Theatrical Wigs


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Wigs or toupees are a head of either human hair or synthetic hair, worn on the head for either for the sake of fashion, for cultural or religious reasons or to hide or cover baldness. Actors sport wigs as it helps them better resemble and get into the skin of the character they are portraying - many actors believe looking like the character to be played is half the battle won. Make-up artists find that wigs are one of the best tools to work with as hair does so much to change a person's looks.

In the field of theatre, wigs have been present way back from the times of the Greek and Roman theatres and are indispensable parts of present day theatre and cinema. There a many wig-making companies which provide services that include custom designed pieces of either the highest quality human hair or fine quality synthetics. While fair hair from Europe is the choice of preference for most theatrical productions, Asian hair which is stronger and hence lasts longer is also bleached and used. Modern day stage wigs are made of jute, a fiber that is suitable for perfect imitations of human hair.

Wig-making is an intricate art requiring the ventilating or tying of knots akin to rug-making, only here the raw material is really expensive with 1kilo of hair costing around $2000. It takes about 40 to 60 hours to tie one wig, which accounts for part of the expensive price tag.

Props and costumes have always been considered the chief aspects that bring a play to life, but the wig which infuses the character with life has never really been given as much thought, though so much care and consideration goes into the making of one. Certain roles such as the lawyer or soldier or even the era in which the play is set in are very easily identified by the very style of the hair or beard and wigs make this identification easy to achieve. Needless to say, wigs are an integral part of theatre and cinema.

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