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Wigology 101

Let us educate you on everything you need to know about wig types

Wigs are a great protective style that guard your natural hair from the harsh cold winds of the late fall and winter season. I know people hear the word “wig” and think they are the most terrifying things ever, but wigs aren’t. I promise!

I started wearing wigs when I began working at a beauty supply store this summer. The exposure to them is what got me hooked and I have been wearing wigs for about 6 months now. I have over 20 of them (you might say I have a slight addiction). They come in different styles, colors, hair textures, and structures. So, let’s learn the basics such as the difference between human unprocessed hair, Remy hair, and synthetic hair. After we discuss the types of hair, we will learn about lace fronts, full wigs, and half wigs. Then we should have the basics down!

 

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HUMAN UNPROCESSED HAIR

Human unprocessed hair wigs will be the most expensive hair on the market. It can go anywhere from $50 on short cut styles to over $1000 if you get a wig with really long hair. Wigs with unprocessed human hair are exactly what they sounds like – wigs made of hair from another human. It is cleaned, of course, and then put on the wig unit.

You can get hair types such as Brazilian, Peruvian, Cambodian, and many other textures. You can choose which hair type you want based of the curl/wave pattern, the density of the hair, the shine, and visual appearance. Human unprocessed hair will be in its most natural form, so generally it will come in colors listed as: natural, natural dark, color 1 (black), color 1B (natural black), and color 2 (dark brown). Human hair will last you 6 months to a year with proper care. The bonus to getting human hair is that you can wash it with your shampoo and conditioners you have at home. You can also blow-dry, flat iron, and curl the hair with heat as you please. You have plenty of room for versatile styles!

 

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REMY HAIR

Remy hair is very close to human unprocessed hair with just a few differences. Remy hair wigs are also made with human hair, its just not unprocessed. The difference is that the hair may have been dyed to be a different color or be chemically processed to gain a certain curl pattern it didn’t originally have. It can still run around the same price range as human unprocessed hair because they are both essentially the same. Remy hair will be the fun colored hair that can come in solid colors like red, burgundy, purple, and blonde. They also have ombre colored hair which means the hair is dyed in mixes of colors throughout the hair in tones such as honey brown, light brown, and dark brown, for example.

 

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SYNTHETIC HAIR

Just as you guessed, Synthetic hair isn’t real hair. It usually comes in the most diverse color ranges and styles because it is processed. Synthetic hair is composed of fine plastic fibers, made to look like human hair. In its basic form, synthetic hair is made from low-grade acrylic that is heated and strung into strands to make individual hair fibers. The strands are then laced or tied into the wig unit.

You cannot put flat irons or curling irons on synthetic hair or it will melt. Be aware, some wigs that are made of synthetic hair or a blend of synthetic and human hair might have a label on it that says “heat safe up to 350 degrees.” In that case,  you can put heat on the hair. Synthetic wigs generally don’t last more than 3 to 6 months simply because the material does not have as much longevity as human hair. If you wish to clean your synthetic wig there are special synthetic wig shampoos, conditioners, and leave in sprays that will help extend it’s life.

 

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LACE FRONT

Lace front wigs are my absolute favorite, but they can be the most expensive. Lace front wigs look the most realistic because it is the closest thing to resemble a real scalp when parted. On this type of wig hairs are tied by hand to a sheer or natural colored lace base which goes over the scalp. They are one of the most versatile wig structures because you can part it as if it were real hair.

Be careful of lace front wigs that have a stable par,t because there are tracks throughout the rest of the wig. You will have a realistic scalp feature, but you won’t be able to switch the side your part is on. If you don’t care to move your part around, this option will be a bit cheaper but the same quality. When it comes to buying lace wigs in the store always try to look inside the wig and see how it is made. If it is a thin strip of lace on the inside, it is a stable part lace front wig. If the whole front of the wig is hand tied lace you will be able to part it anywhere you please. If the wig is lace all over, it is a full lace wig and there are endless possibilities of what you can do.

 

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FULL WIGS

Full wigs are like lace fronts because they have a similar structure. Full wigs usually have no way to physically part them, the hair just flows from one direction versus the other giving it the illusion of a part. Full wigs are a completely enclosed unit. In my experience, full wigs usually have bangs in the front so, the lack of a part goes unnoticed, simply because it isn’t needed. If you look good in bangs, I say full wigs can be a quick go to that won’t break your pockets. Full wigs can be priced anywhere from $30 to $80 for synthetic hair.

 

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HALF WIGS

Half wigs are a little different from the two above. They aren’t meant to be a complete protective style because the wig isn’t a whole unit. When wearing a full wig all your hair is covered, but a half wig requires you to take out a good portion of your hair in the front and blend it to match the texture of the rest of the wig.

If you are natural and looking to avoid heat or a lot of manipulation on your hair, I would not recommend this type of wig. But if you don’t mind using heat and want to add volume or length, a half wig will be a great option. Half wigs are the cheapest and go from anywhere of $15 to $40. They are usually synthetic hair, but human hair half wigs do exist. Just remember to blend and make sure the color of your real hair and the color of the wig match!

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