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The meaning and origin of the expression: Let your hair down

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Let your hair down

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What's the meaning of the phrase 'Let your hair down'?

Behave in a free or uninhibited manner.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Let your hair down'?

Letting one's hair down was a commonplace part of womens' daily activities in the 17th century. The hair was normally pinned up and was let down for brushing or washing. The term used for this at the time was dishevelling. Anyone who is unkempt and generally untidy might now be described as dishevelled but then it applied specifically to hair which was unpinned. The first reference I can find which refers specifically to this is John Cotgrave's, The English treasury of wit and language, 1655:

" Descheveler, to discheuell; to pull the haire about the eares."

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