The History of Hair Wigs


Hair wigs have been worn by both men and women for a long time. In fact, ancient Egyptians brought hair wigs to the fore by creating iconic pieces used for various reasons. Over 3,000 years ago, Egyptians created wigs using real human hair. They also created wigs from materials like wool and palm leaf fibers. The main reason for these wigs was to show off social status and to denote the religious ranking of an individual. In addition, the hair pieces kept their heads covered to avoid the harsh effect of the sun on real hair and scalp. As the years progressed, hair wigs became a fashion statement as more versatile styles were created from all manner of materials.

Hair wigs to supplement thinning hair

By the turn of the 17th century, men and women were conformable to shave off their natural hair to put on wigs. However, a more functional use for wigs also emerged. Wigs became a potent remedy for baldness. A case in point is Louis XIV who rose into the French throne in this era. The king suffered thinning hair for a long time and supplemented with some false hair pieces. He eventually gave in and had his hair shaved off to wear a wig full time. The French king made the wigs even more popular. Subsequently, the bigger the wig a person owned, the larger his social and money status was.

Elaborate hair wigs styles

By the turn of the 20th century, it was clear that hair wigs were here to stay. However, the hair wig evolved regarding design to incorporate a more natural look. The elaborate French hair wig was slowly giving way to a more naturally padded bulk of hair. More women found wigs convenient for their day to day activities. To this end, wigs made of natural hair became a booming industry with raw hair being imported from Asia, China and India. Nitric acid was used to clean and remove color from the hair. Wigs were worn not just by women but also men. However, men mainly wore wigs to hide baldness.

Machine-made wigs

Before the early 1950s, all wigs for commercial use were made by hand. However, a wig revolution was noted after this period with the introduction of machine-made wigs. They were washable pieces made from nylon and acrylic materials. As a result, cheap wigs flooded the market making them accessible to all manner of people. The machine-made wigs were produced in Hong Kong and by 1970, the wig-making industry there employed not less than 24,000 workers. These wigs were exported to Europe and to many other parts of the world. Synthetic hair wigs therefore become a mainstay in the market.

Hair wigs today

In the 21st century, wigs have indeed evolved; giving users a variety of options. From styles to colors and makes; there is a lot to choose from. Women wear wigs as a fashion statement mainly. Men wear them to hide baldness and to remedy thinning hair. Hair wigs for male pattern baldness are non-invasive and work virtually for every person. There are new methods and technologies of hair incorporation that give exceptional results to treat baldness.

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