This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
After the scalp has been thoroughly cleansed by the shampoo, the following formula is to be used:
Salicylic acid........ 1 part
Precipitate of sulphur. 2.5 parts
Rose water.......... 25 parts
The patient is directed to part the hair, and then to rub in a small portion of the ointment along the part, working it well into the scalp. Then another part is made parallel to the first, and more ointment rubbed in. Thus a series of first, longitudinal, and then transverse parts are made, until the whole scalp has been well anointed. Done in this way, it is not necessary to smear up the whole shaft of the hair, but only to reach the hair roots and the sebaceous glands, where the trouble is located. This process is thoroughly performed for six successive nights, and the seventh night another shampoo is taken. The eighth night the inunctions are commenced again, and this is continued for six weeks. In almost every case the production of dandruff is checked completely after six weeks' treatment, and the hair, which may have been falling out rapidly before, begins to take firmer root. To be sure, many hairs which are on the point of falling when treatment is begun will fall anyway, and it may even seem for a time as if the treatment were increasing the hair-fall, on account of the mechanical dislodgment of such hairs, but this need never alarm one.
After six weeks of such treatment the shampoo may be taken less frequently.
Next to dandruff, perhaps, the most common cause of early loss of hair is heredity. In some families all of the male members, or all who resemble one particular ancestor, lose their hair early. Dark-haired families and races, as a rule, become bald earlier than those with light hair. At first thought it would seem as though nothing could be done to prevent premature baldness when heredity is the cause, but this is a mistake. Careful hygiene of the scalp will often counterbalance hereditary predisposition for a number of years, and even after the hair has actually begun to fall proper stimulation will, to a certain extent, and for a limited time, often restore to the hair its pristine thickness and strength. Any of the rubefacients may be prescribed for this purpose for daily use, such as croton oil, 1.5 per cent; tincture of cantharides, 15 per cent; oil of cinnamon, 40 per cent; tincture of capsicum, 15 per cent; oil of mustard, 1 per cent; or any one of a dozen others. Tincture of capsicum is one of the best, and for a routine prescription the following has served well:
Resorcin........... 5 parts
Tincture capsicum.. 15 parts
Castor oil.......... 10 parts
Alcohol............ 100 parts
Oil of roses, sufficient.
It is to be recommended that the stimulant be changed from time to time, so as not to rely on any one to the exclusion of others. Jaborandi, oxygen gas, quinine, and other agents have enjoyed a great reputation as hair-producers for a time, and have then taken their proper position as aids, but not specifics, in restoring the hair.
It is well known that after many fevers, especially those accompanied by great depression, such as pneumonia, typhoid, puerperal, or scarlet fever, the hair is liable to fall out. This is brought about in a variety of ways: In scarlatina, the hair papilla shares in the general desquamation; in typhoid and the other fevers the baldness may be the result either of the excessive seborrhea, which often accompanies these diseases, or may be caused by the general lowering of nutrition of the body. Unless the hair-fall be accompanied by considerable dandruff (in which case the above-mentioned treatment should be vigorously employed), the ordinary hygiene of the scalp will result in a restoration of the hair in most cases, but the employment of moderate local stimulation, with the use of good general tonics, will hasten this end. It seems unwise to cut the hair of women short in these cases, because the baldness is practically never complete, and a certain proportion of the hairs will retain firm root. These may be augmented by a switch made of the hair which has fallen out, until the new hair shall have grown long enough to do up well. In this way all of that oftentimes most annoying short-hair period is avoided.