페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

extraordinary growth of hair, not only on the head, but over the whole body. This is occasionally observable in consumptives, after violent fevers, and in the course of diseases peculiar to the sex. The fact offers us another opportunity for remarking, that the conşideration of the hair and its diseases can never be separated from the study of the physiology and maladies of the whole body.

The Oriental ladies have a horror of superfluous hairs, and destroy them with the most sedulous care. Therefore the cosmetic science of Western Europe, which was a creation of later date, first learned the secret of depilatories, or hair-removing compounds, from their Eastern neighbors.

The preparation chiefly used in the Asiatic harems is called the rusma. For a long time its composition was unknown, but now-a-days it is not easy to conceal the ingredients of a mixture from the prying eyes of the chemist. The true Oriental rusma has been carefully analyzed, and found to be composed of a form of arsenic, called arsenical iron pyrites, and quicklime, in the proportion of two parts of the former to one part of the latter, both in fine powder.

It is imitated by mixing one part of the yellow sulphuret of arsenic, known in commerce as orpiment, with quicklime, and powdered starch. This is made into a paste with water, and laid on the part from which it is intended to remove the hair. As soon as

HAIR REMOVERS.

301

1

much smarting is felt, the paste is removed by washing with tepid water, and the hairs will come away with it. Unless this is done skilfully, however, an ugly scar may be left, or the system poisoned by the arsenic. We therefore warn our readers against using this or any depilatory, of which they do not know the composition, as most of the latter, whether they deny it or not, contain some arsenical salt. We shall give some more innocent and quite efficient formulæ, which will answer as well or better than the imitation of rusma.

The safest of all chemical depilatories is what is called the sulphydrate of calcium

Take

Of sulphuret of calcium
Quicklime

two parts;
one part.

1

Powder them separately, mix, and keep in a wellstopped bottle. When wanted for use, make into a paste with a little water, and spread on the part. Let it remain for fifteen minutes, or until it smarts, and then wash off with soap and tepid water.

Another equally safe, recommended by the distinguished French surgeon Cazenave, is :

[blocks in formation]

Mix to form an ointment.
These do not answer in every case, and the former

on sensitive skins may leave an unpleasant though temporary redness.

Professor Redwood some years since lauded in very high terms a strong solution of the sulphuret of barium as a depilatory. When used, it must be mixed rapidly with finely-powdered starch, and applied to the part. Its application demands skill and care, and with these, it is a very good depilatory.

But all the barium salts are poisonous, and though this is undoubtedly an efficient preparation, as there are other and innocuous means, we advise them to be patronized in place of others.

In preference to any of these chemical depilatories we prefer the mechanical. This is simply pulling the hairs out by the roots." This has an alarming sound, and suggests torture. But there is no occasion for terror. If properly performed, the operation is painless. Fine tweezers, or “ ciliary forceps,” may be used, and the sensation of the part previously blunted by pressing against it firmly a piece of ice, or allowing the

spray of ether to fall upon it for a few seconds. An old-fashioned method for heroic beauties used to be to press firmly upon the part a piece of shoemaker's wax, in which the hairs would become firmly imbedded, and then jerk it away, hairs and all! This demands an amount of heroism to which modern belles are rarely equal, and modern chemistry, therefore, ever obedient to the demands of its queens, has contrived a composi

THE BEST DEPILATORY..

303

tion which is destined, we think, to supersede most other depilatories on account of the ease with which it is applied, its painlessness, and its satisfactory results.

It is resin tempered with wax, with the addition of a strong anodyne. The mixture is melted and run into sticks, like sealing wax. The end of one of these sticks is softened and warmed by bringing it near a candle, but is not allowed to become hot enough to burn the skin, and is pressed firmly on the hairy spot for about a minute. It is then suddenly pulled away, bringing the hair with it, and this without any pain. The only skill required is to heat the end of the stick to the proper point, so that it will hold firmly the hairs, and not scorch the skin.

As this psilothron, as it is called, is at present not manufactured in this country, so far as we know, we have called the attention of some of the dealers in toilet articles to it, so that it can now be obtained through several merchants in this and other cities.

We do not advise using it, or any other depilatory, for the hairs in the nostrils or in the ears.

These are very sensitive parts of our body, in the vicinity of delicate and important organs, which it is not well to imperil in the least. A thin-bladed and blunt-pointed pair of scissors should be used to clip the growth in these spots from time to time, but only when they are unusually coarse. For these are the natural veils and

dust-catchers, which wise Nature has hung at the entrance to these cavities.

THE ARRANGEMENT OF THE HAIR.

“The arrangement of the hair! Why, that is mat ter for a barber, or a dressing-maid. We leave it to them, and to the fashion-plate makers."

The worse for you if you do, for it is simply throwing away one of the most potent means of enhancing the natural charms. The ancients, passionate lovers of beauty, with souls ever sensitive of its sweet concords, did not so. They thought it no derogation to bestow on the disposition of the locks thought and study. Neither do we.

The symbol-loving minds of the Greeks saw in the various modes of wearing the hair the expression of different temperaments, and ever strove to adopt that which was at once in the most perfect harmony with the features, and with the character of the individuals. Let us try to obtain, if we can, some small share of their artistic power, some partial insigḥt into that wondrous world of beauty which they saw surrounding the daily life of this work-a-day world, where we, alas, see little but hard facts and homely fancies. How much will be our gain if we learn to see the beautiful, not only in galleries of statuary and paintings, but in the forms of daily life!

Perhaps, after all, we have more of this insight than

« 이전계속 »