When Mr. Gilchrist opened my aunt's head, as he called it, I must confess it's effluvias affected my sense of smelling disagreeably, which stench, however, did not surprize me, when I observed the great variety of materials employed in raising the dirty Fabrick. False locks to supply the great deficiency of native hair, pomatum with profusion, great wool to bolster up the adopted locks, and grey powder to conceal at once age and dirt, and all these caulked together by pins of an indecent length, and corresponding colour. When the comb was applied to the natural hair, I observed swarms of animalculas running about in the utmost consternation, and in different directions, upon which I put my chair a little further from the table, and asked the operator whether that numerous swarm did not from time to time send out colonies to other parts of the body? He assured me that they could not; for that the quantity of powder and pomatum formed a glutinous matter, which, like limetwiggs to birds, caught and clogged the little natives, and prevented their migration.
Friday, January 17, 2014
A 1768 account of hair-dressing from The London Magazine, or Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer, as given in Julia Allen's Swimming with Dr Johnson and Mrs Thrale: Sport, Health and Exercise in eighteenth-century England: