- Fashion and Beauty
Add Amazing Shine to Your Hair with Brilliantine, A Product Whose Time Has Returned
If Sleeping Beauty fell asleep in 1910 and woke up in 2010, many things would be shockingly different, but one thing would be the same: she’d be able to buy brilliantine. Brilliantines were once a widely used styling product, but as times changed they disappeared from barber shops and homes. Today, however, brilliantines are enjoying renewed popularity, thanks to their ability to soften and add shine to hair.
A hundred years ago, brilliantines were composed mainly of oil and fragrance. They were fairly simple to mix up, and were often prepared in a barbershop or at home. Essential oils, castor oil, and olive oil were often used. Brilliantines sometimes contained other ingredients that wouldn’t (or shouldn’t!) be used in hair nowadays, such as prepared lard, suet, mineral oil, and Vaseline. Whatever their formula, brilliantines were the hairdressing of choice for imparting shine to mustaches and beards. They were also popular among both men and women for adding polish and suppleness to the hair.
Today, commercial formulas for brilliantines are varied and complex, but they’re all designed to add shine and some degree of definition to the hair. Bumble & Bumble has prepared its well-regarded creamy brilliantine to give extra sheen and subtle separation to the hair. Joico’s waxy brilliantine adds definition, separation, and high shine. Garnier Fructis makes a strong-hold, high-gloss version of brilliantine. These companies usually use a combination of synthetic and natural ingredients.
If you want to try a brilliantine, you can buy one of these salon or retail products, or you can make it yourself. To save money and use natural ingredients, try this easy homemade brilliantine recipe based on an old formulation. Take:
4 teaspoons castor oil
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon glycerine
2 drops of essential oil (your choice of scent)
Shake the ingredients together before using. Pour a dime-sized dollop into your palms, and rub. Distribute the brilliantine throughout slightly damp or dry hair, concentrating more on the ends if your hair is long. Scrunch or comb through. If you feel you need more, repeat as necessary but keep in mind that applying too much can make the hair look greasy instead of shiny. Continue styling as usual.
Are you interested in finding other long-lost recipes, as well as other natural and homemade treatments for the hair, face, and body? Visit my website—the link is in my HubPages profile. ;-)