Why Did Rich People Wear Wigs?

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Imoforpcs.com – Throughout history, wigs have been worn by people of all classes and backgrounds. However, it was the wealthy who truly popularized the trend of wearing wigs. But why did rich people wear wigs? Let’s take a closer look at this fascinating topic.

Exploring the Reasons Why Rich People Wore Wigs

Exploring the Reasons Why Rich People Wore Wigs


Wigs were popular among wealthy individuals during the 17th and 18th centuries. This fashion trend didn’t die out until the late 19th century. Over the years, wigs have been worn for different reasons, ranging from cultural to religious purposes. For the wealthy, however, wearing a wig was more of a fashion statement than anything else.

Beauty Standard

In the past, a full head of hair was seen as a sign of beauty and good health. Unfortunately, not everyone was blessed with thick and luscious locks. This was especially true during the 17th and 18th centuries when hair loss was a common issue. Rich people, particularly those who held high positions in society, were expected to maintain a certain image. A wig, therefore, was seen as a way to hide baldness or thinning hair.


During the 17th and 18th centuries, personal hygiene wasn’t as advanced as it is today. Bathing wasn’t a daily ritual, and most people didn’t wash their hair frequently. Wigs, therefore, served as a way to cover up bad hair odor and lice infestations. Many wigs were made with human hair, which was easier to maintain than natural hair.

Social Status

Wigs were expensive, and only the wealthy could afford them. Thus, wearing a wig became a symbol of wealth and social status. The more elaborate and ornate a wig was, the more affluent the wearer was perceived to be. In some cases, people who couldn’t afford wigs would wear fake ones made with cheaper materials such as horsehair.


In conclusion, wearing wigs was a fashion trend that emerged in the early modern period. Wealthy people wore wigs for various reasons, ranging from hiding hair loss to showcasing their social status. Today, wigs are still worn for fashion purposes, but they are no longer seen as a symbol of wealth and status.

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Understanding the Reasons Behind Why the Rich Wore Wigs


The use of wigs by the rich and famous has been a common practice throughout history. During the 17th and 18th centuries, wigs were considered a fashion statement and a symbol of status among the wealthy. But why did rich people wear wigs? In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this trend and provide some tips and tricks on how to choose and wear wigs effectively.

Historical Context

The popularity of wigs among the rich can be traced back to the 16th century when King Henry VIII of England started wearing them to hide his balding head. The trend quickly caught on, and wigs became a symbol of power and wealth. By the 17th century, wigs were commonly worn by men and women in Europe, particularly in France and England. They were made from a variety of materials, including human hair, horsehair, and goat hair.

Reasons for Wearing Wigs

There were several reasons why the rich wore wigs during this time period. One reason was to hide baldness or thinning hair. Wigs were also considered more hygienic than natural hair, which was often infested with lice and other parasites. Additionally, wigs allowed people to change their hairstyles more frequently without damaging their natural hair.

Another reason for wearing wigs was to symbolize status and power. The most expensive wigs were made from human hair and were worn by the wealthiest members of society. Wearing a wig was a way of showing off one’s wealth and social status.

Tips and Tricks for Choosing and Wearing Wigs

If you are interested in wearing a wig, there are several things to keep in mind. First, choose a wig that complements your face shape and skin tone. Consider the texture and color of the wig as well. You want to choose a wig that looks natural and enhances your overall appearance.

Secondly, make sure to properly care for your wig. This includes washing and conditioning the wig regularly, storing it properly, and using the right products to maintain its quality. Lastly, make sure to choose a wig that is comfortable to wear and fits securely. A poorly fitting wig can be distracting and uncomfortable.


In conclusion, the use of wigs by the rich and famous has a long and interesting history. Wigs were worn for a variety of reasons, including hiding baldness, showing off wealth and status, and maintaining hygiene. If you are considering wearing a wig, make sure to choose one that complements your appearance, care for it properly, and ensure that it fits securely.

Why Rich People Wore Wigs: Uncovering the Historical and Social Significance

The Origins of Wig Wearing

Wearing wigs dates back to ancient Egypt and Greece when people shaved their heads to combat heat and personal hygiene issues. Wigs were created to protect their bald heads from the sun and to keep lice away. During the Renaissance period, wigs were increasingly used as a fashion accessory, and by the 17th century, wigs became a symbol of social status and wealth.

Social Significance of Wigs

Wigs were an important part of fashion in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries, especially among the upper class. Wealthy people would wear wigs made of human hair, which were often imported from other countries and could cost a fortune. The size and quality of the wig would indicate one’s rank and status in society. It was believed that a wig’s grandeur could impress and intimidate others, thus enhancing one’s social status and influence.

Medical Reasons for Wig Wearing

Another reason why rich people wore wigs was due to medical reasons. Some of the diseases that were rampant during the 17th and 18th centuries were syphilis and smallpox. These diseases would often lead to hair loss. Wearing a wig would help cover up this unfortunate aspect of the disease and make the individual appear healthy and wealthy. It was also believed that wigs could help prevent the spread of lice and other diseases, as it was easier to maintain and clean a wig than real hair.

Decline in Wig Wearing

By the end of the 18th century, wig wearing had started to decline. The French Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment brought about a change in fashion, and the simplicity and natural look of hair became more popular. Wigs were also associated with the aristocracy, and the revolutionary movement sought to reject the symbols of aristocracy. As a result, wigs gradually went out of fashion and were replaced by simpler hairstyles.

The Legacy of Wig Wearing

Although wig wearing is no longer a fashion trend, its legacy can still be seen in modern society. Wigs are still used for medical reasons, such as in cases of chemotherapy-induced alopecia. They are also used in the entertainment industry, where actors and actresses wear wigs to portray different characters. Furthermore, wigs are still worn in certain legal and ceremonial settings, such as in courts and by judges, barristers, and attorneys. Overall, the history of wig wearing reflects the social and cultural changes of the time and provides insight into the significance of fashion and appearance in society.

Why Did Rich People Wear Wigs?


Wigs have been a part of fashion and culture for centuries, and their popularity has waxed and waned over time. One era when wigs were particularly popular was the 17th and 18th centuries, when wealthy people would often wear elaborate wigs made from human hair. But why did rich people wear wigs? In this article, we’ll explore the history of wigs and the reasons why they became such a popular accessory among the elite.

The History of Wigs

Wigs have been around for thousands of years, and were worn by ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans for both practical and fashion reasons. However, it wasn’t until the 16th century that wigs became popular in Europe, particularly among the upper classes. At the time, many people suffered from head lice, and wigs were seen as a way to cover up the problem while also making a fashion statement.

The Rise of Wigs in the 17th and 18th Centuries

While wigs had been popular among the upper classes for several centuries, it was during the 17th and 18th centuries that they reached their peak. Wealthy people would often wear wigs made from human hair, which were styled in elaborate and ornate designs. These wigs could be incredibly expensive, and owning one was a sign of status and wealth.

Reasons Why Rich People Wore Wigs

There were several factors that contributed to the popularity of wigs among the wealthy during this time period:

  • Hygiene: As mentioned earlier, wigs were seen as a way to cover up head lice and other hygiene issues. This was particularly important during a time when bathing was not as frequent as it is today.
  • Fashion: Wigs were seen as a symbol of high fashion and were often worn by actors and other performers. Wealthy people would wear wigs to emulate this trend and show off their wealth.
  • Medical reasons: Some wealthy people would wear wigs as a way to cover up hair loss, either due to illness or as a side effect of medical treatments such as mercury or lead poisoning.
  • Class distinction: Wigs were expensive and were therefore seen as a sign of wealth and status. By wearing a wig, a person could signal their place in society and distinguish themselves from those who could not afford such a luxury.

The Decline of Wigs

By the end of the 18th century, wigs were beginning to fall out of fashion. This was due in part to changing attitudes towards hygiene, as wel
l as a move towards more natural hairstyles. The French Revolution also played a role, as the revolutionaries saw wigs as a symbol of the old regime and would often cut them off as a form of protest. By the 19th century, wigs had largely fallen out of fashion, although they continued to be worn by certain groups such as judges and lawyers.


Wigs have a long and fascinating history, and their popularity among the wealthy during the 17th and 18th centuries is just one chapter in that story. While wigs are no longer a common fashion accessory, they remain a symbol of a bygone era and continue to be worn in certain contexts. Whether for practical or fashion reasons, wigs have left an indelible mark on history and continue to fascinate us today.