What’s the deal with powdered wigs?

human hair wigs for womenAdmittedly, when people imagine someone wearing a wig these days, they usually imagine a wonderfully crafted real human hair wig; this, however, was not always the case. Wigs have changed throughout history and been made with just about everything imaginable: countless types of feathers, furs, and fabrics. One instance of wigs in history that almost everyone has laid eyes on is those wild white powdered wigs seen in antiquated portraits and representations of early Europeans and their colonies. Where did they come from and what do they represent? They certainly can’t have the same goal as modern hair wigs for women, right?

Well, first and foremost, these powdered wigs were almost entirely worn by men. Moreover, generally, they were either wealthy, upper-class, or of some sort of nobility. The style gained popularity in the mid 1500s when a varied milieu of circumstances and living situations drove certain diseases throughout a large sector of the population. A few of the more populous diseases were known to cause balding and hair loss–and for men of a certain class this baldness was unacceptable. From there, it became the norm for adult men with power and money to wear these new status symbols. It quickly evolved to a point where even men who were not balding would opt to wear a powdered wig.

Proper Wig Storage

human hair wigs for womenWhether you’re stuck using a synthetic wig or a real human hair wig, there is always an ever-present issue being a wig owner: storage. You’ve finally managed to amass a few different wigs to ensure versatility in your style and looks. Now you’ve got a bit of a problem on your hands because you may be forced to store some of your wigs and sheitels a little bit differently than you are used too.

 

For short-term storage, such as a couple hours to a couple months, it’s perfect to keep your wig nicely perched on top of a wig stand or mannequin head. However, once you start to use a certain wig much less, to a point where it is no longer efficient to store on a wig stand, certain measures must be taken to ensure long-term wig health. First off, make sure the wig is clean and untangled, using your usual methods and supplies.

 

Once you verify the cleanliness of your wig, attempt to find the original plastic packaging or another approved wig container, making sure to take precautions against any crushing. Fold the wig in half, ear to ear, and place into the packaging. From there, make sure you keep it in an environment that is moderate in temperature and dry. When you’re ready to use it again, all it takes is a little maintenance!

What’s a Sheitel?

A sheitel, or the Yiddish word for wig, refers to a specific type of wig worn by married Orthodox Jewish women. To conform with Jewish Law, it is a practice to cover their hair–using a real human hair wig is a popular way to adhere to these laws. The difference between wigs and sheitels is minimal — modern sheitels often have lace fronts to have a more natural look and feel to the hairline.

 

Wigs Throughout History

sheitelsWigs have reached a point in their history where they are used in dozens of different applications all over the world. From hair correction to acting and religious rituals, very few cultures have no account of the use of faux hair. Whether they used horsehair, wool, feather, or real human hair wigs, there is an interesting trend in our species for the use of wigs for various reasons. Let’s take a look at some of the varying uses for makeshift human hair over the course of time and space.

 

In ancient Egypt wigs were not only used for fashion purposes but also to shield their shaved heads from the sun–often using beeswax to fasten to their heads. Continuing into the 16th and 17th centuries, we continue to see the use of hair wigs for women and for gentlemen of the time. Often related to the surge of royalty that somewhat defined the world’s cultural relations, wigs had begun to see their rise as an upper-class symbol. This set the tone for wig use for the next few centuries. Aristocratic use of wigs not only gave the impression of a certain amount of wealth but also power. The power aspect can still be noted today in governments that are under, somewhat antiquated, colonial laws–namely, in their government processes that often require the wearing of a white or grey wig.