Three women with phenomenal hair

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The reason of this article is not to make you envious but to admire stunningly beautiful hair. Because it’s a miracle, a natural phenomenon.

If you see these three amazing women with phenomenal hair, more likely you’ll be surprised. However, the reason of this article is not to make you envious but to admire stunningly beautiful hair of the Empress Elisabeth of Austria, an Inuit woman Nora Ootenna and a Russian aristocrat Barbara Rimsky-Korsakov. It’s a miracle, a natural phenomenon.


Empress Elisabeth of Austria


Three women with phenomenal hair

Empress Elisabeth of Austria in 1865, painted by Franz Xaver Winterhalter


The Empress Elisabeth of Austria was incredibly, unbelievably beautiful. Her long auburn hair was Elisabeth’s only sign of vanity she ever displayed.

Daily care of her abundant and extremely long hair took at least two hours. Her hairdresser was required to wear white gloves and no rings.

Every two weeks, Elisabeth’s hair was washed with a special mix of eggs and cognac (to which onions and Peruvian balsam were added). Washing and drying the hair took a while and all activities and obligations were cancelled for that day.

At the end of her life her hair was described as “abundant, though streaked with silver threads.”

To keep her hair healthy, Elisabeth didn’t eat anything fancy. Because she didn’t like meat, Elisabeth either had the juice of half-raw beefsteaks squeezed into a thin soup, or pressed extract of chicken, partridge, venison and beef. For weeks she would eat nothing but eggs, oranges, and raw milk (she brought her own cows with her whenever she traveled).

Her diet seems to be not sufficient for her hair health and beauty. But if we take a closer look, we can see the following:

  • Eggs are a number one among all the foods that make your hair healthy. They are a great source of protein and fat. Eggs are packed with biotin, all kind of vitamins (excluding vitamin C, B3 and K) and essential microelements such as zinc. Biotin is responsible for the production of a hair protein called keratin, which is why biotin supplements are often marketed for hair growth. Research has also shown that consuming more biotin can help improve hair growth in people with a biotin deficiency
  • The red meat juice is rich in protein and a type of iron that’s easy to absorb. This mineral helps the red blood cells deliver oxygen to all cells in the body, including hair follicles
  • Oranges are rich in vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect hair follicles against damage from free radicals.

Actually, the Empress’ diet was very well balanced.

You probably don’t know that the Empress was one of the first “fitness-fan” modern women. Every palace she lived in was equipped with a gymnasium and mats and balance beams were installed in her bedroom – she practiced on them each morning. She never looked older than thirty – ever.


Three women with phenomenal hair


Three women with phenomenal hair

Empress Elisabeth of Austria (1864) by Franz Xaver Winterhalter

The existence of this portrait was kept secret from the general public. It was Emperor’s Franz Joseph I favourite portrait of Elisabeth and he kept it opposite his desk in his private study.

So, make eggs a part of your diet :):)

When I first saw the photo of an Inuit woman Nora Ootenna I couldn’t believe my eyes.




Inuit woman Nora Ootenna



Three women with phenomenal hair 

Photo of Inuit woman by Lomen Brothers Photography, 1910

When I first saw this picture I couldn’t believe my eyes. How it can be that a woman leaving without fruit and vegetables (supposed to be the main attributes of a “healthy” lifestyle) had such lavish hair? Also, she didn’t have too many opportunities even to wash her hair (especially back to the time when the photo was taken). But let’s think again.

Traditionally, the Inuit diet consists of animal-source foods that were fished and hunted and often consumed raw, frozen or dried, and plant-source foods collected locally and seasonally:

  • marine life, such as shellfish, whales, seals and arctic char
  • birds and land animals, such as ducks, ptarmigan, bird eggs, bears, muskox and caribou
  • plant life, including roots, herbaceous plants, seaweed and berries

The typical Inuit foods are packed with the vitamins and nutrients people need to stay nourished in the harsh climate. Proteins, fats, Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, D, B12 and C (mainly in the form of glycogen from the raw meat) are all there to make the skin, hair and nails healthy.

But the main reason why Inuit and Eskimo women have strong, long, shiny, and silky hair is Omega-3 fatty acids. They nourish hair follicles, improve the health of the cell membranes and provide the oils that keep the scalp and hair hydrated.

So, don’t forget to include fatty fish (salmon, herring, sardines, trout and mackerel), seafood, olive oil, flax seed, avocado, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts into your daily menu.

Now, a few words about the woman on the photo:

Nora Ootenna was born in 1885 in Alaska and lived there in Cape Prince of Wales. She got married to George Ootenna who was natives to the area and worked as a reindeer herder. She was a popular subject for Alaskan photographers around the time.


Madame Barbara Rimsky-Korsakov


Three women with phenomenal hair

“Madame Rimsky-Korsakov” by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1864

Year 1863. On the French throne is the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon III. He seemed to set out to dazzle all of Europe with the luxury of his court. Gold and diamonds, including fake ones. Everything is too much; everything is out of taste and proportion. His wife, the Empress Eugenie de Montijo is zealous in the abundance of jewelry and the impression that her beauty made on those around her. She invented one ball after another, if only there was an opportunity to show off her exquisite, but not too intricate, attire and herself in it.

And here is one of the costumed balls in the palace. Men and women meticulously study each other’s costumes, deciding who has surpassed everyone else in luxury and wealth. Until suddenly Madame Rimsky-Korsakov arrives. Seeing her, all the guests froze. Eugenie’s face turned red. Madame Barbara Rimsky-Korsakov appears in the costume of the goddess Tanit (Flaubert’s work “Salammbo” was then in great fashion). Barbara’s entire attire consists only of the thinnest thrown-on chiffon, and her magnificent body looks almost naked. … A few minutes later, gendarmes approached Madame Barbara and asked her to leave the palace, but the scandal was a success.

Madame Barbara Rimsky-Korsakov was a wife of Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, a Russian aristocrat. The wedding took place on May 20, 1850, when the bride was 16 and the groom was 20. However, after a few years, their marriage broke up. Nobody knew the reason. There is, however, a vague mention that Nikolay had a duel over his wife. Barbara moved from Russia to France. There, she was famous not only for her stunning beauty, but also for making scandals – the Tuileries Palace scandal was not the only one.

By the will of Leo Tolstoy, Barbara and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, under the surname Korsunsky, ended up in “Anna Karenina”.


Have you ever seen a woman who is called beautiful with a bald head? If a woman has a fine face but no hair, we immediately think that she is (or was) treated for cancer. Whenever someone says a beautiful woman, our mind creates an image of a woman with long and shiny hair.

Remember, beauty is all about healthy hair and skin. So, don’t forget to include eggs, fatty fish, seafood, olive oil, avocado, pumpkin seeds, oranges and walnuts into your daily menu.

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