You may be looking for something to provide a short-term solution to a period of thinning, chemotherapy treatment or, in the best case scenario, a disguise for a terrible haircut. Or, perhaps you’re coming to terms with an extensive hair loss condition and need a product that can be worn regularly for an indefinite period of time. Ultimately, understanding the type of hair loss is often vital when discerning what type of wig would best suit your individual needs.
SYNTHETIC HAIR VS HUMAN HAIR
Synthetic hair wigs
Providing instant satisfaction, synthetic hair wigs come ready to wear. Already coloured and styled, synthetic hair has what specialists’ refer to as ‘memory’, meaning the wig retains its shape after being washed and therefore no styling is needed. However, arguably this convenience comes at the expense of versatility; synthetic hair cannot be treated with heated styling irons and has to be carefully protected from heat in everyday situations. Even the heat from opening an oven can cause damage to the hair fibre; therefore synthetic wigs generally wear out much quicker than their human hair equivalents. Yet this may not pose a problem to an individual who enjoys the freedom of wearing a variety of different styled wigs for irregular intervals.
Human hair wigs
As well as appearing much more like a real head of hair, human hair wigs feel much more realistic to the touch. Similarly to synthetic hair, human hair wigs must be cared for carefully, however they are far superior in terms of durability. Washing and styling are essential when caring for a human hair product. On purchase, they often come in a simple style allowing the wig to be cut and even coloured on request, a service most good wig specialists should provide. Whether you want to create a brand new look or are attempting to recreate the hair you’ve lost, human hair wigs can often allow the first important step to deal with long-term hair loss, offering a realistic and pleasing aesthetic.
WIG OR ‘HAIR SYSTEM’
As well as looking natural, arguably human hair wigs feel far more comfortable, as unlike synthetic hair they allow a certain amount of ‘breathability’. When thinking about the comfort of a potential wig purchase however, it is perhaps most important to consider the type of wig bases available. There are a variety of materials used to make the base of a wig and an increasing popularity of products with a combination of these materials to offer maximum comfort and realism. Two of the most common materials are as follows:
Weft – Standard wigs in their most basic form are made through weft stitching, a stretchy net base with rows of hair stitched in.
Monofilament – Made from a strong, transparent material, monofilament bases are designed to look like your scalp; the realistic base allows the wearer to change their parting if desired.
Standard wigs are made in set sizes and though these often provide a very good fit for most clients, the material at the nape of the neck can prove somewhat intrusive. In a sense you can always feel you have the wig on. To some this can feel reassuring, but more often it can become irritating to the skin, especially during extended wear.
If hair loss is extensive, often after experimenting with wigs, individuals look for a longer term solution in the form of a bespoke of ‘fitted’ hair system. This may feel very different from a wig at first, as it is far less obtrusive and created intentionally for ‘second skin comfort’. With the use of wig tape or adhesive for that extra security, these made to measure products are designed to offer the individual normality in life again. Where discomfort can be an unhappy side effect of extensive wig wearing, the innovative material used in bespoke hair systems is specifically designed with continuous wear in mind, some clients wearing them for days at a time.
Cost, as with most things in life, directly correlates to quality in terms of hair replacement products. But what are the factors that make a wig more desirable or ‘better’ than others? Simply put, realism. The purchase of a wig is rarely impulsive, but a product that – as the best hair clinics will recognise – is critical to rebuilding confidence during what is often a very difficult time for an individual suffering from hair loss. As discussed, there are many benefits of human hair products when compared to its synthetic counterparts, yet naturally, this ‘natural’ hair, is more expensive to source and therefore comes at an elevated price.
When looking for a wig that appears undetectable but also, allows for as little disruption to your daily routine as possible, a bespoke design is often advised, especially for those hair loss sufferers who enjoy leading an active lifestyle. Any wig, though often looking natural, can feel very unnatural to its wearer. Purchasing the right wig is therefore a case of finding a combination of good hair, a good fit and a reasonable price, all of which are possible to find with the help of an informed, established and reputable clinic.