The Story of Full Lace Wigs 
Saturday, July 9, 2011, 11:31 AM
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Costume full lace wigs used to be almost compulsory for men of virtually any significant social rank, and barbers acquired considerable prestige. The Barber's Guild was created in France in 1665, a move quickly copied elsewhere in Europe. Their wigs were extraordinarily complex, covering the back and shoulders and down the chest; not surprisingly they were also very heavy and often uncomfortable to wear. Such wigs were expensive to produce. The best examples are made from natural human hair. The hair of horses and goats was often used as a cheaper alternative.

In the 18th Century, wigs were powdered to give them their distinctive white or off white colour. Contrary to popular belief, women of the 18th Century did not wear wigs, but wore a "supplement" of artificial hair, hair or other sources. Women often powdered their hair gray or bluish gray, and from the 1770s never powdered them bright white like men. Wig powder was made from finely ground starch that was scented with orange flower and iris root lavander. Wig powder was used in purple, blue, pink or yellow, but it was most often used as white. Powdered wigs (men) and powdered natural hair with extra hairpieces (women) became an essential element of fashionable wear, and continued to be used until almost the end of the 18th Century. The elaborate form of wigs worn at the coronation of George III in 1761 was lampooned by William Hogarth in his engraving Five Orders of Wigs. Spray wigs and extensions were messy and inconvenient, and the development of naturally white or off-white powder-free wigs (horsehair) for men is probably what made the retention of wigs in everyday court dress a practical possibility. In the 1780s, young men were setting a fashion trend by lightly spraying their natural hair, as women had done from the 1770s onwards. Often they used their own hair and not a wig. After 1790, both wigs and powder were reserved for older, conservative men and were used by ladies being presented at court. After 1790 women hardly powdered their hair any longer. In 1795, the British government imposed a tax on hair powder for a Guinea per annum. This tax effectively caused the demise of both the fashion for wigs and wig powder in 1800.

Among women of the French court of Versailles in the middle of the 17th Century to the late 18th Century, large, complex and often themed (such as ottomans stereotypical "boat") extensions were popular for women. These extensions were often very heavy, weighted down with pomades, powders and other ornaments. In the late 18th Century these coiffures (with many other indulgences in court life) became a symbol of decadence of the French nobility, which helped fuel the French Revolution (although this influence is greatly exaggerated).

In the 18th Century, full lace wigs became smaller and more formal with several professions adopting them as part of their official costumes. This tradition survives in some legal systems. They are routinely worn in various countries of the Commonwealth. Until 1823, bishops of the Church of England and Church of Ireland wore ceremonial wigs. The wigs worn by lawyers are in the style favoured in the late 18th Century. Judges' wigs are worn everyday as court dress, with shorter wigs for lawyers (and in a slightly different style).

The wearing of wigs as a symbol of social status was largely abandoned in the United States and France in the early 19th Century, although it continued for a little longer in the United Kingdom.

Wigs for women developed in a somewhat different way. They originate from the 18th Century, although at first only surreptiously. Full lace wigs in the 19th Century and early 20th Century were not fashionable, and were often worn by old ladies who had lost their hair.

- Grace Chan
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Stuff about Wigs 
Saturday, July 9, 2011, 11:27 AM
Posted by Administrator
Fashion and style have gone hand in hand ever since humans put on the first set of clothes. Though the frills and lace have changed dramatically over the centuries, the dresses, shirts, shoes, and hats are still very much the same. However, as many people know, fashion is not limited to the clothes one wears, but extends to things such as fingernails, jewelry, and hair.

While it is very simple to change cloths, put on new jewelry, and even painting fingernails different colors, the idea of lengthening, coloring, or essentially changing hair in any way is just not possible without some special assistance. The most obvious answer for anyone looking to modify their hairdo so often is to use wigs instead.

From Cleopatra to Parliament, the use of wigs is not a foreign concept in history, though their use in everyday life has dwindled in the last century. With a focus on industrial revolution and survival, the fashion industry turned away from wigs and instead showcasing the elaborate designs of everyday wear and minor accessories. The color scheme, material, and cut of a dress or slacks has easily become the most important aspect of a person's image, with hair style, make-up, and jewelry playing a far second.

However, with the recent upsurge in females focusing on their hair by purchasing extensions, perms, and exotic colors, the wig is making a huge come back. This new, revised version of the wig is no longer a giant white powdery set of curls, or some strange style that sets the person apart from everyone else. Indeed, modern wigs are very natural looking and are used to express ones sense of style without damaging their real hair.

There are as many wig types as music types, ranging from long to short wigs, hairpieces to ebony wigs, and many name brands from which to choose. Even though the new wig movement has started by female interest, there are no limitations on gender in the market today; there are even wigs for children that allow them the freedom to find their own personal taste without the destructive chemicals involved in dyes and perms.

In addition, there are always a large number of costume and party wigs to bring joy to any season. Becoming the life of the party no longer requires a fancy dress; choosing the right wig at the right price will do far more than any outfit ever could, and the sense of style that comes with it is unmatched by any traditional form of fashion.

- Daniel Manson
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Wigs I Found! 
Thursday, May 12, 2011, 02:46 PM
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