The History of Wigs
Do you know anyone who wears a wig? A wig is artificial hair that a person wears on his or her head. There are many different reasons that people wear wigs, and wigs have had a long history in fashion and culture.
The ancient Egyptians wore wigs to protect their shaved head from the hot sun. Other ancient cultures used wigs to improve the appearance of their own hair, or else for hygienic reasons. For people who lived in close living conditions, head lice (insects that live on your scalp or in your hair) were a problem. It was much easier to get rid of lice from a wig that it was to get rid of them in natural hair.
In the 1600s, wigs became popular with royalty in Europe, and eventually became fashionable for men to wear as well. Later, wigs became popular for men of all social status to wear. The most fashionable wigs were very elaborate and were often heavy and uncomfortable to wear. Some were made from human hair, while others were made from goat or horse hair.
In the 1700s people began to wear powdered wigs. The powder turned the wigs bright white or gray. It was at this time in England that powdered wigs became part of the traditional costume of certain professions, such as in legal courts. This tradition of wearing powdered wigs survives to this day in some formal court and government proceedings, particularly in England but also in Australia and New Zealand.
Today, wigs are not nearly as fashionable as they once were for everyday use, but they do still serve a purpose. They are commonly worn in the theater and film industry. And some people do still wear wigs to cover hair loss or improve the appearance of their own hair. In any case, wigs have come a long way from what they once were. Today, they are often made form synthetic materials, and they can be very difficult to distinguish from a person’s natural hair.