There are so many things to know when you are new to buying wigs. I have been in the wig and hair extension business for a long time and I still get a little overwhelmed with all types of wigs are out there. The first thing people think when purchasing a wig is human hair or synthetic. That is a great place start.
One of the most important things after the type of wig fiber you want is the construction of the wig. It is the part that touches your scalp. Depending on why you want a wig may dictate which wig cap construction is right for you.
I will be honest – see a pro. You don’t want to guess what will be right. It really is that important. In the meantime, I put together a detailed listing of the basic wig cap constructions that are available. The info below will help you better understand the why and the what of wig cap construction.
Capless & Traditional Wig Cap Construction
Typically there is teasing of the wig fiber called “perma-tease” in crown or hair root to give “lift” and volume. The perma-tease is is done to hide the construction of the wig. Traditional and Capless wigs are super low maintenance and are made to be “ready to wear” right out of the box.
Wefts of hair are sewn together with a sewing machine and stacked in rows to make this wig. The “wefting” (think of hair sewn onto strips) provide varying degrees of openness in the cap. If the wefting is open between 20-75%, the wig is classified as “Capeless”. If it is open more than 90%, it is called “Full Capless” or “100% Capless”. The more open it is, the cooler and more comfortable the wig is to wear.
Capless wigs tend to be less expensive and are more of a dated construction. They are super budget friendly. The main drawback with capless wigs is that they can look a little “wiggy”. In addition, these type of wigs usually don’t last very long.
Monofilament Wig Cap Construction
Hair is individually hand tied into a fine mesh made of a monofilament material. This make the wig very comfortable and realistic looking because it allows both air and light to pass through the fine mesh. The hair tied to the very fine mesh material gives the appearance that hair is growing directly from the scalp.
Monofilament wigs are very easy to style because the hair can be parted in any direction and look like natural hair. Very comfortable – ideal for anyone with a sensitive scalp. Should be handled with care as it is a little more delicate than a capless wig.
Some wigs even have what is called a ”double mono top” – basically, it has an extra layer of soft material. This is added for additional comfort.
Monofilament wigs come in a couple different constructions. Wig manufacturers make different sizes of the monofilament area to help keep cost down. Below are a couple of examples on how monofilament wigs can be constructed. A basic rule of thumb is the bigger the monofilament area the more the cost will be.
Monofilament Part – Only the part area has monofilament construction
Monofilament Crown – Only the crown area has monofilament construction
Monofilament Top – The entire top of the wig features monofilament construction
Hand Tied or Hand Knotted
Making a hand tied wig is a very tedious process. Just like the name implies – hair is individually knotted onto the wig cap. This gives one of the most natural looks available in wig construction.
Usually done on parted areas and/or on the edge of the cap. Offers versatile styling options as hair can be styled or parted in any direction.
Hand tied wigs are light weight and super breathable making them the softest, most comfortable wig cap construction. Hand tied wigs are ideal for sensitive scalps or hair loss. Tends to be on the delicate side. Definitely requires more gentle care than machine made caps.
Full Lace Wigs and Lace Front Wigs
Hair is individually hand tied to a piece of very thin sheer lace. This is usually only done on the front hairline. This creates an ultra realistic hairline that virtually undetectable. For added security – tape can be used to secure the lace front area of the wig. This also helps the hairline look nearly invisible.
Due to the cost of making a lace front wig the rest of the cap is usually be made using any of the above methods. Due to the popularity of lace front wigs a demand for full lace wigs has grown over the years. Full lace wigs are completely made of hand tied hair on a sheer lace. Full lace wigs are unbelievably realistic.
Hair can be pulled back or styled away from the face because of the natural looking hairline. Lace is very delicate and needs to be handles accordingly.