To improve the growth and luxuriance of the hair, when languid or defective, the only natural and perfectly safe method that can be adopted is to promote the healthy action of the scalp by increasing the vigor of the circulation of the blood through its minute channels. For this purpose nothing is so simple and effective as gentle excitation of the skin by frequent continued friction with the hairbrush, which has the convenience of ease of application and inexpensiveness. Trimming of the dead ends whenever possible will also help hair to grow and look healthy
The same object may be further promoted by the application of any simple cosmetic wash or other preparation that will gently excite or stimulate the skin or exercise a tonic action on it without clogging its pores. Strong rosemary water or rosemary tea, and a weak solution of the essential oil of either rosemary or garden thyme, are popular articles of this kind. They may be rendered more stimulating by the addition of a little ammonia or a little spirit, or both of them. The skin of the head should be moistened with these on each occasion of dressing the hair, and their diffusion and action promoted by the use of a clean hairbrush. Aromatized water, to which a very little tincture or vinegar of cantharides (preferably the former) has been added, may also be used in the same way, and is in high repute for the purpose. When the skin is pale, lax, and wrinkled, astringent washes may be used.
Strong black tea is a convenient and excellent application of this kind. When the skin and hair are dry, and the latter also stiff and untractable, a little glycerine is an appropriate addition to each of the preceding washes or lotions. The occasional use of a little bland oil, strongly scented with oil of rosemary or of origanum, or with both of them, or with oil of mace, or very slightly tinctured with cantharides, is also generally very serviceable when there is poorness and dryness of the hair. When the hair is unnaturally greasy and lax (a defect that seldom occurs), the use of the astringent washes just referred to, or of a little simple oil slightly scented with the essential oil of bitter almonds, will tend to remove or lessen it.