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A short history of the wig

Posted on April 27, 2015 by Hannah | 0 comments

You might think that you're just on this website to buy one or more of our high quality wigs, whether for a fancy dress party, to cover up hair loss or just to change up your look. Or you might initially think that, only to wonder from time to time how the modern wig came to be. Why did people start wearing wigs in the first place? How were they made? How did the many types of wig that online stores like Budget Wigs now stock reach their present form?

The very word 'wig' is short for periwig, and made its first appearance in the English language in the 17th century - the famous London diarist Samuel Pepys, for example, wrote about the day in 1665 when he dared not to wear his new periwig "because the plague was in Westminster when I bought it. And it is a wonder what will be the fashion after the plague is done as to periwigs, for nobody will dare to buy any haire for fear of the infection? That it had been cut off the heads of people dead of the plague."

Wigs themselves dated so much further back than Pepys' time, however. They were worn by the ancient Egyptians, for instance, to protect their shaved, hairless heads from the sun. Wigs were also popular for everyday fashion purposes in such other ancient cultures as the Assyrians, Phoenicians, Romans and Greeks. However, the fall of the Roman Empire led to wigs falling into disuse in the West for a thousand years.

When they began to be used again in the 16th century, it was for the purpose of compensating for hair loss or enhancing personal appearance. The revival of the wig was spurred on by royalty - Elizabeth I of England and Louis XIII and Louis XIV of France all being famous wig-wearers. Wigs came to be essential garb for men with social rank.

Wigs retained their association with the higher echelons of society throughout the 18th century, William Hogarth lampooning the elaborateness of the wigs worn at George III's 1761 coronation. A British tax on hair powder of one guinea a year from 1795 pushed wigs out of fashion once more in the United Kingdom.

Of course, as we all know, wigs - especially high quality wigs - have come back with a vengeance in recent years. Many famous singers and performers, from Donna Summer and Cher to Lady Gaga and Raquel Welch, have popularised contemporary wigs as both fun and functional, and often glamorous.

Certainly, those who want the best quality and most affordable wigs in the year 2015 need look to only one source... Budget Wigs!

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