What's the Evolution of Hair Toupees for Men?
In their lifetime, most men will experience varying degrees of hair loss or baldness. Some men lose their hair as early as their twenties, and four out of every five men experience significant hair loss in their fifties. In this case, loss of self-confidence and frustration are given. Wearing a hair toupee, taking medicine, or having a hair transplant are all options for hair restoration. Taking medication will inevitably result in side effects. When you stop taking your medication, your hair will begin to fall out again. Surgery, on the other hand, can be a painful and costly experience. One might think the insecurities related to baldness are because of this new age beauty standards, but what's interesting to note that hair loss has gotten a bad rap since before the first year. Between 1 B.C. and A.D. 1, the Roman poet Ovid, famous for his works of love, wrote Ars Amatorial ("The Art of Love"), vividly displaying his bald bias with the following: "Ugly are hornless bulls, a field without grass is an eyesore, a tree without leaves, a head without hair." Historians note that Julius Caesar was uneasy about his baldness and tried to conceal it by brushing his hair up and toward his face, and he willingly wore the honor of the laurel crown whenever possible because it hid his baldness. Later, around A.D. 800-900, the Arabian Nights character Scheherazade asks, "Is there anything uglier in the world than a man beardless and bald as an artichoke?"
Wigs and hair toupees for men have been documented in history since 3100 BC for toupees and 1675 for wigs. The term "wig" is an abbreviation for "periwig," which refers to the use of synthetic, animal, or human hair to conceal baldness and restore hair appearance. Although the motivation for wearing hairpieces remains the same, the quality of their manufacture varies greatly. Understanding how these hairpieces have evolved and are made with the finest materials and craftsmanship allows you to appreciate how they have evolved over time.
Here is a brief description of how the hair toupee and different hair replacement technology came to be.
Where it All Started:
The ancient Egyptians shaved their heads clean of hair to stay cool in the hot climate and avoid lice outbreaks, which were common. Wigs were both a symbol of social status and a practical means of protecting their heads from the sun. Women's wigs were more decorative and beautiful than men's wigs, with braids made of gold and ivory. They were made of fiber netting, which included wool, vegetable fibers, and human hair. It protruded in all directions, resulting in a voluminous wig.
Wigs were traditionally used in theatrical performances such as Japanese Kabuki or Noh in the Far East. They became popular in China during the Spring and Autumn seasons (770 BC – 476 BC). Wigs were frequently used in ceremonies to elevate the status of those who wore them, who were usually of a higher social status than ordinary citizens. However, wigs were worn in everyday life by many other cultures, including the Greeks and Romans. Toupees have been around for a longer time and were used to improve one's appearance due to the stigma associated with baldness.
Wigs became more popular in the 16th Century. Many royals, including Queen Elizabeth I, wore elaborate wigs and headpieces. This also served the practical purpose of keeping lice at bay. Around
1660, men's periwigs were introduced into the English-speaking world. They were shoulder-length or longer and popular in the English court.
As demand grew and designs became more intricate, wig making had evolved into an art form by the 17th Century. These wigs were heavy and difficult to wear for extended periods of time. In addition, they became more expensive as they were made of human or horsehair.
Men wore powdered white or off-white wigs, while women wore powdered grey or blue-grey coiffures. Starch was used to make the powder, which was scented with lavender or orris root. These hairpieces became necessary for formal occasions, but powdering was messy and inconvenient. With the development of naturally white wigs, both daily wear and court dress became possible. Unfortunately, hair powder was taxed by the British government in 1975, causing it to fall out of Favour.
19 & 20 Century
Because of the shift in public perception regarding aging, hair toupees became more popular than wigs during this time period. Men wanted to appear younger, and a toupee was one way to do so. Max Factor emphasized the fine craftsmanship of their toupees, which were made with flesh-colored lace and meticulously sewn in to be completely invisible. However, they were the primary source of wigs for Hollywood actors. By 1950, an estimated 350,000 men in the United States wore hairpieces out of a total of 15 million potential wearers. By the end of 1969, the figure had risen to 2.5 million.
The Present Era (21st century)
Nonsurgical hair replacement procedures today focus on simulating a realistic natural, undetectable hairline. In addition, hair replacements and custom solutions, such as Sensi Graft, and new technologies such as Foll graft, in which the hairs are directly applied to the scalp, have elevated the technology of hair replacement and hair toupees for men by using a new thin, light, and breathable material similar to that of a contact lens.
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