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Ivory powder bottle used by a wig dresser, England, 1701-1800

Many men and women in the 1700s had their heads shaved to prevent attacks of head lice and remove the need to wash the hair. To cover up the baldness, they wore wigs made from human hair or horsehair, which were stuck on with animal fat. White powder, made from ingredients such flour and clay, were placed on to wigs to give them a fashionable colour. Wigs were also status symbols and often indicated the wealth of the wearer.

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Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: bottle

Vessels having a neck and mouth considerably narrower than the body, used for packaging and containing liquid and dry preparations

Glossary: head lice

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