Halls Vegetable Sicilian Hair Renewer

Aug 25, 2019 | | Say something

Reuben P. Hall started selling his Vegetable Sicilian Hair Renewer around 1864 and it was still available in the 1930s.
According to Hall himself the product formula was given to him by an Italian sailor hence the name Sicilian Hair Renewer. However the actual product formula changed over time. Initially the formula was composed of 60% water, 36% glycerine, 2% lead sugar, and trace amounts of sulfur, sage, raspberry leaves, tea, and oil of citronella. Later on though the formula was 52% water, 26% glycerine, 13% Jamaica rum, 7% bay rum, and trace amounts of lead, sulfur, and salt. The lead combines with the sulfur to form lead sulfides that darken the hair shaft. However, lead is also poisonous and the Massachusetts Board of Health reported several instances of lead poisoning from products including Ayer’s and Hall’s hair products (Thirty fourth annual report of the Massachusetts state Board of Health, Boston, 1903). This is probably the reason for the drop in lead concentration in the early and later formulations of Hall’s Hair Renewer.

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