Wigs and Hairpieces

Distinctions for Women Looking for Hair. Know the Lingo and the pro’s and con’s before you go so you don’t feel beholden, desperate and get ripped off!

Synthetic or Human Hair:

Synthetic hair has its benefits, but it is cared for and styled differently than human hair.  Most sythentic hair cannot withstand heat so if you bend over a stove or BBQ your screwed.  That being said, there are newer sythentics that do withstand heat and are worth looking into. The biggest benefit of a synthetic is the reasonable price point which makes them a great “2nd” piece option to mess around in….for exercise, running errands, swimming and rain.

Human Hair: The bottom line with human hair is that you never know what you will get.  Unless you go to Equador, India or Russia and scalp a female on the street, you have no idea what you are really getting. There is a black market for hair….there are hair brokers and middlemen and no matter reliable and honest the retailer may be, they don’t know what they are getting either.  Very often, if they don’t have a good relationship with their broker or know hair intimately the retailer won’t know what they have.

Why do you need to be an educated consumer?

1) If hair is chemically treated and colored before it gets into your hands, and you try and treat the piece yourself, you have no idea how it will react.   Therefore you need to do test patches first (test a small section of the hair)  Also find an experienced salon or colorist who understands how a wig takes color.

2) If you find that your piece is knotting and unmaneagable- it is very possible that you  have more than one type of hair mixed together.  Different human hair, or a mix of synthetic and human hair or that the strands or “wefts” were sewn in different directions. If knotting is recurrent- your retailer should replace the piece with another without question. Our advice to you is that since you will be without a piece while it is being replaced, make arrangements to have a back-up.

Custom or Pre-Made:

Custom: Is handmade and fit to the shape of your head and to match the color of your own hair. Customs are the most natural and a well-made custom wig is virtually undectable.  Customs are also the most expensive.

Pre- Made: These wigs are mass produced and sometimes can be partially handmade.  You will find these versions online and also in boutiques.  These you can purchase the day of but will often have to be tailored and most definitely thinned out. Note that all pieces come with three times the amount of hair a human head would naturally have.

Piece/Partial or Full Wig:

A Piece: A piece only covers part of your skull. Depending upon where you are experiencing hair loss, a piece can be fit to and worn towards the front or back of your head.  A piece can semi or permanently attached: see below for all forms of attachment. It can be can be an open or closed base, with or without a scalp.  See below for base and scalp info.

Partial Wig: Is a cap, but not a full cap. A partial does not reach the nape of your neck and depending on your hair line, the front and sides may not reach your hair line. It can be can be an open or closed base, with or without a scalp.  Partial wigs can be attached by clips or combs, and depending upon how much hair you have, tape or glue can be used as well.See below for base and scalp info

Full Wigs: Full cap continues on the nape of the neck and covers the whole hair line. Depending upon how much or little hair you have, you can tuck it all in.

Forms of Attachment:

Clips: Small rubberized snap clips that are sewn on the piece and clip into your hair.  Very IMPORTANT: make sure to get metal clips with a rubber strip.  They are the most comfortable Also you need small arches to your clip- a larger arch will most definitely pull more hair out. Rotating clips is a good idea to space out the stress you put on your hair.

Combs: Usually only in full wigs.

Bonding and Tape: Not recommended if you have hair. I can be messy but also can be very secure. Recently, two new websites have been brought to my attention addressing bonding and toppers. The women I spoke with were very happy with their results.

http://www.crownedbeautiful.com/- Read the testimonials. They are real. I know one of the women  personally.

http://www.hairdirect.com/hair/default.aspx

Cylinders: You hair and the hair of the piece are pulled through a cylinder which is closed around the hair. This requires a lot of maintenance and you cannot remove the piece yourself.

Weave: Wefts are sewn into your own hair. You will probably develop what is called “traction alopecia,” in which you lose hair in stressed areas.

Suction: Probably the most expensive type of wig. You must be completely bald to wear it.  However, it is the most secure, you can swim, ski and ski-dive wearing this baby- and it will not come off. It does work like a vacuum seal as it is non-porous made from polymer, so you WILL sweat wearing this.

Types of Bases:

Lace, Net, Silk, No Scalp- There is no part.

Maintenance:  All hair pieces have to be thinned out, washed and styled by someone who knows what they are doing.  To soften the hair- hot oil is good. Hair spray is also good sometimes.