Are we the only ones who always wondered why in pictures of “The Founding Fathers” of America the men wore powdered wigs? … we didn’t think so. Even now wigs are very popular today, among men and women! And we're not talking about a wig for stage or for a man who is balding, these men wore wigs with hair that hung down pass their shoulders… Huh??
In those days, fashion came from necessity. It was common for people to shave their heads back in the 18th century because of the prevalence of head lice. They would wear wigs to replace their hair and protect their scalps from the sun. Generally only the wealthy could afford to purchase wigs to cover their newly bald heads, so what began as a hygienic tool turned into a symbol of status.
Now, why were their wigs white? Well the men wore powder in the wigs in order to help keep away lice, ticks, mites, and other vermin that might infest the wigs. Back in that time people only bathed a couple times a year (I smell funk), so they found other ways, like powdered wigs, to maintain their hygiene.
This may seem weird to us, but its no different than any fashion trends we have of our own today. One day, someone may wonder why so many women wore wigs and extensions in their hair, if they had a head full of hair. And someone will have to explain to them how the busy schedule of the American woman and the importance of physical beauty in society, where more is better, influenced our every day wants and fashion trends.