In a past post, we discussed the rich history of wigs, whether synthetic or real human hair wigs. That history is as vast as the number of hairs on a human head, so we figured we’d tackle the topic some more.
The earliest known use of the word wig is from the 1500s, but at that time they called it parrucca or perruque. Imagine the advertisements. Look glamorous in a perruque by Pierre! Doesn’t have quite the same ring, does it? Eventually, the word morphed into periwig with periwigged being the proper description for wearers of this headgear. Periwig became wig and the rest is history.
Interestingly, the prevalence of wigs throughout history has caused the development of interesting wiggy expressions. If someone proclaims, “He’s totally flipped his wig,” he’s employing a 20th century term for going completely bonkers. The Irish had a colloquialism in the 1800s for fighting. They called it “wigs on the green” since many fights resulted in everyone’s wigs lying on the grass. In 1725, someone coined the phrase “big wig” to describe the important people who wore wigs as a sign of their wealth or stature. We still use the term today, though wigs are not necessarily a sign of stature anymore.
Contrary to popular belief, the Whig party had absolutely nothing to do with wigs. They may have worn them though.
Real human hair wigs are designed to last for some time. By using proper storage and maintenance techniques, a wig can last for years. On the other hand, owners who stuff their wigs in sock drawers or wash them with the wrong products will soon find themselves bereft of their hairpieces.
We have collected some of the more common errors women make with their wigs.
1) Using the Wrong Equipment: All too often, women try to save money by not purchasing combs and brushes specially made for wigs. Regular hairbrushes and combs may be too rough for a wig and may cause irreparable damage. 2) Improper Washing and Drying: Just as there are proper tools for wig care, there are appropriate shampoos and conditioners. Ask a wig professional for a list of approved products. Allow wigs to dry naturally. Hair dryers can cause damage to the sensitive hairs of real human hair wigs. 3) Storing the Wigs Incorrectly: Wigs should never be stored in their boxes. Those are for travel only. Wigs must have ample room to breathe. They should be stored on wig heads or wire frames to allow them to maintain their distinctive shape. Additionally, care must be taken to ensure the temperature is not too hot or too cold for the wigs.
Whether they’re called wigs or sheitels, these items tend to be expensive, so a little effort in proper care and maintenance will be worth it in the long run.
No matter the quality of real human hair wigs, the day will come when the luster will fade and the hairs will lose their bounce. For a while, women may attempt various fix-it methods, but eventually even those efforts fail.
Before throwing away a used model, here are some suggestions for ways to reuse the old wig.
1) Re-thread the Cap: If a wig looks rough because it has lost a lot of hair or some of the hairs look awful, an expert hairdresser may be able to add or replace hair to bring the wig back to its former glory. Consider that before running to purchase a new one.
2) Dress Up for Little Girls: Even if the wig is beyond repair, a little girl may appreciate the opportunity to dress up like mom.
3) Recycle Old Parts: When a wig is so destroyed that it doesn’t have any use left, consider donating it for spare parts. There are organizations that will remove the usable hair and other useful parts to create hair loss wigs and wigs for people who cannot afford to purchase their own.
Purchasing a new wig is an exhilarating moment for many people. Why not make it a little bit more meaningful by finding a use for the discarded model?