TheThe wig craze, which has been going on for more than a century, was born from a last resort. At the age of twenty, Louis XIV contracted typhus. In desperation, doctors administered an emetic containing antimony, a very dangerous chemical ingredient that lowers fever. The young king recovered, but the treatment that saved his life cost him most of his long, curly hair, of which he was said to be so proud.
Then the ruler relied on the so-called “window” wig, that allow natural wicks to escape. But the years passed, and in 1672, at the age of thirty-five, he had to choose a full wig “with lively hair”, which required shaving his entire head. Instead of a temporary hiatus, Louis XIV would make it a symbol of his splendor and royal pomp.
During the Ascension Ceremony, the wig is a short wig that is modified to the king’s skull, but the one he wears during his official appearance is on a character level. Long, curly, falling on the shoulders, the mane of the Sun King will take on gigantic proportions. From 1680, tufts, curly tufts, and dots are vertically stacked at a good distance of 10 centimeters.
The expression of victorious property, this poetic generosity, certainly artificial, imposes itself as an outward sign of belonging to a social class. No one who exercises a position in the court or in the judiciary can do without it. The bourgeoisie, as well as the Catholic hierarchy, rallied, though very reluctantly. Europe, too, is fascinated by this pseudo-craze that is creating new uses. “Adoption of the wig It makes the hat a superfluous accessory rarely worn by a man, but civility binds it tightly under his arm.notes Francois Boucher in The history of fashion in the West (Flamrion, 2008).
Wigs are made of female hair, and it has become an industry. Colbert subjected it to tax in 1703. He was concerned that large quantities of it were imported, particularly from Holland, a country which was in conflict with France, but argued that the consumption of beer by its inhabitants was a guarantee of resilient and resistant hair. .
Wearing this pile of curls, which can weigh more than 2 kilograms, is no picnic. An aristocratic wig is a den of miasma and lice. It should be boiled and applied regularly to get rid of unpleasant odors. The king sometimes suffers from irritations or even infections associated with wearing wool, one of which may catch fire after touching the candle hard.
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