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A nightcap is a warm cloth cap worn while sleeping, often with pajamas or a nightgown. They were invented in the Middle Ages to hinder propagation of head lice. When people wore wigs, the nightcap became quite popular, as wearers usually had little or no hair and lice assembled in the wig. Nightcaps were also used to keep warm at night. They were common in northern Europe before central heating was available, when homes were cold at night.

Women's night caps usually consisted of a long piece of cloth wrapped around the head. Men's nightcaps were traditionally pointed, with a long top, usually accompanied by a small ball of some sort, which was used similar to a scarf. It kept the neck warm while not being so long that it could wrap around and choke the person wearing it in their sleep. Most nightcaps currently produced no longer have the pointy addition. They are mainly used by people with hair loss.








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