The popularity of wigs continues unabated from the ancient times
Wigs are considered a symbol of style in the modern times. Wigs are used for a wide variety of reasons ranging from concealing baldness to creating a new trend in fashion.
Wigs are used for religious reasons or as a part of the local culture. Sometimes those are worn by men and women for purely fun reasons like matching the hair with the color of the dress that they are wearing.
Early history of wigs:
The earliest instance of the use of a wig that has been found dates back to 2700 B.C.E in Egypt. Both men and women wore these wigs. They were made of human hair, sheep’s wool or vegetable fibers depending upon the person’s status in the society.
The Egyptians shaved their heads for two primary reasons:
- To feel comfortable during the hot Egyptian climatic conditions
- To protect themselves from being infested by lice. This was a common problem that was faced by all the people in Egypt in those days.
The Egyptians preferred to have hair wigs as compared to the wigs made of other materials. These wigs were worn on a daily basis. The primary reason for wearing it was that it gave an appearance of having hair. They could style it according to their needs. The woman wore wigs that were decorated with braids, gold hair rings, ivory ornaments, etc. that made the wigs extremely stylish and was looked upon as a status symbol.
The Romans wore wigs made of the hair on the slaves that they acquired while conquering different countries. In the Roman times, people with blonde hair were considered to be highly fashionable. The women wore fashionable wigs made of blonde hair that was acquired from the slaves of the North.
For some period of time, the wigs lost their importance and relevance in the lives of people all around the world. It re-emerged at the beginning of the Renaissance period (1400 – 1600 A.D.). The women began decorating their hair with beautiful lustrous veils and jewels. The use of wigs gained momentum with the reign of Louis XIII who became bald at an early age. To disguise his baldness, Louis XIII began wearing wigs that were styled elaborately. In 1673, the first independent Wig Makers Association came into being. The wigs were now enjoyed by all the noblemen and women and became fashion statements. It has been recorded that the mistress of Louis XIV wore her hair in a style which is called the “fontange”, and it became very popular.
The 18th-century saw the wigs to be highly elaborate with long decorated curls. White powdered wigs with long ringlets was one addition that was highly demanded by the people. Another royal who is known to have had a collection of more than 100 wigs was Queen Elizabeth.
By 19th-century, men stopped wearing wigs. They started keeping their hair short. Women also used various hair accessories to decorate their hair. This continued in the modern times. These days, wigs are worn either as a style statement or to cover baldness.
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