Current Usage for Wigs

- Nov 07, 2018-

Current Usage For Wigs

Official use

In Britain, most Commonwealth nations, and the Republic of Ireland special wigs are also worn by barristers, judges, and certain parliamentary and municipal or civic officials as a symbol of the office. Hong Kong barristers and judges continue to wear wigs as part of court dress as an influence from their former jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Nations. In July 2007, judges in New South Wales, Australia voted to discontinue the wearing of wigs in the NSW Court of Appeal. New Zealand lawyers and judges have ceased to wear wigs except for special ceremonial occasions such as openings of Parliament or the calling of newly qualified barristers to the bar. In Canada lawyers and judges do not wear wigs.


A number of celebrities, including Donna Summer, Dolly Parton, Sia Furler, Katy Perry, Melanie Martinez, Lady Gaga, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Tina Turner and Raquel Welch have popularized wigs. Cher has worn all kinds of wigs in the last 40 years- from blonde to black, and curly to straight. They may also be worn for fun as part of fancy dress (costume wearing), when they can be of outlandish color or made from tinsel. They are quite common at Halloween, when "rubber wigs" (solid bald cap-like hats, shaped like hair), are sold at some stores.

Wigs are used in film, theater, and television. In the Japanese film and television genre Jidaigeki, wigs are used extensively to alter appearance to reflect the Edo period when most stories take place. Only a few actors starring in big-budgeted films and television series will grow their hair so that it may be cut to the appropriate hair style, and forgo using a wig.

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Jewish religion 

Jewish law requires married women to cover their hair for reasons of modesty (tznius). Some women wear wigs, known as sheitels, for this purpose. Orthodox Jewish women such as the Ultra-Orthodox Haredi and Hasidic Jewish women will often wear human-hair wigs. Modern Orthodox Jewish women will usually wear a hat, but exposing the bottom of their hair.

One rabbi said that it is preferable for a married Jewish woman to expose her hair than to don a wig, for the wig actually increases attraction in the public domain and encourages the notion that Halakha is both irrational and intellectually dishonest.Another, who also spoke strongly against the wearing of wigs, said specifically

  • "You must go with a hat or kerchief on your head"
    but did not permit leaving hair "exposed."

Most Orthodox women cover their hair, whether with wigs, hats or scarves. The rejection by some rabbis of wigs is not recent:

  • "... in the 1600s, when French women began wearing wigs to cover their hair. Rabbis rejected this practice, both because it resembled the contemporary non-Jewish style and because it was immodest, in their eyes, for a woman to sport a beautiful head of hair, even if it was a wig."

Other options include

  • wearing a covered wig, called a Shpitzel

  • a covering, typically cloth, called a Tichel

  • another non-hair (and looser) head covering, called a Snood

  • a short wig mostly covered by a Tichel, but with (wig) "hair" showing on the forehead, sometimes also showing from the back, called a Frisette.

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