“Mix one cup yellow cornmeal with two tablespoons salt, then take about three tablespoons in a dish and moisten slightly. Part hair and work over the scalp, but don’t rub too hard and irritate scalp. Then shake and work rest of the dry mixture through the hair. Now bend over and shake out the loose corn meal, out in the sun if possible, or let dry ten minutes and brush out with a stiff brush to remove the rest.” Hazel Theresa Gifford, Fundamentals of Beauty (1944).
I hate washing my hair. For me, an awesome hair day is a rarity, an accidental surprise that I cannot replicate, so when one does come along, I don’t want to just rinse it out and will try to hold onto it as long as possible.
So while this is messy, but it WORKS. Yesterday I put curling gel in my hair, then slept in a sauna-like bedroom all night, followed by YET ANOTHER sweltering upstate NY day, all of which are MURDER on hair. But I gave this a shot (which also gave me an excuse to go to the air conditioned grocery store) and my hair looks completely fresh and new. There’s cornmeal all over the deck, sure, but nothing a broom or a good rainstorm can’t fix.
I have short hair, so next time, I could probably halve this recipe. Also, don’t do it in your work clothes, or anything black, or if you’re inside, any clothes at all, because it gets EVERYWHERE, making you look like you joined an asbestos removal team in your pajamas. And careful when you stand up, because it will go RIGHT DOWN your back and wind up in your area.