In the early 1800's men did not wash their hair. Instead they would comb it very thoroughly to get out any powders and/or dirt. Years later, by the mid 1840's to early 1850's women began to adopt occassional hair washing. Only every few weeks would the hair get washed and maybe once a week the hair would be rinsed with water, opposed to using shampoo. After having washed their hair both men and women would apply a grease to help hold their Victorian hair styles, particularly men because they liked having glossy and rich looking hair. Hair oil was also thought of as a way to prevent the hair from becoming brittle and damaged. This oil/grease would also be used to shape moustaches and eyebrows. Some of these oils/greases would be coloured to help hide grey hair.
Interesting Fact: coloured moustache oils were referred to as 'mascara' in the Victorian era. Mascara is still used today, however, it is used by women on their eyelashes.
Below is a recipe that was used to make hair grease, which was used to style hair.
Mix two ounces of bear's grease, half an ounce of honey, one drachm of laudanum, three drachms of the powder of southernwood, three drachms of the roots of bulrushes and a small amount of the oil from sweet almonds.
(one drachm is equal to 1/8 of an ounce)