What was the purpose of the white wig most of the colonial people wore?

during colonial days many of the british wore the rediculous looking white wigs, George Washinton wore one and I do believe some forms of government wear them today! Does anybody know the purpose of that wig?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The 16th century wig was a means of compensating for hair loss or improving one's personal appearance. They also served a practical purpose: the unhygienic conditions of the time meant that hair attracted head lice, a problem that could be much reduced if natural hair were shaved and replaced with a more easily de-loused artificial hairpiece.

    Queen Elizabeth I of England famously wore a red wig, tightly and elaborately curled in a "Roman" style and King Louis XIII of France pioneered wig-wearing among men from the 1620s onwards.

    Perukes or periwigs for men were introduced into the English-speaking world with other French styles when Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660, following a lengthy exile in France. These wigs were shoulder-length or longer, imitating the long hair that had become fashionable among men since the 1620s. Their use soon became popular in the English court.

    With wigs becoming virtually obligatory garb for men of virtually any significant social rank, wigmakers gained considerable prestige. A wigmakers' guild was established in France in 1665, a development soon copied elsewhere in Europe. Their job was a skilled one as 17th century wigs were extraordinarily elaborate, covering the back and shoulders and flowing down the chest; not surprisingly, they were also extremely heavy and often uncomfortable to wear. Such wigs were expensive to produce. The best examples were 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 in order to give them their distinctive white or off-white color. Wig powder was made from finely ground starch that was scented with orange flower, lavender, or orris root. Wig powder was occasionally colored violet, blue, pink or yellow, but was most often used as white. Powdered wigs became an essential for full dress occasions and continued in use until almost the end of the 18th century. Powdering wigs was messy and inconvenient and the development of the naturally white or off-white powderless wig (made of horsehair) is no doubt what has made the retention of wigs in everyday court dress a practical possibility.

    By the 1780s, young men were setting a fashion trend by lightly powdering their natural hair. After 1790, both wigs and powder were reserved for older more conservative men, and were in use by ladies being presented at court.

    Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wigs

    • Will6 years agoReport

      why the thumbs down?

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    What was the purpose of the white wig most of the colonial people wore?

    during colonial days many of the british wore the rediculous looking white wigs, George Washinton wore one and I do believe some forms of government wear them today! Does anybody know the purpose of t...

    Source(s): purpose white wig colonial people wore: https://knowledge.im/?s=purpose+white+wig+colonial...
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  • sather
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    White Wig

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  • In America, white wigs were popular as they represented respect. In Colonial times, elders were held in respect as they controlled the wealth through land holdings and were masters of trade. Young people looked to their elders to learn a trade and to inherit land.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It was really just a matter of fashion. Because wigs were expensive, only ladies and gentlemen of means could afford them. So wearing a wig was a way of advertising your status (one of many ways at that time).

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/Qouvm

    I thought we already had that! Have you ever seen Jan Crouch on TBN? Or Ivana Trump?:) They don't have the white wigs, but they certainly do have the makeup!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In England today certain people int he court system must wear cerain types of wigs (e.g. lawyers). "back in the day" people would wear the wigs to hid the filth in their hair, since taking baths everyday was very very uncommon.

    someone said that they would shaves their heads, i've never hear of that before.

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  • 1 decade ago

    it was because they barely ever took baths, so they would get lice....they shaved their hair off, even the women and the wore those powdered wigs...he also wore horse teeth and sometimes wooden teeth (like dentures)

    :]

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    Medium size hair because it is easy to be able to handle and you can still carry out most of the hairstyles

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  • 4 years ago

    I've experienced mine both ways too... but our husband prefers it short... he never complains when I grow it long, but is always all over themself w/the complements when I cut this off

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