Have you ever known anyone who wigged out at the sight of a wig? How about someone who nearly toppled over in terror over seeing a toupee?
That’s wigophobia, the fear of wigs.
It’s sometimes called “maliaphobia” as well. This is considerably different from tonsurephobia, which is a fear of haircuts, or cocklaphobia, which is a fear of hats.
Perhaps people are leery of folks wearing wigs, if it means they cannot readily recognize these individuals. Maybe it’s something like the uncertainty of encountering people wearing masquerade party masks or Halloween costumes. It could be the mere concept of seeing a hairpiece that is not attached to anyone's head.
Some folks might be uneasy about the prospect of actually wearing wigs, possibly because this may become necessary under certain difficult or worrisome medical situations. Wigs are often worn after people have had their heads shaven or lost their locks during a serious illness or a strong treatment (such as for various forms of cancer).
More than a few cancer survivors have buried or burned their wigs, once their treatments were finished. Often, this is seen as a symbolic act of victory, not linked to wigophobia, even if they are relieved to no longer need the hairpieces.
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