You’ve seen the look in historical dramas. You laughed at the foppish dandies that appear on Masterpiece Theater. In grade school you sneered at pictures of King George with his powdered wig, adjusting it ever so slightly while drinking a cup of tea with his pinky finger extended, wondering how he further extort colonists with new taxes.
You didn’t know that we call important people “bigwig” due to the aristocracy tradition of fancy wigs.
But where does the powdered wig come from? Why was such a peculiar look the sign of nobility in England during the 1500s-1700s?
It all has to do with syphilis, head lice, the shame of male-pattern baldness, and the fashion tastes of Louis XIV.
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