"girls my age who wore their hair loose"
Victorians adopted a very strict moral code
, which extended throughout all areas of life but was especially evident in social behaviour, including dress and appearance. Young girls were allowed to wear their hair
loose, but once a girl became a teenager she was expected to wear her hair up – neatly tied buns or hair secured under caps and bonnets were the order of the day, with elaborate styles reserved for grand social occasions of the upper classes such as dinner parties or balls. It was unusual for a woman to go outdoors without her head covered by a hat or bonnet, and loose hair was a sign of a ‘loose woman’, at least until the end of the era when some parts of the hair, but never the whole, may have been allowed to flow free.