Time to Buy a Wig Online: Which type should you buy?

Everyone has their own reasons for buying wigs. Many people buy wigs to conceal hair loss, for cosplay and for convenience. Some of us however, buy wigs because we are fascinated with the fact that we can change our hair texture, color and hair style as often as we want to, without causing damage to our real hair.

What is a wig?

If you are looking to buy a wig online, there are certainly many to choose from. A wig is a unit which may partially or fully cover the head and is made from human hair or synthetic hair. Wigs come in many styles, lengths, colors and textures. The base of the wig is called the cap and there are different types. The type of wig chosen is determined by the finished look the wearer desires. 

Wig Types
  • Lace Front Wigs
A lace front wig is as the name describes. The lace is place at the front of the unit, while the back of the wig usually consists of horizontal tracks of hair sewn onto special fabric. Sewing machines are used to adhere the hair tracks onto the fabric at the back of the wig. At the front of the wig however, hair is hand tied onto the lace using an intricate process. This allows for the wearer’s hairline and parting areas to look as natural as possible. The lace usually runs from ear to ear and the most common lace measurements in inches are 13x3, 13x4 and 13x6. The shortest lace reaches from the front hairline to the apex, (top central region of the head measured on a vertical axis) while the longest 13x6 lace, reaches from the front hairline to the crown.

  • 360 Lace Wigs
This wig type, also sometimes referred to as a Lace 360 Wig, or a 360 wig, allows for a natural hairline appearance around the entire circumference of the head. The fabric cap is centered in the middle of the head and the lace surrounds the entire fabric cap. The fabric reaches vertically from the crown of the head to the occipital area in a circular shape.

360 wigs are usually more expensive than lace front wigs as they require more time to manufacture. They are made with approximately three times more lace than what a lace front wig would require. Since there is more lace, the intricate but tedious process of hand tying each strand of hair is a lengthy task. 

Since these wigs are very versatile, they have become very popular. The entire hairline can be pulled back and gives the illusion that the hair is coming directly out of the scalp. Such units can be worn in a high ponytail, or in a braided or twisted style and the entire perimeter of the wig is visually undetectable.

  • Full Lace Wigs
A full lace wig has the largest area of lace of all the wig types. Almost the entire cap is made of lace and a small horizontal area in the crown holds the lace together. This wig type takes the longest to make, since most of the wig is hand tied, due to the lace surface area of lace. This too, like the 360 lace wig, allows for deep parting and updos with undetectable edges. Full lace wigs allow for the most freedom when it comes to parting and styling options.

They are the most expensive type of wig, since they take the most time to manufacture out of all wig types. Prices for such units can run into the hundreds of dollars and become more expensive as the curl pattern becomes tighter or as the hair becomes more colorful. Lace wigs are available in all types of different textures and the cap type you choose will depend on your preferences and most importantly, your budget.

L Part Wigs & Center Part Wigs
L Part wigs are wigs which usually have a curved side part. The entire cap is a regular classic cap, but there is a small strip of lace at the top right of left side of the head in line with the center of the eyebrow. Center part wigs on the other hand have a strip of lace in the center of the front hairline which runs back between the apex and the crown of the head. Both cap types have a lining of lace at the front of the unit and runs from ear to ear to allow for a natural looking hairline.

The disadvantage with an L-Part or Center Part wig is that they lace versatility, since the wig part has to stay in one position. These wigs are usually cheaper than all other lace wigs, but a bit more expensive the no-lace wigs, since some manual hand work has to take place.

No Lace Wig
A no-lace wig is usually machine made with hair weft tracks to the back and lace fabric in the top area of the wig. The cap however, may have a variation in how it is designed, but a variation in the base will not affect the look or performance of the unit. The entire wig is sewn down, so no manual hand work takes place. Such wigs are referred to as machine made wigs.

They have the least versatility of all wigs as they do not allow for a natural looking hairline or parting area. These units are the least expensive of all wig types and usually are mostly made with synthetic hair. However, there are some human hair wigs, which are machine made. Machine made wigs usually have bangs to hide the lack of a natural hairline and are widely available in different styles.

Synthetic Wigs vs Human Hair Wigs
100% Human Hair Wigs are easy to manage. Human Hair Wigs which are natural black can be bleached and dyed. Some can be dyed to a medium blonde #27 color and others to a #613 light blonde color. Straight and wavy hair can be heat styled, but it is not recommended to heat style hair with tight curls such as kinky curly or afro hair. 

A human hair wig can last for years once well taken care of and should be treated just like you would your real hair. You can shampoo and condition human hair, but blow drying on a low setting is recommended. The hair is less resistant to styling than synthetic hair and looks completely natural, since it is genuine human hair. Synthetic Wigs on the other hand are a bit different in behavior and tolerance and will behave in certain ways depending on the type of fibers it is made from.

Synthetic Hair Types
  • Kanekalon Hair
Kanekalon Hair originates from Japan and is one of the most popular synthetic hair types. This is because Kanekalon fibers can tolerate more than other synthetic fibers such as Chinese fibers. Although Chinese fiber hair can be heat styled, it will not be as defined and smooth as hair made from Kanekalon. Once rod set or completed, a Kanekalon style can be placed in hot water to set the curl or to tame frizz. This hair also tangles much less than traditional synthetic hair and is easier to manage. 

  • Chinese Fiber Hair
Chinese fibers can take heat, but the results will not be as polished as that of Kanekalon Hair. Although the quality of this hair is somewhat good, when compared to Kanekalon, Chinese fibers are no competition.

  • Toyokalon Hair

Toyokalon hair also originates from Japan. The hair is usually very straight, soft and silky and is a great option for braiding smooth styles. Toyokalon is usually sold in the form of jumbo braids but sometimes can be bought as a synthetic weave or wig.

There are several types of synthetic and human hair on the market. They make up the vast variety of wigs which we have available to us on a daily basis. When it comes to buying a wig online, there are four main factors you should consider. These are, your hair situation, your immediate needs, the quality of hair you desire and your wig budget.