Suffering for Beauty – Unique Hair Care for Your Characters

Looking for some way to make your character unique? Some way to make him or her stand apart from all of the other characters that have been created? Maybe your search for just the right quirk to give your character has not been as successful as you would like.

hair, wikimedia commons

hair, wikimedia commons

Have you considered giving your character a strange way of caring for her hair? Do you have a character whose hair leaves a lot to be desired? Is your character losing his locks? Is a change of color needed? Is she meticulous about the way she cares for her hair?

What if your character refuses to use any of the modern ways of hair care? What if she insists on using the ancient ways? Perhaps your character makes some unusual adaptations to the ancient ways to make them more modern. Still, they are unusual.

wet-rendered lard from pork fatback, wikipedia

wet-rendered lard from pork fatback, wikipedia

animal fat – Hair loss has been a problem for men and women for a very long time. The ancient Greeks had a way to deal with this though. Get the fat of some animals, make it into a paste, and slather it all over your head. This should make your hair grow. Your character could even own a farm filled with cows, sheep, and goats.  When an animal is slaughtered, the fat could be kept for later use.

Question is, does your character really want a full head of hair that badly?

A Scottish Highland bull, wikipedia

A Scottish Highland bull, wikipedia

bull semen – Does your character have hair that isn’t so healthy looking? Does it need to be moisturized? Does it need to be shinier? After all, everyone wants healthy looking hair. I can assure you that your character will be remembered if he uses this method to treat his hair.

I guess living on a farm would come in handy if you wanted to moisturize your hair with bull semen. Would your character harvest the semen himself or have a vet come and do it for him?

This is actually in use today, so you can even use it yourself if you want. To moisturize the hair, make it shiny, thick, and healthy, you need to condition it with bull semen. Before you freak out, this is mixed with other ingredients, but still. I really don’t think that I will be using it. But your character could be a big fan of the conditioner containing this unusual ingredient.

black cow, pixabay.com

black cow, pixabay.com

blood of black cows – If you lived in the ancient world and wanted to change your hair to a darker color, what did you do? There wasn’t a local Walmart to visit to buy a box of hair dye. Perhaps your hair stylist could dye your hair for you. That is possible, but he or she couldn’t buy hair dye, either. Natural substances would have to be used. If you wanted to darken your hair and condition it at the same time, you would mix together henna, tadpoles, and the blood of black cows. This mixture would be applied liberally to the hair. Can you say yuck? Your character would definitely be a bit strange to use this to dye her hair. I really don’t see a male character doing this, but who knows?

What if this method of coloring hair became popular in today’s world?  Would the price of black cows go through the roof?  Would it lead to a shortage of black cows?  Would black cows disappear as criminals kidnapped them and held them for ransom?

safflower petals, herb-magic.com

safflower petals, herb-magic.com

sulfur and safflower petals – During the time of Queen Elizabeth, all of the women wanted their hair to be red. So what if you were a natural blonde or brunette? Simple. You made up a powder of sulfur and safflower petals and applied this to your hair or your wigs. So what if it gave you frequent headaches, nosebleeds, and nausea, at least your hair would be red. If your character used this mix to color her hair red, why would she be doing so when she could just go buy some hair dye? Make sure her reason makes sense. You could also have a time travel story where she travels back to that time period.

Because of the horrible side effects of using this mixture on your hair, I don’t really see it becoming popular again.  I’m sure though that your writer’s imagination can come up with a scenario where it regains popularity and make it believable.

girl writing, etc.usf.edu

girl writing, etc.usf.edu

More Writing Prompts
You character doesn’t’ have to be the one to use one of these unusual hair care methods.  What if your character owned a beauty salon and catered to customers who wanted to use these unusual ways of caring for their hair?

What was his/her reaction when a customer first asked if he offered one of these treatments?

How many had to ask for these treatmens before they were offered?

How would he/she obtain what was needed?

Did any customers ask for treatments so unusual that he refused to offer them?

How would offering these unusual treatments affect business?  Sure, some would love it and become faithful customers, but would other customers be sickened by them and find another salon to get their hair done at?

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