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It was fashionable in the early 19th century for women to wear caps, both indoors and out. In fact, when a woman went outdoors she often placed another hat over her cap. Wearing a cap was practical as it helped keep hair away from food and fire, helped curb the spread of head lice, helped keep hair cleaner longer and covered up dirty hair. Society at this time did not know about germs or the importance of regular bathing. A woman might not wash her hair for weeks at a time, especially in the winter, because homes were poorly heated compared to modern times.
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