What you want to know about wigs is that they are wonderful devices for covering your own hair (or lack of it) so that you can look completely different.  Wigs have been around since the ancient Egyptian times when the ancient Egyptians used wigs to protect their shaved heads from the effects of the sun.  The Romans, Greeks, Phoenicians and Assyrians all wore wigs for a variety of reasons.  In the ancient Far East, wigs were used primarily for theatre usage.  Geisha girls often wore wigs as an aspect of their costumes. 

After the Roman Empire fell, wigs weren’t often used until the mid 16th century, when they were used by people who had no hair or thinning hair.  Because hair attracted head lice, people often shaved their hair and used wigs to keep the lice away.   They could de-louse the wig a lot easier than they could de-louse their own hair

Royalty used wigs in the 17th century; such wigs were worn by both the males and females.  In learning about wigs, you’ll see that such wigs weren’t intended to look natural but were designed in unique colours.  There was no such thing as a blond wig or a black wig; wigs were in bright red colours or in powdered white or blue.  Wigs in the 17th century were at least of shoulder length, as long hair was in vogue and most people didn’t have the patience to grow their hair that long.  In learning about wigs, you’ll find that there were popular styles back then that look much different from wigs of today’s times. It was King Louis the XIII and King Louis the XIV that popularised wigs among men.  Some were afraid of wearing wigs in that era because the hair was cut from people who had died of the plague.  Wigs could still get lice so they had to be deloused regularly. 

In learning about wigs, you’ll find that most wigs of the historic period were made from human hair, although goat hair and horse hair was used on cheaper wigs. They didn’t have the capabilities to make synthetic hair wigs at that time.  In the 18th century, men powdered their wigs to make them super white or to have them be a slightly off white colour. 

 
 
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There were some blond wigs and some black wigs but white was the most popular colour.  Artificial hair was invented by the 18th century but it wasn’t used as often as human hair. Women used grey powder or a bluish-grey tint to their wigs made from starch that was ground up and mixed with orange flower, orris root or lavender.  Some wigs were coloured to be pink, violet, yellow or blue but they weren’t as popular as off-white and grey.  Such wigs were used for going out on dress occasions and special occasions up until the end of the 18th century.  Near the end of the 18th century, men lightly powdered their own hair and did not use wigs as much.  Powder wasn’t used much by women for wigs after about 1790. 

In today’s time, you need to know this about wigs: they didn’t gain popularity until about the 1960s and were used by celebrities and lay people alike.  Blond wigs, black wigs, long wigs and Afro wigs were used for special occasions or for every day.  No longer were wigs reserved for the rich and they became affordable for just about anyone. 

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