[Pictures] 5 Crazy Hair Loss Ads From the 1800’s

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We already know from my last article, Evolution of Hair Transplants that hair loss solutions have come a long way, but are you curious to see just how far along? Through some extensive research I have found that not only were the days of no TV no fun, but the people believed anything and everything.

Let’s Take a Look…

A great example of one of these ads would be Burnett’s Cocoaine which contrary to popular belief doesn’t actually have any cocaine in it. It was sold from the 1850’s to the beginning of the 1900’s; a very long time for a product that did nothing it was supposed to do. Its main ingredients were coconut oil and some scented water. It definitely helped a person smell great, but didn’t help with hair loss.

Quite a few of these products were actually just cures for dandruff. A problem that is not only annoying but can also be embarrassing. Many products were created when people thought curing dandruff would help grow hair. One of these products was Dr. Rhodes’ Dandruff cure.

Although it’s possible for extreme cases of dandruff to do some damage to the hair follicle, they do not cause hair loss. Dr. Rhodes’ over-exaggerated photos of a man using shampoo and magically having hair certainly worked back then because they were very popular.

This doesn’t mean slather on the Head and Shoulders. It’s a myth.

The best one is from a “dermatologist” named Mme Caroline. Her product called “I Grow Hair” was advertised on the same ad as her other product; a Renaissance Bath Tonic that was said to help with “over stoutness”. Neither ad let on to how this was done though. If weight loss was that simple I’d sit in a bathtub instead of buying expensive gym memberships and squeezing into Spanx.

It was very common for advertisers to not give any information on their products. One company even asked for 3 strands of a persons hair to be brought to them. This was fine for buyers though, they believed if it was being sold then it must work.

I’d like to say this doesn’t apply to us now, that we are much savvier consumers now, but unfortunately that would be lying. I myself have given into the temptation of ordering things off the shopping channel or Ebay only to receive an item that was A.) Not at all what I was thought it was and B.) Not functional.

The Seven Sutherland Sisters actually made an attempt to explain how their product worked. Their product was produced during the time that people believed microbes were the root of all evil. Germs made people sick, crazy and, apparently bald. Their product was supposed to destroy these dirty little microbes and restore you hair to its natural beauty because according to them: “It’s the hair, not the hat that makes a woman attractive”

The good thing about all of these solutions was that although they were useless, they were not painful. This is more than I can say for our favorite little product, the Evans Vacuum Cap. I know this is the second time I write about this machine but I just find it so mind boggling that I felt it deserved an honorable mention.

The inventor of this machine must have enjoyed the idea of inflicting a little pain in people because I see no other reason for vacuuming the top of someone’s head. Sure it will stimulate blood flow but that’s only because it’s giving the user the biggest hickey they’ve ever received; right on the top of their head.

Now I’m not saying the creators of these products were incompetent and shouldn’t have been selling things they could not possibly think worked. On the contrary, these businessmen were very smart because they managed to sell products that did not work and sometimes sold them to the same people over and over.

It’s safe to say that we are more fortunate in the 21st century now that we have the internet to check reviews on products and be able to do research on whatever we’re buying. So whether you’re buying a frying pan, a new car, or a hair loss product do your research or you might end up with some scented water and a dust collector.

Profile photo of Jessica Marini

About Jessica Marini

Jessica Marini is a Patient Care Coordinator at Rahal. She is always looking out for the latest industry news to help better educate patients. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family and her two rescue dogs Benji and Lily.

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