What are the Different Types of Wigs?
For first-time wig wearers, choosing a wig type can be confusing and daunting, with many types and subtypes. Whether it’s for alopecia, hair loss, cancer, or protective styling, choosing the right wig can be a game-changer and a style enhancer that’ll make your hair look natural and at its best.
This practice of wig-wearing traces its roots to the time of the Egyptians when they shaved their hair bald to protect against hair lice and the sun. Similarly, the Romans were able to preserve this practice and made human hair wigs from enslaved peoples’ hair.
Over the millennia, different civilizations have had versions of wigs made from human hair, animal hair, and various substitutes. We’ve come a long way regarding how hair wigs look, and with newer technologies and innovation, hair wigs have begun to look more natural and realistic than ever. Still, it’s not safe to assume that choosing the right wig has become much more manageable. It has become more complex due to the different fibers, hair wig treatments, styling, and care you must consider.
Don’t fret, though, as we’ve made this guide to help inform your decision when choosing your wig. We’ve broken down the hair wigs according to the types and their pros and cons. Read on and learn the best wigs that’ll help you look fab and stylish.
Does Wig Type Matter?
Choosing your wig type is a fundamental consideration since it will determine how you’ll look, the stylings you can do, and the coverage it provides. Not all wig types are the same and have different builds, which ultimately depend on your needs. A wig cap can affect hair coverage, hairstyle options, and overall hair shape.
Considering these factors that affect hair wig type, some hair wigs are built for women with thinning hair and can boost volume and fullness, while others are made to look natural and offer different styling options. Other hair wigs are for women who want to change their overall looks, such as hair length, color, texture, and style.
What are the Five Types of Wigs?
To make it easier to classify wigs, we’ve differentiated them according to the materials wig makers use to construct the wig cap. We’ll also provide the pros and cons of each type to help you identify which kind of wig is best suited for your needs. Here are the different types of wigs according to make:
Lace Wigs (Full Lace and Lace Front)
One of the most common types of wigs, lace wigs, are called such due to their base material made from a mesh lace that adapts to the color of your scalp. The hair fibers are hand-tied to the sheer lace mesh to give that movement and look similar to natural hair. Lace wigs are divided into a full lace wig and a lace front wig.
Full lace wigs feature a versatile and complete look, with the sheer lace mesh covering the whole base of the wig. This type of lace wig is suitable for women who want to put up their hair in a ponytail without revealing the wig base or for parting sideways or in any direction. These are perfect for any hairstyle without compromising that natural look.
On the other hand, lace front wigs have 1.5 to 3 inches of sheer lace material on the front portion that covers the forehead. This type of lace wig gives off one of the most natural-looking hairlines and is suitable for women who want to experiment with center or side-focused hairstyles without revealing the wig edges. These are also suitable for women who simply want to wear their hair down.
- It gives off a natural-looking hairline
- Perfect for most hairstyles (up or down)
- Comfortable and breathable for the scalp
- Fragile and requires care when handling
- May need custom fitting and haircut
- Lace tape or adhesives may leave behind residue on the scalp
- Pricier than capless wigs
The next type of hair wig shares some similarities with lace wigs with some significant differences. One essential difference is how the hair fibers are individually tied to the wig base to make it seem like hair is growing naturally from the scalp. Like lace wigs, the base material is designed with a gauze-like pattern and is thin but comparably more durable than a lace wig base.
In terms of styling, this is suitable for women who want sleek hairstyles and don’t prefer the voluminous and thick styles of other hair wig types. Monofilament wigs feature different types, such as single and double monofilament wigs.
Single monofilament wigs feature 100% hand-tied hair fibers that look, feel, and move naturally like real hair. You can part your hair anywhere and in any direction without fear of showing the “scalp” underneath. The mesh material underneath looks like a natural scalp adding to the natural look of the wig.
Double monofilament wigs are similar to single monofilament wigs but with an additional layer of glass-silk that makes the scalp look even more natural. This is suitable for women who have sensitive scalps and want extra protection from the wig knots underneath the base.
- Individually hand-tied fibers for natural hair movement
- Part hair anywhere without revealing the wig base
- Durable monofilament mesh
- Additional protection for the scalp
- Comfortable and light-weight
- Perfect for sleek hairstyles
- Pricier because of the hand-tying process
- Less volume
- Fewer hair fibers
As the name suggests, combination wigs feature a combination of hand-tied portions and machine-sewn portions. These wigs resemble monofilament and look natural, especially on the crown or top part. The sides and back of the wig are machine-sewn and are less visible.
Combination wigs are cheaper than full monofilament wigs because of faster manufacturing and less labor-intensive processes. While it moves like natural hair, similar to monofilament wigs, styling is limited due to the machine-sewn portions that certain hairstyles may reveal, such as an updo or ponytail.
- Hand-tied portions look and move like natural hair
- Cheaper than monofilament wigs
- Limited styling options
- Not as breathable as lace and monofilament wigs
- Less natural-looking
- Limited hair parting (top or crown only)
Capless wigs are as basic as it gets and are the most affordable and accessible of all the wig types. They’re known as open-weft or open-cap wigs, and the hair fibers are fully machine-sewn and attached to an elastic wig cap.
This wig type does not feature a “natural scalp” like the other wigs in the previous sections due to the absence of a mesh material mimicking the scalp. They are, however, very durable and easy to maintain. The open cap design also features breathability and comfort more than other wig types.
On a different note, they may appear natural-looking from a distance, but at closer distances, the hair height, volume, and texture may show its artificial look.
- Very affordable and accessible
- Durable and easy to maintain
- Very breathable and comfortable
- Artificial looking
- No mesh makes the scalp show its seams where the hair is attached
- Not meant for styling
Polyurethane Thin Wigs
The last type of wig is made from an organic polymer or plastic called polyurethane. Also known as PU thin wigs, they have a scalp base that looks more natural compared to monofilament or lace mesh bases with hair made to appear growing through the scalp. Hair wigs of this type can easily attach to wig tapes and adhesives.
The wig base, however, is not elastic and needs custom fitting for those who want to wear one. Women with full hair can’t wear PU-thin wigs as they look like they’re floating above the natural hair. Women suffering from total hair loss or undergoing chemotherapy benefit the most from PU-thin wigs as they also look very natural. One disadvantage of the polyurethane material is its breathability, as most PU wig wearers have complained about its hotness on the scalp.
- Matches your scalp skin tone
- Secure on the scalp with or without adhesives
- Best for women with total hair loss
- You can part the hair in any direction
- Easy maintenance
- Not advisable for women with natural hair
- The material feels hot over the scalp
- Pricier due to material
- Not comfortable
- Non-elastic base wig
Where to Buy the Best Hair Wigs?
Now that you know the difference between each wig type, you probably know what kind of hair wig you will purchase. The only problem now is where to buy a fantastic hair wig that’s worth your money and would be an exceptional fit for your personality.
Chavie Russell Wigs has covered you on this problem as we offer a variety of European Human Hair Wigs that will look as natural and gorgeous as real hair. Whatever your purpose for purchasing a hair wig, we can provide you with expert suggestions and advice that will give you that personalized touch Chavie Russell Wigs is known for. Book a free consultation with us now!