I have this little book. It’s ratty and tatty and falling to bits but oh how I love the smell of it. The yellow pages are aging but the stellar advice given is priceless! The book is titled ‘The Handbook of Beauty’ by Constance Hart, written in 1955.
I was raised by my mother to appreciate the importance of brushing my hair. This wasn’t a conscious lesson, nor could I remember being nagged or made to do it. It just became routine. However I was recently in my mum’s company, bent over, head to the floor brushing my hair from the back to the front over and over when she said… “you know, your sisters and most younger girls just wouldn’t know how good that feels”.
I asked her what she meant and she replied that while I was made to brush my hair every night, the other two (who are younger than me and either because they grew up in a different time, had shorter hair or because Mum didn’t have the time to be ON them as much) just don’t brush their hair like they used to.
They are more likely to tussle their hair, air dry it then bang on some fudge to make it messy. Or they put it up into a messy bun and that’s the end of it. Only in the expert hands of a hairdresser does it get a good brushing. But to me it’s just a normal part of my daily routine. So now every time I brush, I also take a moment to really enjoy how it feels. (Important Tip: Never brush your hair when it’s wet, this is when your hair is at its weakest. Only brush when it’s dry.)
I thought about this again last night while I was reading from one of my favourite little books, and I thought I would share:
“There is no set rule about the amount of brushing needed. You may have heard that 100 strokes a day is the sure way to hair beauty. That’s just a convenient number picked out of a hat. You can brush your hair 50 times, 100 times, 208 times or 333 times a day. The big point is daily regularity. Better 100 times a day than 700 times once a week.”
“One of the silliest notions ever to hit the female sex, by the way, is that brushing disturbs a hair setting. Quite the contrary. A hair setting that is un-brushed will begin to look like a wig after a while. If your hair has just been set, and is completely dry, brushing will loosen the set just enough to make it look more natural. Good hairdressers themselves thoroughly brush just set hair before they add the final combing touches.”
(I will interject here briefly to agree, as long as you are using THE LINDY CHARM SCHOOL FOR GIRLS ESSENTIAL SETTING LOTION – in which case there is no need to be scared about brushing out a set.)
“Now… about those cast off nylons, I listed among your essential aids to hair beauty. No matter how clean your hair, there is bound to be dust, dirt or soot in it, especially if you live in the city. This grime clings to the brush bristles. Obviously, with the same brush used all over the head, the dirt is picked up from one part of the hair and brushed right back into another part.”
“So try this experiment. Slip an old nylon over your hairbrush. Brush your hair a few times. Now look at the nylon. Shocked at the dirt on it? I’ll bet you are. But you should feel relieved, because the dirt is now on the stocking and not on the brush bristles or back in your hair. Whenever you brush, slip a nylon over the bristles. After every ten to twenty strokes, move the stocking so that a new section of it covers the bristles.”
“This neat trick also helps to keep your brush cleaner longer. But regardless, you must wash your brush often – at least once a week (that’s why having a second brush as a pinch-hitter is a good idea). Dip the brush into luke-warm soapy water adding a couple of drops of aromatic ammonia if particularly dirty then swish around, rinse and shake off before allowing to dry in the sun with the bristles up.”Chrissy Keepence (Miss Chrissy) runs The Lindy Charm School for Girls, offering workshops, MC services, Hen’s Parties, Weddings and more.
Image sources from top: WikiCommons, Lindy Charm School, istock.