The Everyday Dress

Hair Styles

Cosmetics and Hygiene

Mourning Customs and Rituals

The Role Of A Woman

Andersonville Prison

Reenactment Photos

Lincoln Unmasked


Photo Gallery


The Civil War Lady
What they wore from head to toe!

Hair Styles

     Many people think that every single day ladies would wash  their hair and then set it in those huge southern belle curls. This couldn't be farther from the truth! The everyday hair styles were wearing your hair parted down the middle, and  then slicked back into a bun at the nap of the neck or pinned back and covered with a snood.  For women who unfortunately had curly hair(like myself) would have to straighten it with hot combs and sweet oils. A hot comb was a metal comb that you would place near the stove or fireplace to get it hot. When it was hot enough you would put sweet oil in your hair and then run teh hot comb through it, erasing the curls temperarily. Wearing hair in a bun was common because it kept the hair out of the ladys way as she worked, cooked,  cleaned, etc.
Women also wore snoods,  these were like heavy duty hair nets. But keep in mind that the hair net that we know today wasn't created until the 1920s - 1940s. The younger women would wear them in lighter/brighter colors. Older women would wear the color that went best with their hair color. Snoods (many reenactors call them hair nets, but I have heard them refered to as either or) would be made of a light cotton or yarn. Women would simply slip them on over their hair after it had already been dressed. It would also kept the hair up off the neck, so it would keep them cooler. It was considered VERY inappropriate for a man to see a woman with her hair totally down, unless you were in the privacy of your own home with your husband, or else you were looked down up greatly.

     When attending a Ball or a special event you would wear your hair in curls. To curl  your hair you would take a curling cylinder, which resembles the barrel of a curling iron like we use today, and place it near the stove or fireplace to get it warmed up. Then you would gently and quickly wrap your hair around the barrel and wait until it cooled to remove it.   



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