The cap is the base of the wig onto which hair is attached. Wigs are available with several different types of caps and the hair of the wig is then attached to the cap using various techniques. Each cap type has its own distinct advantages. On most wigs, hair is attached in “wefts.” These are strings of hair doubled over and sewn closely together in long strands. This string is then machine sewn, hand sewn or hand tied horizontally onto the vertical lines of a wig cap.
A standard cap is the most common and most affordable cap design. The layers of hair are machine-sewed onto the cap, which has a closed lace layer at the crown. The hair is pre-designed into a specific style and the crown is often lightly teased or crimped so you cannot see down through to the cap. This type of cap often gives the hair a natural lift at the crown for volume.
A capless wig is very similar to the standard cap design. However, instead of the closed lace layer at the crown, it has vertical lace strips with open spaces between the wefts. The open-wefting in the crown, back, and sides allows for maximum ventilation. This makes the cap lighter weight and cooler than a standard cap.
Monofilament caps are constructed using a thin, red wig breathable nylon or polyester mesh material at the crown that gives the illusion of skin and assumes the wearer’s natural scalp color by partially revealing the scalp below. Monofilament caps offer the most natural look as well as styling versatility because each hair is individually hand tied at the crown so the hair can be parted and brushed in any direction. The entire wig may be hand tied, or the wig may have a monofilament crown with wefted sides and back. Monofilament wigs are an especially good choice for those with severe or total hair loss as the cap is soft, unlike cloth material, which can be itchy to those with sensitive scalps.
Which should I choose, synthetic or human hair?
Today’s better quality synthetic wigs are virtually indistinguishable from human hair, except to the most practiced eye. Synthetic wigs are easier to care for and lower priced. The monofilament fiber “hair” used to make synthetic wigs has “memory” which means it maintains its wave or curl, texture and volume, requiring minimal upkeep. Synthetic wigs, however, are not designed to accept a permanent wave or color change and can be permanently damaged by the use of curling irons, blow dryers or hot rollers.
A human hair wig is the most natural looking option. It can be cut, styled, permed or colored to suit your personal taste. human hair wigs are more durable than synthetic wigs. However, human hair wigs are more expensive than synthetic wigs and require more care. They have to be shampooed, dried, styled and conditioned, just like your natural hair. Like your hair, they can lose their style if they get wet and frizz on humid days. If you feel that you are not able to provide the care required of a human hair wig, there are human hair-synthetic blended wigs that offer a natural look and will retain the style better than a 100% human hair wig.
There are four basic types of human hair used in wigs: Chinese, Indian, Indonesian and Caucasian (also called European hair). Most human hair wigs are made from Chinese or Indian hair. Caucasian/European is the strongest, most durable human hair for wig making. However, this type of hair is not as readily available and is the most expensive. Remy hair is kept in the same direction when making a wig or hairpiece as when cut from the donor’s head. This additional attention to detail maintains the hair cuticle in the same direction for each hair, which, in turn, reduces tangling.
How do I achieve a natural look?
Most fashion wigs come with 10% to 30% too much hair, which is why all wigs can benefit from fine-tuning by a professional stylist. Some wigs may require minimal shaping, whereas other wigs may need significant thinning. One of the secrets to successfully wearing a wig is having it professionally styled on your head to suit your features.
How do I care for my wig?
When not in use, always store your wig on a mannequin or wig stand to maintain its shape.
Frequency of cleaning will depend on your environment, lifestyle and amount of perspiration. Suggested guidelines for cleaning are after 10 to 14 days of wear. To clean and condition your wig, follow the manufacturer’s instructions that come with your wig.
Synthetic and Blended Wigs
Only shampoos, conditioners, hair sprays and other styling accessories designed specifically for synthetic wigs should be used to take care of synthetic hair or blended (synthetic/human) hair wigs. After shampooing and conditioning, make sure to rinse your wig thoroughly in cool water. Always use a soft towel and carefully blot dry (do not scrub). Allow your wig to dry naturally overnight on a wig stand.