Sunday, January 27, 2013

Getting Wiggy With It


I never believed my mother and sisters telling me that wearing wigs just because you could was a common trend during the 60s and 70s until I saw the vintage ads to prove it. I still have a hard time fathoming why wigs were in vogue during those decades--ironically, many of them seem to be for shorter styles at a time when long hair was in fashion. I would imagine they'd get itchy, uncomfortable, and hot during the summer months. If you didn't have a medical condition, why would you want one? It seems more deceitful than wearing a push-up bra or makeup. 

Yet, there were wigs...even on catalog and fashion models...and some ads used sexual appeal to sell them, too. Yes, I know today hairpieces are still popular...but I don't remember the last time I saw a wig advertisement in a woman's magazine. Anyways, here's a splattering of wig ads from back in the day:



A playground for men's hands...now that's some copywriting genius. But what happens if playtime gets a little rough, and that playground comes right off? How embarrassing. 



This wig seems to be for international women of mystery...the copy is difficult to read, but I can make out where it says, "Lets you create your mood...instantly! Anything from a shy young miss to that enchanting woman of the world!" Or in this case, wonton sex kitten. 



I don't even know what we're supposed to be looking at here...but it's far from "practically perfect." This has got to be the worst looking mullet I've ever seen.



Yeeeeeeeeek!!!! You mean some women actually PAID MONEY to obtain this look?



I've never heard of Sego, but it was a diet drink, and, well, diet drinks make us think of wigs. Or something. Again, this is playing off the taking on a new persona angle. Number five must be the Stern Librarian disguise. She looks like she's going to shove that pencil where the sun doesn't shine if you don't stop talking in the library. 



From a Sears catalog. Mustn't forget your wig before a workout. 



I love how the last model is giving the rest of them with their blonde afros the side-eye like they're all shades of crazy. 

All ads came from Flickr. Boo to the people who had some great ads but disabled downloading of them--what's the point of uploading them in the first place if you won't share? That's another post for another time...

14 comments:

phairhead said...

My mother had a short brown shag style wig :D

Those short blonde buffount styles remind me of Meredith's, from The Office, wig that she wore this week

ApacheDug said...

I'm old enough to remember all those wig ads in the romance & detective magazines my grandma read! (Hmm...they looked a lot less goofy then!)

HEY--where's all the cool 70s wigs for men? I remember you could buy sideburns & goatees too! :)

ScrapMetal said...

My boss loves wigs. She said that after she bought one she became "addicted." I have to say they look good on her.

dryheat45 said...

My mother and step-mother both wore wigs back in the day. A lot of women wore them at the time, so you could assume a boufant hairdo was, in fact, a wig, especially those big, bird cage hair styles. Let's not forget that most black women now have a weave made from Indian hair, which is a wig.

My Little Corner said...

My mom had several wigs and wore them throughout the early 70's. She had straight hair and in our humid Vancouver climate she couldn't keep her curl in. I don't think she permed her hair because she always dyed it blond. The wigs would allow for a fast hairdo without the curling. She also slept on foam rollers most nights (and I had to when I was little for sunday church as I have the same straight hair but my mom liked me to have curly pigtails like Cindy on the Brady Bunch) . The hair was attached to mesh which wasn't so hot but there were some nasty cheap ones out there with plasticy hair. Men had some pretty hideous toupees around that time too! They'd get all matted and dull and stick to their heads in a really weird way.
Remember all the hair pieces about 5 years ago - girls were adding long pieces around their ponytail or buns? And now we have extensions!

My Little Corner said...

Check out our current wig selection:

Jacyln Smith Wigs at Paula Young: http://www.paulayoung.com/category/wigs/jaclyn+smith+wigs.do

Therese said...

I remember when I was a kid in the late 60's how suddenly long 'falls' became the rage. I think everyone wanted to look like Cher or a Beatle wife!
I think that one ad where the woman looks like she has a bad mullet is supposed to represent how thin her hair is underneath and how thick and luxurious it can look with the wig!
Also, I think when Mad Men comes back on April 7th (yay!) it will be hovering around 1968 when the wig craze was way up there! Have you see the new black and white promo pictures? Megan is definitely wearing a wig!
One last thing, I write a Star Trek (TOS) blog and I recently posted a comic I created involving all the wigs you've seen on the characters -- I'd like to post the link here, but will await your permission.

I love your blog, keep up the great work! -Therese

Anonymous said...

Windows has a snipping tool (under Accessories) so you can save pictures that you can't download.

Retro Hound said...

My Dad had my Mom wear a wig sometimes. She's brunette and he liked blondes. She also had those creepy Styrofoam heads.

Pam@GoRetro said...

Hey Therese -- Absolutely! I have no problem with other bloggers adding their links to their comments. I would love to see the Star Trek wig post. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Pam@GoRetro said...

Doug -- I looked for men's wigs advertisements and oddly enough, couldn't find any! I did find a "master of disguise" ad for facial hairpieces that I posted to the Facebook page a few weeks ago.

Pam@GoRetro said...

ScrapMetal -- wow, you actually know someone who buys and wears wigs for the fun of it? Does she swap them out from time to time at the office?

Pam@GoRetro said...

My Little Corner -- My mother gets the Paula Young catalog. She actually uses it as inspiration for haircuts and will bring a clipping to her stylist for a cut she has in mind...the stylist can always tell it's a photo of a wig, though!

Therese said...

Thanks Pam! I make "StarTreKomics" for my Trek blog, and recently I was inspired by all the fab wigs used in the original series and came up with this "what if?" scenario... Enjoy! Here it is:
http://trekkerscrapbook.com/2013/01/16/toon-tuesday-a-day-late-wig-shop/

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