Wigs date back as far as the 100,000 years ago. According to anthropologists, an ivory carving of a woman’s head was found in southwestern France and it depicts a woman who is apparently wearing a wig. Wigs, which are a head of hair made of human, horse-hair or synthetic material, have been popular for many reasons over the years.
In Egypt short wigs were worn for cultural and religious reasons while in England, years later, wigs were worn for political purposes. Today wigs are worn as a fashion statement or to cover illness where there is hair loss as well as many other reasons.
The word wig stems from the word periwig. This word first appeared in1675. No one is quite sure where the original word came from.
Over the years wigs have enjoyed popularity at different times. In Ancient Egyptian times, people cut their hair short or shaved their heads because it was hot. Those who could afford it wore wigs of human hair in order to protect their shaved heads form the sun. Scientists believe that this practice may date back as far as 2500 B.C.
The Egyptians were not the only culture to wear wigs; they were also popular with ancient Greece. Here wigs were used for both personal use and in the theater. Wigs have also been used in Rome, England and ancient Africa.
According history books, during the Plague of 1665 in England, hair was in short supply. Due to this shortage there were rumors of the hair of disease victims being used to manufacture wigs. This rumor is still taken as fact in some circles today and even has been blamed in part for the spread of the plague to some degree.
In today’s society wigs are worn by women for fashion. Many women enjoy the convenience of a wig because it can be styled before hand and then just worn, instead of having to do ones hair. In America wigs are used for those who have lost hair due to illness or genetic hair loss. Short wigs are often favored because they are easier to handle and to take care of. Caring for a wig is done much the same way you would care for your own hair.
Wigs today are made mostly from synthetic material. There are still wigs available that are made from real human hair however they tend to be more expensive.