As early as the 18th century, wigs had gone the way of the fidget spinner

We've put together a very hairy Spotify playlist for you to listen to while you're reading this piece


We've put together a very hairy Spotify playlist for you to listen to while you're reading this piece. It's an open and collaborative project, so please feel free to contribute your own songs about hair. Can you think of any that we may have missed? The return of massive shoulder pads was a welcome sight. Track pants are once again fashionable. In that case, isn't it past time that we all started donning humantransparent lace wigs again?

They appear in a plethora of old paintings. The white curls that cascaded down over their shoulders belonged to everyone who was anyone in the 1700s. According to our modern aesthetic standards, it appears, to put it mildly, absurd. So, what was it about exaggerated wigs that made them so popular? As it turns out, the history of the peruke (as powdered wigs were referred to back in the day) is a bizarre and bizarrely bizarre one.

As with many stories, syphilis serves as the starting point here.
It's a distasteful truth, but it's true. Syphilis reached epidemic proportions in the Western world during the 15th century. Because antibiotics were not available at the time, the disease would ravage those who became infected with quite obvious symptoms such as sores, rashes, blindness, dementia, and – perhaps most telling – hair loss.

A highly embarrassing condition, baldness was considered to be because of its association with disease. Long hair was fashionable at the time, and it was practically a status symbol. Going bald may cause you to lose your professional reputation. Even if you were the 18th-century equivalent of Vin Diesel, you'd be in trouble.

You can probably guess where this is going. Wigmakers began to produce artificial coiffures in large quantities. Victims of syphilis concealed their baldness with wigs, which were sometimes made of humanhuman hair lace front wigs but were more frequently made of lower-cost alternatives such as horse and goat hair. In order to conceal infection even further, the wigs were sprayed with lavender- and orange-scented powders, which served only to mask any unpleasant odors. It's a delight.

Wigs are lavished with attention.
Wigs, despite their widespread use, were not considered fashionable – rather, they were considered a shameful necessity. That is, until the middle of the seventeenth century, when the King of France began to go bald.(Yes, most likely as a result of syphilis.)At the time, it was definitely all the rage. King Louis XIV began losing his mop at the ripe old age of seventeen years and nine months. He hired 48 wigmakers to create a full set of healthy heads ofbob wig for him so that he wouldn't have to worry about his reputation being damaged.

Just five years later, when the King of England – Louis' cousin, Charles II – noticed that his hair was falling out, he did the same thing. As a result, a trend began to emerge, spreading from copycat aristocrats to the upper-middle class and beyond.

High fashion, on the other hand, comes at a high cost.
Of course, the cost of wigs increased as a result. An "everyday" peruke would have cost about 25 shillings, which would have been the equivalent of a week's wages for a typical Londoner. The elaborate wigs depicted in paintings could cost as much as 800 shillings each. Large wigs became status symbols for those who could afford to indulge in the extravagance. Even after Louis and Charles passed away, the wig craze continued to be popular on everyone's heads for decades. Of course, if you're curious whether or not this group of fashion snobs was responsible for the term "bigwig," you can rest assured that the answer is yes.

Today'skinky curly headband wigs will be gone tomorrow.
As early as the 18th century, wigs had gone the way of the fidget spinner (is that a thing yet? Wigs were knocked off their pedestal as an overblown symbol of the bourgeoisie as a result of the French Revolution. In addition, a tax on hair powder enacted by William Pitt in 1795 discouraged the use of wigs in the United Kingdom. Since then, it's been all about the short and natural haircuts all over. So, how do you feel about it? Allow 2018 to be the year that perukes make a comeback in style. If only we could persuade Rihanna to join us...