Vintage Recipe for healthy shiny hair….

Apparently the late 1800’s wasn’t a popular era for veganism or hair pomades made without using animal by-products.  In fact, after hearing crazy rumors about the way Latin women have been achieving healthy lustrous locks for years with this protein rich substance; I decided to do some research on my own and discovered a not so secret recipe that has been in use for centuries; even by American royalty.

Bone Marrow (yes you’ve heard it right) has been used in hair products for hundreds of years., carries a treatment called Lamaur Bone Marrow hair treatment, a deep conditioner that has reportedly transformed the hair of  one beauty department guinea pig “taking  it from dull-bedhead to shiny straight for an entire week” 

Bone Marrow Deep Penetrating Conditioner 16 fl. oz - Click Image to Close

 While the bone marrow treatment is fairly cheap (a tub will only set you back about sixteen dollars) I decided to snoop for the recipe on my own.  I consider myself a mixologist and besides I am sure that ladies in the 1800’s didn’t have Lamaur’s.  No, I am quite certain someone was mixing this concoction in their own kitchen; glowing and sweating in front of a fire all in the quest for a  glossier mane. 

 I struck gold, posted a recipe for oxmarrow pomade from The White House cookbook back in, 1887:


  • 1 marrow bone
  • 1/2 pint of oil
  • 10 cents’ worth of citronella


Take the marrow out of the bone, place it in warm water, let it get almost to boiling point, then let it cool and pour the water away; repeat this three times until the marrow is thoroughly “fined.” Beat the marrow to a cream with a silver fork, stir the oil in, drop by drop, beating all the time; when quite cold add the citronella, pour into jars and cover down

Perhaps Mrs. Grover Cleveland was onto something:

Mrs. Grover Cleveland Memorabilia

Apparently, Wholefoods carries marrow bones in their freezer section for soup stock and such however; if you do not live near a WF pick up ox tails or beef shank and proceed with the recipe.  The citronella is added primarily for scent; so you can substitute any essential oil of choice. My personal favorites for stimulating scalp are: rosemary, lavender and peppermint.

Once you have the oil, massage into scalp with finger tips for 15 minutes and leave on overnight.  Wash out in the morning and repeat the treatment every other day for 2 or three days.  Keep mixture refrigerated or frozen.

Bone marrow is the soft and flexible fatty tissue that fills bones cavities.  It is rich in fat and proteins and has been reported to stop and reduce hair fall and create that rich and lustrous hair we all seek.

 Well, because I have heard so much hype about this treatment I feel that I need to compare the natural vs. the  prepared version, on my own hair.  Yes, this blogger intends to order Lamaur’s conditioning treatment and test its effectiveness against the all natural, White House recipe from 1887 (which I will “glisten” over a hot stove and prepare myself).  Stay tuned for my review and results!


About Shakonda

I love vintage fashion, natural recipes, music and art as well as discovering new ways to use old things. Roots and Berries gives an eco-friendly perspective on fashion, beauty, art and health whenever possible while connecting with people and artists on a grass-roots level.

One response to “Vintage Recipe for healthy shiny hair….

  1. i love this! as a hair stylist i am always bothered by all the promises chemical shampoo lines make. hair is not a living thing and cannot repair itself- all one can do is make it feel better, or different. animal cells are much closer to human cells than plant cells…so doesn’t it make sense? think placenta skin care, fight club shampoo, whale fat lipsticks….why, i bet the best strengthener for dull porous hair is rhino horn. we don’t have to kill things but we can try to synthetically reproduce them in a lab- grow them perhaps. i think therefore i buy- jm

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