Hilary Wilson, “The Priest,” in Wilson, People of the Pharaohs: From Peasant to Courtier (London: Michael O’Mara Books Ltd., 1997), pp. 97–119, esp. p. 106. Priests were not resident in the temple, but were organized into phyles, taking their turn in the temple only every fourth month. The rest of the time they lived normal lives with their families. See Blackman, “Purification (Egyptian),” p. 10; D. Meeks, “Pureté et Impureté: Égypte,” in Dictionnaire de la Bible—Supplément, vol. 9 (Paris, 1979), pp. 430–451, esp. p. 441.

The fact that most men rotated in and out of the priesthood meant that they were shaved bald one month out of every four—and this at a time when the standard of male beauty was deep black shoulder-length hair! (See endnote 10.) For those men (and this was most upper class men) the only way to achieve the standard of male beauty was the wig. Wigs were thus the fashion, and were worn on public occasions and at banquets, often woven into the existing short hair. See J. Fletcher, “Hair,” British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt (London: British Museum Press, 1995), pp. 117–118.