Medieval Monday: Grooming and Hygiene

Here’s some information to get your teeth into 👍😃

Allison D. Reid

Last week’s Medieval Monday post talked about bathing, and this week I thought I would continue with the theme of grooming and hygiene. Just as we take hot and cold running water for granted in our daily routines, we also don’t give much thought to having basics like toothpaste, shampoo, and safe-to-use razors for shaving.

Antler_combHair brushes as we know them didn’t seem to exist in the Middle Ages. Instead, combs were used. The material they were made from varied depending on the wealth of the person in question. Combs could be largely decorative and made of costly materials like ivory, or were made with more humble materials like bone or antler. For the most part they were shaped like the combs still used today, though some folded out to make an X shape.

Depending on the style of the time, women might shave by using pumice stones, sharpened shells…

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