Women’s Wigs: Their History and Uses

There was a time in the early days when a wig was a symbol of wealth and power, signifying intellectual, sexual and social status. Today wigs are used for fun and entertainment as well as a solution for thinning hair. As we look into the evolution of wigs we learn the various uses from one civilization to the next.

Women’s Wigs Through the Ages

Ancient Civilization: During the Egyptian and Roman ancient civilizations wigs played a major roll in the social scene. Roman women wore wigs as a fashion accessory as a symbol of social ranks, while the Egyptians used then as part of their daily attire. The style and size of the wigs worn often indicated religious piety and status in the community.

The Renaissance: During the dark ages wigs lost much of their social relevance and appeal. As we entered into the Renaissance period, the resurgence of wigs became part of an everyday thing for women. Beautiful hair was given such great importance, the use of elaborate wigs with jewel embellishments became quite popular.

17th Century: King Louis XIII of France started the use of wigs to hide his premature baldness. During his reign and that of his son, King Louis XIV, wigs became a fashion emblem in the French courts and all of Europe. Because of this, wigs became an integral part of a nobleman’s costume and making it a symbol of power and political status.

18th Century: The use of elaborate, white powdered coiffures with long ringlets was widespread during this time. The use of toupees was also considered fashionable. Queen Elizabeth I became famous for wearing a close-fitted and elaborate red wig. Most women in this time period wore coiffures that were supplemented with hair strands that were synthetic.

19th Century: It was during this Victorian era that wigs began to be abandoned as a symbol of social standing. While some women continued to wear wigs, most women took to looking natural with their hair. In the court of Queen Victoria, the ladies wore shorter fringes and headpieces with simple designs.

20th Century: With the advent of technology helped hair-dressers create natural-looking wigs that were made from both synthetic and real human hair. It was also during this time period that wig makers started to use small hairpieces or pre-made curls, ringlets and buns to enhance the volume of a woman’s hair. Wigs in this time period where primarily used by people who worked in the entertainment industry like those in television, movies, theaters and cabarets to assist them in taking on different personas.

21st Century: Today wigs are not only used for fun and entertainment but also used to cover up baldness. Most people today that wear wigs have thinning hair due to undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments that causes sever hair loss.

Women that suffer from alopecia, wigs are a fantastic addition to their everyday wardrobe.

Wigs today have come a long way in how they are made and the materials used to construct them. They look incredibly realistic like nothing before. Custom wigs today capture the exact curvature of your scalp and create the ideal solution that gives you control over your look.

Four Great Reasons We Love Wigs

Hollywood, politics and the fashion industry all have one thing in common. Wigs have been used in all three for centuries. Today’s wigs are so finely crafted that without someone telling you, it is down right impossible to tell whether a person is wearing a wig or if their hair is their own natural-growing hair.

Who Wears Wigs

For many it might not come as a surprise that actors and actresses both in movies and on the red carpet wear wigs. Angelina Jolie, Nicolas Cage, Beyoncé, John Travolta, Javier Bardem and Rihanna wear wigs to give their hair a more full luck or to hide receding hairlines. Many of these stars have even been open about their hair in interviews. But, then there are those actors and actresses you might not expect that wear wigs. Some of them including “The View” co-host Sherri Shepherd, Julianna Margulies of “The Good Wife,” Robert Pattinson of the “Twilight” series; Emilia Clarke who plays Daenerys Targaryen on “Game of Thrones,” as well as Anne Hathaway and Emma Stone.

Actually, They Are for You!

Because many of us remember our grand-mothers wearing wigs that where bulky, moved around and didn’t look all that natural, we assume that wigs aren’t appropriate for everyday life. Nothing can be farther from the truth whether you are a celebrity, politician, school teacher, or sales person.

There are four things a wig can do that no stylist, coloring, cream or gel can.

Non-Destructive: Human hair wigs are popular in Hollywood because that don’t damage your existing hair. If you change your hairstyle every few weeks, that can damage your hair which can take months or years to fully repair from.

Natural Look: The art of wig making has produced exceptional products for centuries. In recent decades, technology has made it possible to not only make wigs look natural, but better than natural. No longer is there a concern that a wig from a respectable manufacturer might appear artificial.

Time Savers: Even a temporary hairstyle that isn’t destructive can take a considerable amount of time to get right. A person can prepare for formal occasions and/or events that call for something special in a matter of minutes, not hours.

Hide Deficiencies: Many people, both men and women alike, are not blessed with perfect hair. Hair may be thin or unhealthy, receding, patchy or gone altogether. Some have hair that has grayed prematurely or isn’t maturing uniformly. And, most of the time it isn’t a big deal. But for anyone on those special occasions who wants their hair to match the way they feel about themselves, a wig can do that easily.