Roman Empire

During the Roman Empire (500 B.C. to 500 A.D.) wigs became especially popular among women. Hairpieces, sometimes colored, were added to increase the volume and therefore the effect of the hairstyle.




Roman woman ca. 80 ADRaised hairstyles, made by mixing stranger and own hair, were very common during the Flavian dynasty (Vespasian, Titus, Domitian: 69–96 CE) at the court and outside.
The pointed nose and double chin indicate a realistic design of the portrait, which points out the republican time and comes in contradiction with the idealization of the early empire art.
Historian Suetonius reports that Emperor Domitian became bald, possibly the consequence of a long sickness, and allegedly extremely sensitive regarding his baldness, which he disguised in later life by wearing wigs. According to Suetonius, he even wrote a book on the subject of hair care.
Wealthy Roman women wore wigs made from the hair of slaves. Hair was also traded as a commodity, dark hair came from India and blond or red hair from Europe.