Posted by Marie-Bernadette on July 13, 1998 at 13:43:18:
In response to bed time, written by mishel on July 12, 1998 at 21:11:09
when the ladies went to bed, did a maid help them off with thier dresses and corsets and things? I'm sure they helped them get into them didn't they? Did they help them bathe and do thier hair also? How often did people bathe and wash thier hair?
Yes, most middle class families had at least one maid who would help the ladies dress, undress and so on. I think that sisters probably helped each other, too. A lot of people think that people didn't bathe much in those days but I have read evidence to the contrary. I think that, just like now-a-days, it varied greatly from person to person. Even when I go camping I wash everyday with only a small basin of water, bar of soap and wash cloth, which is pretty much what people used to do. They may have filled the tub (or hip bath) only once a week, but most people had a wash at a basin daily. As for hair, we modern people wash it so frequently because showers make it easy to do so and shampoo companies have brainwashed us into thinking that we have to wash it every day so they can sell more shampoo, so I don't think people did wash their hair as often. My guess is that they washed hair once a week when they got out the big tub because that would be easier than washing it in a basin, but then again, my hair is almost to my waist and I have washed it in a basin when camping, so even that probably varied. All the hats and caps they wore covered them in case of "bad hair days" anyway and many of the hair styles made their hair look good even if it wasn't just washed. In fact, some coiffures work better on hair that hasn't been recently washed.
I noticed that there is a detailed discussion on bathing in the Pemberley archives for this board (just click on 'board index' at the top of the page).
- Lye soap Earlene 01:26:33 7/16/98 (0)
- bath time Barbara K 10:08:35 7/14/98 (13)
- I envy you (I think)... Gayle 13:12:31 7/19/98 (2)
- dirty hair mishel 21:45:32 7/14/98 (5)
- They could have used sugar-water like hairspray! OR . . . BarbaraK 14:47:12 8/06/98 (0)
- actually... Courtney Lynne 22:40:06 7/14/98 (3)
- Way back in the 60's Earlene 01:21:29 7/16/98 (2)
- Earlene is right! Gayle 13:19:10 7/19/98 (0)
- what is correct for bring children to a wedding @ night Ivagene Archambeault 09:53:42 7/17/98 (0)
- Lacing Marie-Bernadette 19:18:56 7/14/98 (3)
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