I have always found it interesting to listen to elderly people talk about their lives when they were younger. Many years ago I was having a cup of tea with a lovely old lady who began to tell me all about her life as a child growing up. She was born in the late 19th Century somewhere around the year 1894 and so had vivid memories of what life was like at the time. It is never the same reading a book about a particular era as it is listening to someone who has experienced it first hand. There are so many things that are never written down or printed in books.
One of the many pieces of information that she told me was about what some of the people would do to preserve their youth. That is to say to make themselves appear slightly younger. At the time, probably just as today, people would often be cast aside because of their age. However, in those days there was no help for anyone who was either unable to work or was considered too old. People did not always have the stability of a steady job – but some were rather chosen at the start of each new day to work a shift. In these situations youth and vigour often triumphed over all else. So it seemed that the practice emerged for people to save the dregs of the teapot which they would comb through their hair to help to stain any grey hairs that appeared. In that way they were able to maintain their livelihoods and get work more easily.