What's the deal with powdered wigs?
Admittedly, 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.