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The History of Wigs In Medieval Europe

Wigs in Europe are came from ancient Egypt. The vanguard of men who wore Romanesque wigs in the 17th century is theFrench King Louis XIII. He wore wigs to hide the scar on his head. And then his courtiers began to wear wigs to curry favor with him. His son who inherits his throne also wears wigs because of his scant hair. Then his subjects emulate him one after another. There are more than 45 kinds of wigs in that time, even the people with thick hair prefer to follow this fashion. Wigs then become the symbol of the great era of the monarchy.

People in ancient Greek and Roman always think the bald man was punished by God. The Romans even prepare to let the parliament pass the “Baldy Act” to forbid bald men to run for senator, bald slaves can only sell for half price. In order to protect themselves from discrimination, bald men wear wigs to hide this flaw. Wigs got further popularization, in the Roman empire period, many Europeans, even the emperor wear wigs. The hair of the enemy soldiers and civilians always was given to the palace as trophies.

Some nobles will also cut the hair of slaves to make wigs. Married women must cover their hair as the custom in that time, some poor of them will also sell their hair for money. Some poor peasants also braid their hair and cut them to sell to the wigs market when it grows long enough.


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  1. This is an interesting article about the history of the wig because I didn’t know that wigs in Europe started with men. I knew that they wore them, but I didn’t know that they started the practice in Europe. Also, knowing that wigs are representative of royalty makes them seem less strange today.

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