Thursday, December 22, 2011

Just Say No To Rugs!

Bearded is more "rugged".
(... to paraphrase a former First Lady.)  I've always been completely baffled by men so vain that they resort to wearing a toupee. Now, thank Buddha, the rug is going the way of the dinosaur.  But for those who don't know its ugly history:  "Toupée is related to the French words for "top" or "tuft"; as the curl or lock of hair at the top of the head, not necessarily relating to covering baldness. While wigs have a very long and somewhat traceable history, the origin of the toupée is more difficult to define. The earliest known example was found in a tomb near the ancient Predynastic capital of Egypt, Hierakonpolis. The tomb and its contents date to c.3200 BC. At least two ancient Greek statues of men wearing toupées survive today. Julius Caesar is known to have worn one in dismay at his pattern baldness.  He tried both wearing a toupée, and shaving his head. Some state that he wore his trademark ceremonial wreath to disguise his shrinking hairline. Roman men of the era were also known to paint their bald heads to appear to have hair. Key to the modern promotion and acceptance of toupées was improved hairpiece craftsmanship pioneered by Max Factor, the supplier of choice for most Hollywood actors. Toupée and wig manufacture is no longer centered in the U.S., but in Asia. Researchers at both the Daiwa Institute and Nomura Research – two key Japanese economic research institutes – conclude that there is "no sign of a recovery" for the toupée industry. There are at least four charities that specialize in providing hairpieces for children that have lost hair due to chemotherapy, medical condition or head injury." (Wikipedia)  So there you have it, the demise (hopefully) of an ugly male accoutrement.