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The History of Hair: Fashion and Fantasy Down the Ages Hardcover – April 19, 2003
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"Whatever the perception, however, hair has the unique quality that it is, at the same time, both a part of us and separate from us. It has its own character. We can be its master or mistress, cutting it, colouring it, plaiting it, twisting it, shaving it and so on, yet it has the last laugh. This is because, when we die, it continues to grow upon our heads. If our coffins were to be reopened a year or so after death, we would be found becomingly covered with long tresses of hair (mortifyingly so in the case of a modern soldier particular about such things)" (Bryer 11).
What engendered the post-mortem hair growth myth was the appearance or illusion of hair growth made by the dead individual's skin retracting due to dehydration/desiccation.
Visit these sites for more information (or you can dig up some dead bodies and see what you find!):
Table of Contents:
Ch. 1: The Uniqueness of Human Hair
Ch. 2: Egypt
Ch. 3: Greece, Rome and the Holy Land
Ch. 4: From the Medieval to the Renaissance
Ch. 5: Cavaliers, Roundheads and Pilgrim Fathers
Ch. 6: Restoration to Revolution: Extremes of Fashion in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
Ch. 7: Revolutionary Hairstyles: The American War of Independence, the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars
Ch. 8: Crowning Glory: Plain or Ringlets with a Bun
Ch. 9: La Vie Parisienne
Ch. 10: Fin de Siecle
Ch. 11: War and Peace, then War Again
Ch. 12: Brave New World
Overall, The History of Hair by Robin Bryer, is a good brisk history of hair (replete with great illustrations).