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Louise Brooks

Wigging out is so in

Wigging out is so in

Much ado was made of Viola Davis wearing not a wig, but her natural hair at the Oscars this year. And while a good deal of the news coverage focused on the politics, history and cultural Sturm und Drang that surrounds the topic of African Americans and hair, the event also illuminated a simple truth — false hair is ubiquitous in Hollywood, on runways, in magazines and, increasingly, on the heads of women across America.

No matter their ethnicity, stars and models frequently augment their natural hair with wigs, woven-in or clip-on extensions or hairpieces.

"The wig business now is crazy ... it's just exploding," says French wig maker Julien d'Ys, talking by telephone...