Wigs 101: The Different Types of Wigs
The process of picking out your first car and your first wig are not too dissimilar. The more research you do, the more overwhelming it can feel. There are so many different types of wig constructions, colors, hair types, and vendors.
This week's blog is the second in a series about wigs. This week is all about the different types of wig constructions, and which one might be the best for you.
If you're still deciding if you're ready for your first wig, check out last week's blog Is a Wig the Right Option for You? We'll be continuing this series in the coming weeks, so come back next Wednesday for more info, wig-lovers!
Basic Cap Wig
Basic caps are the most common and affordable wig design. Hair wefts are sewn onto a wig cap with a closed layer of lace at the crown.
Great as a starter wig.
Easy maintenance and care.
Don't have to worry about glue or tape - only need clips and bobby pins to secure.
Make a note of how wefts are placed (i.e. if wefts are in circular or horizontal pattern), so you can get a sense of how the hair will fall.
Hair is cut and styled in a specific way, so styling options can be limited.
The hair is often teased or crimped at the crown, so you cannot see the cap and to add volume.
Try to get one with bangs to cover up the wig construction at the hairline.
Another form of the basic cap wig. They are also a very common and affordable option. However, their construction consists of wefts and ribbons running perpendicular to each other without an additional lace or fabric layer at the crown.
Great as a starter wig.
Breathable, light, ventilated construction.
Great option for anyone who wants a light wig to wear everyday.
Monofilament wigs create a very natural effect from where the hair is parted. The monofilament material appears like a transparent, rubbery mesh, which mimics hair growing from the scalp.
Monofilament base is found on the hairline or crown, which will determine where you can part your hair. Decide ahead of purchasing if you want a center, side, or nor part.
Very natural look, because the monofilament base mimics the scalp.
Hair is hand-tied to the monofilament base, which leads to minimal shedding.
More styling and parting versatility than a basic cap wig.
More costly than a basic cap wig.
There are also double monofilament wigs that have an extra layer of soft material at the base. This option is great for people with sensitive scalps, but is a more costly option.
Lace Front Wigs
Lace front wigs create a very natural look along the hairline and from where the hair is parted. Lace front wigs are becoming increasingly popular in-stores and online. The lace "front" can either be placed from ear to ear on the hairline. This lace placement allows for the most versatility in style and parting. The lace "closure" front usually refers to a roughly 4"x4" patch of lace that is placed in the middle or side of the wig front. This limits your options for parting to the lace closure.
Lace is the most delicate material, and needs to be handled with care.
Allows for natural looking parting at hairline.
Allows for versatility in styling, both towards and away from the face.
Most lace comes dark, and might need to be lightened to match the skin tone of your scalp.
Some lace front wigs come ready-to-wear, while others need personalization at the hairline (i.e. cut the lace around the face to match your hairline, pluck out baby hairs/widows peak).
Depending on the quality of hair used, lace fronts wigs can be very affordable.
Usually needs to be applied with some form of adhesive (i.e. tape or glue) on the scalp.
100% Hand-Tied Wigs
Lace front and monofilament wigs place the transparent material somewhere on the hairline, with wefts of hair machine-stitched into the back of the wig. On the other hand, 100% hand-tied wigs have every hair on the cap hand-tied into the lace or monofilament material.
Complete versatility in styling and parting.
Creates the most natural look of any wig, as all hairs move freely.
More expensive option.
Requires more maintenance and care than all other wigs.
Wig Strap Construction
Ribbons with Hook & Eye Closure
Most common wig strap construction.
Durable; lasts a long time.
Avoid wigs with velcro straps.
Velcro straps tend to come undone easily and do not last long.
Easy for hair to get caught and tangled in velcro, especially synthetic hair.
Pull String Closure
Least adjustable wig straps.
Pull string needs to be tied off to be secured.
Elasticity in pull string tends to stretch out easily.
Which Wig Should Be Your First Wig?
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to wigs. If you're new to wigs, I would recommend going to a wig store before purchasing one. You'll get a sense of which wig is the most comfortable for you and your lifestyle.
Wig maintenance is a big part of having your first wig. I've cut the lifespan of many wigs in half, because I didn't know how to properly care for it. Wigs with lace and monofilament bases are a bit more challenging to care for than your basic wig. If you're concerned about adding a wig into your hair care routine, and want a simple, starter wig, I would recommend buying a basic or capless wig.
When it comes to buying wigs online, I've seen a lot of disappointment. If you have a good wig store around you, I would recommend buying from in-store, rather than online. You'll know what you're money is getting you without having to worry about if the picture and description match the wig you receive in the mail. If you do decide to buy online, do your research (I really can't emphasize this enough)! A wig is a serious investment, and you'll want to make sure you're getting your money's worth. Read reviews, compare brands, and ask friends about their experiences with vendors.
Whether you're new to the concept of wigs or you're ready to buy, I'm always here to answer any questions you may have. Leave a comment below or message me if you want more information!