What We Saved: Old-Time Ephemera
from the Seaport Museum Archives

Recipe for Hair Dye

circa 1800


A recipt for colouring hair.

Take a certain portion of lime sufficient for the
head; Steep it in water for about three, or four days,
changing the water about every twelve hours; - take
a certain portion of this lime ( the water being en-
tirely drained; ) to which add half an ounce of white
lead powder, and an ounce and a half of [ceruse],
Stir these all together until the composition become
thick; ( which it will do; ) if it become too thick mo-
isten it , with some rose water, which will give it
also an agreeable smell. Before going to bed anoint
your hair well with it the above composition. cover-
ing your head with cabbages, or beets' leaves, at the
same time binding your head with a handkerchief.
In the morning wash your head perfectly clean
of the ointment in lukewarm water; & when
the hair is dry, brush it until is assume the
desired colour, and to give it the finishing stroke,
use a little of [pomatium], or oil of almond with
the brush.

Independence Seaport Museum
Barry-Hayes Papers

Dimensions: 9 7/8 × 7 3/4 inches

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