptiles, frogs and fish too. I suspect the only reason this chemical is not banned is because of the industry, it’s a very popular and commonly used ingredient)

As you may already know, we have tons of super easy recipes at our team blog on how to make all of your own household cleaning and personal care products using common kitchen ingredients and your essential oils – it is incredibly easy to make your own… not to mention EMPOWERING!

The Best Solution for Hair and Build-up on Hair, my testimonial

“By far the best shampoo and conditioner I have found is Young Living’s. My entire life I had to switch shampoo and conditioner brands every single month due to the residue and build-up they left n my hair.

It wasn’t until I tried Young Living’s Lavender Shampoo and Lavender Conditioner over 10 years ago that my switching brands monthly came to an end. That’s right, I went from an entire lifetime of switching brands every month to using the exact same shampoo and conditioner for over 10 years!” ~ Evelyn Vincent

The Benefit to Us

  • NO undesired chemicals to ruin our health!
  • NO synthetic fragrances – only Young Living Essential Oils scent these
  • NO MORE switching brands every month – YAY!
  • So concentrated that I have to add a little water to them
  • Extremely economical – I have long hair and I have never used any other brand of shampoo or conditioner that lasted so long. I go through one bottle of shampoo about every 2 months – and – the conditioner, I buy 2-3 bottles a YEAR! I cannot tell you how much money I save by using the Young Living shampoo and conditioner – it adds up to a small fortune! if you’re not yet a wholesale customer I highly recommend that too, learn the facts about the advantages.

Young Living Shampoo and Conditioner for healthy hair care.

If you haven’t tried the Young Living shampoo and conditioner I highly recommend trying them now – you will be one step closer to getting some of those chemicals out of your life, a step closer to saving a small fortune, and a step closer to having really beautiful hair! You have no idea what you’ve been missing out on if you aren’t using these.

Lavender Volume Shampoo

Lavender Volume Conditioner

Lemon Sage Clarifying Shamoo

Lemon Sage Clarifying Conditioner

Rosewood Moisturizing Shampoo

Rosewood Moisturizing Conditioner

Get Young Living oils and products at: https://www.youngliving.org/theveryessence

4 Tips to Great Hair

1. Use the right product for the right hair type. No hair care product—regardless of its quality—works for all types of hair at all times. Hair that is naturally curly requires different hair treatments than those that are permed. Similarly, Asian hair (which tends to consist of thicker and rounder hair follicles) needs different hair care than does African hair (which tends to be very fine and frizzy). This why the Young Living Essential Oils AromaSilk hair care line of products is segmented into three different lines:

Young Living Shampoo and Conditioner for healthy hair care.

Young Living Shampoo and Conditioner for healthy hair care.

• Lavender Volume Shampoo gently cleanses and volumizes fine hair while nourishing and restoring balance. Long known for its ability to improve the appearance of hair and skin, lavender oil works its fragrant magic to enhance the natural beauty of your hair. Added botanical extracts, vitamins, and essential oils remove buildup that comes from commercially sold hair products while maximizing body. Renewing and invigorating, Lavender Volume Shampoo contains MSM, a sulfur compound that is known for strengthening hair.

 

Lavender Volume Conditioner™ gently conditions and volumizes fine hair. A fabulous follow-up to Lavender Volume Shampoo, it is formulated with MSM, milk protein, and vitamins to strengthen limp and weak hair. Essential oils are added to ensure that nutrients penetrate the hair follicle and leave the hair clean and perfumed.

 

• Rosewood Moisturizing Shampoo gently cleanses dry or damaged hair. The botanical herbal extracts, vitamins, and essential oils remove buildup from commercial hair products while maximizing body and supplementing moisture. Continue reading

Harmful Chemicals in Hair Care and Skin Care Products

It makes my head spin just thinking about this topic, the number of synthetic and chemical ingredients that go into hair and skin care products is enormous. The scary part is… many of the chemicals have never been tested for human safety… hmmmm, and we’re slathering this stuff all over our bodies!? Yikes!

I stopped buying commercial skin and hair products twenty years ago. I had to stop… I couldn’t stand the poor results, the high cost, the amount of product needed (making even the cheaper brands FAR more expensive because I needed to use so much of the junk), the smells (YUCK!), and the fact that the ingredients are toxic chemicals. At the same time, I was beginning to get into higher quality essential oils – and am I glad that I did. Bringing them into my life and learning how to use them has been one of the smarter things I’ve done for myself. I cannot tell you how free-ing it is to not be in that consumer rat-trap and a part of the crowd that is locked into that whole system of really awful products, yes that includes the much more expensive brands too (which I once bought also).

I don’t really understand why the majority of the population is still locked into that trap, perhaps it’s due to human habit. I do know this, I am sooo glad that I found my way out of it… with the economy tanking, health care costs rising, the last thing I want in my life are products that WILL make me ill and/or diseased.

For the past 8 years, I’ve been using Young Living Essential Oils shampoo/conditioner. They have three really super quality shampoo’s & conditioners: Lavender, Lemon-Sage, and Rosewood. Yes, the price is high but I use so little – the conditioner, I probably only need to buy 4 bottles a year – that’s a whole lot cheaper than Suave and Pantene (which I refuse to put on my hair due to the nasty chemicals). I believe one 8 oz. bottle of the Young Living shampoo lasts me a little over two months, I think that’s amazing. My hair is soft, shiny and in really nice shape (I never blow dry my hair, that’s way too damaging, instead I wash my hair at night and let it air dry). The YL hair care smell fabulous – they contain the YL therapeutic-grade essential oils and the best part, they don’t have any chemicals that are going to create health problems! Continue reading

Hair and Scalp Problems Helped by Using Essential Oils

Sulfur is the single most important mineral for maintaining the strength and integrity of the hair and hair follicle. Young Living’s Sulfurzyme supplement may be quite helpful – Sulfurzyme also contains MSM, which supports muscles, joints, allergies and overall skin health – so you may find you’re helping your body in many ways by taking Sulfurzyme.

Single therapeutic-grade essential oils that are known for being good for hair care are: Rosemary, lavender, clary sage, sage,  cedarwood, basil, sandalwood, juniper, ylang ylang, sandalwood, lemon, cypress, rosewood.

Blends to Make Your Own Hair Treatments

Blend for dry hair:

• 2 drops ylang ylang
• 8 drops rosewood
• 4 drops geranium

Blend for oily hair:

Continue reading

Recipe to Make Your Own Essential Oil Kitchen Dish Soap

It is so easy to make your own aromatherapy / essential oil dish soap – and many other cleaning products. One BIG plus is that “you” control all of the ingredients – which means you end up with a completely nontoxic product for your sweetly scented  home safe home. Of course, you do not want your ‘green’ home efforts to be wasted so I recommend using an organic therapeutic-grade essential oil such as Young Living’scheaper essential oils DO contain chemicals and solvents, plus you will have to use so much that it will end up costing you more in the long run. Continue reading

Lavender Signature Series from Young Living

Therapeutic grade Lavender essential oil has been beloved and treasured for thousands of years as one of nature’s greatest gifts for healing. Recorded usage of lavender dates back to Biblical times where it was used for bathing as well as a key ingredient in many of the most effective remedies of that time.

In the late 1900s, Rene Maurice Gattefosse, a French chemist and perfumer, discovered the amazing skin benefits of lavender oil after using it to treat his severely burned hand, which was healed completely without any trace of an infection or scar.

Today, lavender essential oil is used in many skin care products, however, many companies dilute the oil, or use synthetically altered versions. The products in Young Living’s Lavender Signature Series contain only the finest therapeutic-grade lavender essential oil, ensuring the maximum benefits of lavender oil are delivered.

Young Living’s Lavender Signature Series features a collection of all-natural personal care products infused with pure therapeutic-grade lavender essential oil.

Lavender Signature Series

Lavender Signature Series

What Makes Lavender Signature Series Products Unique? Continue reading

Hydrate and Protect Lips this Summer with Lavender Lip Balm

Repair and moisturize lips with Young Living’s Lavender Lip Balm. This is a nourishing blend of ingredients such as lavender essential oil, jojoba oil, and vitamin E will help protect and heal lips in all seasons.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) has a fresh, sweet, floral, herbaceous aroma that is soothing and refreshing. Therapeutic-grade lavender is highly regarded for skin and beauty.

The French scientist René Gattefossé was among the first to discover these properties when he was severely burned in a laboratory explosion. 

Get Lavender Lip Balm

Other Young Living Lavender Products

Lavender Bath Gel – relax your body and rejuvenate your mind with a soothing bath of nature’s finest lavender essential oil. All-natural ingredients work to refresh and condition your skin as you unwind from your busy day. Pour directly into the water for a luxurious bubble bath, or drop a quarter-sized amount onto a bath sponge and lather. Continue reading