The History Of Wigs

30 March; Author: Hair Extensions Australia

The History Of Wigs

Article by Wigshop







In the WiginningWigs can be dated back to the 4th century B.C. being a part of the Egyptian culture. Egyptians would shave their heads to protect themselves from vermin, but the hot sun lead their sensitive heads susceptible. The use of wigs was incorporated into the social structure so as to show status. The more elaborate and involved the wig was, the higher the rank or those who wore them. Palm and wool fibers, animal hair, and metals such as gold and silver were used in composition.

Women’s partial nature towards thick hair lead wigs to be formed from human hair and sheep’s wool. Dyes and natural colors were implemented into wigs, with blues, greens, and gold hues being the most popular. Cleanliness and appearance was of optimal importance to the Egyptians. Wealthy Egyptians would have barbers maintain their wigs for them on a daily basis. Many tombs have been uncovered showcasing combs and hairpins.

Around the RenaissanceThe 16th century brought with it the periwig. The periwig simulated real hair and was primarily used for adornment or to cover the loss of real hair. Thought to have become en vogue by Louis XIII, who was prematurely bald, it was not uncommon for men of great stature to follow suit for years to come. The fact that kings and queens wore wigs shows the regal nature and status that came with donning a wig. During this period a wig would cost the same amount as the rest of one’s ensemble. A wig required constant maintenance pertaining to curling, cleaning, and powdering. Powder became popular due to the rise in lighter colors being in fashion. Coupled with scented dyes, powder became a necessity until the end of the 17th century.

Styles in the TimesAt the beginning of the 18th century, the most popular dress wig was that of the long, full-bottomed wig. A popular undress wig was the bob wig, a shorter wig that originally was worn by those who could not afford the longer, more expensive wigs. Bob wigs were very popular in Colonial America.

A simpler fashion called the Club wig or the Cadogen, became popular as well by the end of the 18th century. Men emulated the ladies’ interest in the wig much through the 17th and 18th centuries. By the end of the 18th century, young men were wearing their hair natural, but kept the wig-esque powdered look going.

The end of the 18th century marked a curtail on the wig fashion being that both powder and wigs were reserved for older, more conservative men and ladies being presented at court. In 1795, the English government imposed a tax of hair powder that caused the demise of the wig fashion and powder by 1800. The wig vogue in France also, became eradicated around this time due to the connection between the fashion and aristocracy during these volatile years.

Wigs in the Current DayThe wearing of wigs is not extinct in today’s world. In some cultures around the globe, the wearing of the wig is still a mark of status and prestige. More often today wigs are worn either for convenience or for medical reasons stemming from hair loss. Aesthetically speaking, wigs can still be seen worn by stars and commoners looking to spice things up a bit. Whether for altering appearance or enhancement, wigs still remain a part of pop culture.



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Wigshop provides a full selection of fashion wigs, hairpieces and wig accessories. We offer luxurious products and insightful resources to our valued customers.

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