One of the most pernicious methods of dressing the hair, at the expense of its health, is by curling. This not only dries up the moisture that circulates through the hairs, but the heat and compression thus used completely prevent proper circulation. When, however, the habit is persisted in, its ill effects may be much obviated by constantly brushing the hair well, and having it frequently cut, by which means the necessary circulation is kept up, and the roots invigorated.
“Why don’t my hands look and feel as it would seem that the perfect Author of all things would have them?” How many a young man and woman have asked this question! and are troubled to know why it is that some persons have such bloodless hands, perfect nails, so free from hang-nails, as they are called, while their own hands look so much like duck’s feet or bird’s claws.
All sorts of cosmetics, the most penetrating oils, rubbing and scouring the hands, paring and scraping the nails, and cutting round the roots of the nails, are resorted to, in hopes of making their hands appear natural; but all avails nothing, and many a poor hand is made to perform all its manipulations incognito. About the piano, in the social party, in the house, and in the street, the hand—the most exquisite, or what should be the most beautiful and useful part of the human frame—is gloved. And why? Because it is not fit to be seen.
Now, reader, I am about to tell you of a positive cure. In the first place, never cut or scrape your finger-nails with a knife or scissors, except in paring them down to the end of the fingers. Secondly, use nothing but a good stiff nail-brush, fine soap, and water, and rub the nails and hands briskly with these every morning the year round. In the third place, I would have you know that surfeiting will invariably produce heavy, burning hands. An impure state of the blood will manifest itself in the hands sooner than in most other parts of the body. If you have bad hands, be assured that the quantity or quality, or both, of your diet is wrong.
If you try to profit by these suggestions, you will, before one year expires, be no longer ashamed of your hands.
There are some rules, which, being based on first principles, are of universal application. And one of these belongs to our present subject, viz: nothing can be truly beautiful which is not appropriate. Nature and the fine arts teach us this. All styles of dress, therefore, which impede the motions of the wearer—which do not sufficiently protect the person—which add unnecessarily to the heat of summer, or to the cold of winter—which do not suit the age or occupations of the wearer, or which indicate an expenditure unsuited to her means, are inappropriate, and, therefore, destitute