Ready dressed wigs were worn by
wealthy Ancient Egyptians of both sexes. Elaborately curled and adorned
wigs were worn at special public occasions and at religious ceremonies.
The normal hairstyles of the men dictated that their hair was cropped
short or shaved, which was probably due to help them combat the heat.
But their status and wealth could be reflected in the imposing wigs that
the wore on special occasions. The women kept their hair longer but they
also delighted in the elaborately adorned wigs that they were able to
wear. The higher the status of the man or woman the more wigs they
What were Egyptian Wigs
The Wigs of the Ancient Egyptians were
made of human hair which was often supplemented by plant fibre or
from the wool of sheep. These wigs were not just brunette or dark
colored. Blond wigs were also produced. These wigs were extremely
expensive and time consuming to make. One of the Ancient Egyptian wigs
which has survived consists of:
- The hairs were
then a grouped into 300 strands
The hairs were coated with a
mixture of beeswax and resin then looped through a netting and fixed
into place with wax.
The elaborate wigs of the women of Ancient Egypt
consisted of a base of thin tight plaits which were covered with thick,
full and luxurious curls. The styles varied as most women preferred to
wear unique styles if possible with a huge variety of different
The wigs worn by the men of Ancient Egypt
were somewhat shorter than the women's wigs, but were just as elaborate.
Even though wigs and hair pieces were available to men they still
worried about greying and thinning hair. Henna was used by men as a hair
dye and various formulas were prescribed as hair restorers. A recipe for
one Ancient Egyptian hair restorer consisted of boiling up the paw of a
female greyhound, the stone of a date and the hoof of an ass.
- the Adornments
The adornments of Ancient Egyptian wigs
included some of the following:
- Gold strands
The hairstyle of wigs were kept
in placed with clasps and hairpins.
The False Beard of
The beard was not in fashion and men shaved
facial hair but beards were considered to be sacred to the gods and
therefore to the Pharaohs. The beard was considered to be a divine
symbol of the gods. Depictions of Pharaohs, both the Kings and some
Queens, are seen wearing false plaited beards. These false beards were
religious symbols of the Pharaohs emphasizing their status as a living
god. The bizarre false beards were tightly knotted and plaited and
hooked behind the ears. They were worn on important religious and other
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