From prehistoric times in Africa to England, 2007, Kathleen Krull presents a paragraph on many hair-related milestones in the history of the world,
Each event is featured on a single or double spread page, accompanied by the amusingly detailed watercolors of Peter Malone. (Dorothy Hamill skating in front of an audience of Dorothy Hamill look-alikes; Cleopatra weaving horse teeth and roasted mice into Caesar's receding locks; a blue-faced, punk Celt, sporting a kilt and white spiked hair, they're all here in Big Wig)2,400 Years Ago, GreeceRubbing goat pee on his head. That's how the wise philosopher Aristotle thinks he will cure his baldness. But Hippocrates, known as the Father of Medicine, prefers his own brews, which include opium, wine, green olive oil, horseradish, and pigeon poop.
The reader learns a bit of history while enjoying the ridiculousness that is mankind's never-ending obsession with hair.
Back matter includes a source list, and "Hair Extensions," which expands on each of the periods introduced in the book. (Who knew that our current term for the extra bathroom, "powder room," came from 1624, France? Not me.)
The only milestone that I found missing in Big Wig was the wildly popular and risque "bobbed" haircut of the 1920s flapper girls.As wig styles developed after Louis XIII, white became the favorite color. The wealthy had their servants powder their wigs by blowing wheat flour with a bellows from the fireplace. With flour going every which way, the French invented a new room - a powder room ... so they would have a place to powder without worrying about the mess.
Big Wig: A (highly styled) Little History of Hair. Comb your shelves for it today!
(sorry, couldn't resist the hair
Another review @ The Fourth Musketeer
Read BWI's recent interview with Kathleen Krull.