Site Information

 Loading... Please wait...
  • Phone: 320 685 7100     Text: 320 292 3447
  • My Account
  • Gift Certificates


Where In The World Did Wigs Come From?

Posted by Teresa on

Hi there! Teresa here again! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Here at Name Brand Wigs/Joshua 24, we are so very thankful for each and every one of you! We are blessed with your business, your friendship and your loyalty! Thank you for being part of our lives!

Today, I thought it might be fun to talk a little about the history of wigs. Have you ever wondered when wigs became a “thing”? Let’s dig in.

Ancient Egypt- The Birthplace of Wigs

Wigs were a very common part of life in ancient Egypt. Think of the beautiful Queen Cleopatra (or Elizabeth Taylor, whomever you prefer!) She was said to be stunning and she wore a wig. Because of the heat, and also the prevalence of little pests that would get in the hair, people would shave their heads. However, the look wasn’t thought to be very pretty, so, voila`, wigs.

Back then, there was no attempt to make wigs look real. It just wasn’t part of the deal. Instead, they were often made from a variety of braided hair. Beeswax was a common setting gel.

Of course, the wealthy and royalty had more options. Some of the most expensive wigs were made from human hair, just like today. Others were made from wool, fibers from palm leaves or even from pure silver! Only royalty could wear long wigs.due to the expense. OH! And today’s trend of the bright colors? Not so new after all, ladies! Ancient Egypt rocked red, green and blues in their wigs!

What About The Romans and The Greeks Wearing Wigs?

What about the ancient Greeks? I’m here to tell you, they had some ideas about hair. They considered hair to be sacred. When someone died, they would put some of the dead person’s

hair over the doorway. Then they take some of their own hair and place it on the body. They considered this to be a sacred ritual. Wigs would be used both for disguise and to add to a person's beauty. Actors would wear wigs to look more like the role they played.

The Romans also thought the hair was sacred. Washing hair and cutting hair were religious ceremonies. Julius Caesar wore a wig to cover his bald head in the late B.C and early A.D. years. Around 30 A.D. wigs slowly become more popular.

When Rome became a Christian country, the Church declared wigs sinful! Blessings were thought to remain on the wig itself and never transfer to the wearer of the wig. Wigs remained unpopular throughout the Middle Ages. Around the mid to late 16th century, wigs became very popular for both men and women.

The 17th century brought in the powdered wig and men began to wear hair on the regular. The wealthier or more prominent a man was, the more wigs he would collect and sport about town. Louis XIV became King of France and started wearing wigs to fill out his own thinning hair. Soon, he shaved his head and wore wigs exclusively. This is when the powdered wig became high fashion.

By the 18th century, those who could afford it had a large, full wig for public wear and a smaller one to wear at home. In fact, those who couldn’t afford wigs would do all they could to make their natural hair look like a wig! (How’s THAT for a backwards idea from how we consider wigs today, huh?)

The wealthy used hair that was cut from those less fortunate to add to their own hair. Elaborate stylings, with great height, were constructed and colored with flour, starch and even plaster of paris! The primping and bedazzling of wigs was an art in itself. This is where the term “hairdressing” came from- because the hair was dressed up with these elaborate pieces!

Wigs Move Into The Modern Day

Fast forward to the 20th century and we see wigs fading out around the 1920s, with the dawn of the bobbed hairstyle Wigs were worn by older, unfashionable women. Enter the ‘50’s. Wigs began a comeback, but mostly as a fantasy type ornament. By the 60’s women of color were discovering the joy and ease of wigs, with Diana Ross, the famed singer and star of the Supremes being well-known for her gorgeous wigs. By the late 60’s, white, European women were jumping onto the wig bandwagon, while men were passing on the faux hair and moving to the natural.

Until the early 1950’s, all wigs were made by hand. Then wigs began to be made with synthetic nylon fibers and crafted by machine in Hong Kong. By 1970, the wig industry employed 24,000 workers and 40% of wigs were made from synthetic fibers. The leading wig companies at that time were the American company Dynel and the Japanese company, Kanekalon.

Today, one of the leading, global wig producers and manufacturers is the parent company of Aderans, who make the Rene of Paris, Noriko and Amore’ brands. In my next blog, we’ll take a closer look at this company, one of our favorites and most popular here at Name Brand Wigs!

Until then, Happy Thanksgiving!! We are so thankful for you!

View Comments

Wig Tips and Tricks For The Holidays!

Can you believe the holiday season is right around the corner? I know, we can’t either! As you make your guest lists and shop for everyone you love, don’t forget to give a heads up to your wig care this holiday season. We’ve put together a few little tips to help you keep your hair [...]

Read More »

Seeing Double

We often get the question “What would be a comparable wig to the one I’m wearing now?” Maybe you really like your current style, but are interested in a different type of cap. Perhaps you just want to spice things up with a change of color options, or you've heard the dreaded "your item is [...]

Read More »


Pardon the all caps, please. Teresa here and I’m just a little excited. Noriko just brought out two new styles, two new colors AND two pieces in a NEW LARGE SIZE! This stuff is big, ladies!! BIG!! Short Sassy Style in Blake! From the front, the side or the back, this style is so so cute. It’s [...]

Read More »

We're Talking Wedding Hair!

We love getting to know our customer's on a personal level here at Name Brand Wigs! One of my favorites is talking with someone getting ready for a wedding. Whether they are the bride to be, or part of the wedding party, it is always an exciting time! It's so fun to hear about the [...]

Read More »

What is Going On With My Wig Packaging?

Hi everyone! Teresa here again. Today, I’m going to take a great big breath and ask that question you’ve been wondering about every time you open a different wig style. “WHAT IS GOING ON WITH MY PACKAGING?” You know you say it. I mean, one time you open a wig and everything looks normal to [...]

Read More »

Wigs 101: Renew and Refresh

Hi all, it’s Chloe here! I hope that you are all enjoying the beautiful fall weather wherever you may be. :-) With the cooler weather upon us and the dry air approaching, I think that there has never been a better time to talk about how to keep your hairpiece looking fresh and rejuvenated. Here are [...]

Read More »

Let’s Play Dress Up with These Awesome Name Brand Wigs

Let’s Play Dress Up with These Awesome Name Brand Wigs Hello lovelies! Welcome to October! Teresa here with some ideas for any costume parties you might have coming up. Fall is a fabulous time to gather with friends, sip some cider, light a fire and socialize. A favorite tradition for many is attending a costume party. Dressing [...]

Read More »

Fall Fashion Trends 2017

The air is crisp (here in Minnesota, anyway!), the leaves are changing colors, and pumpkin spice everything – (even M&Ms!) is hitting the shelves. The other big indicator autumn is upon us? Fashion Week is in full swing from New York to Milan, and if you’re anything like us you are paying attention to not [...]

Read More »

Name Brand Wigs Announces New Wig Styles From Jon Renau

Hi there! It’s Teresa and I am so excited to announce Jon Renau’s newest styles! Fall is here and that means it’s time to start thinking about something new. The holidays will be here before we know it. We all love to look our best for all the parties and the pictures. Jon Renau steps [...]

Read More »

Highlights from our YouTube Channel

Follow Us on Social Media