Underneath the Pretty Hair
(Wig shown above: UPSTAGE WIG BY RAQUEL WELCH)
Most of us see what we are looking for; at first—the color of the wig, style, and length, and we imagine how it will look on us. It is only later that we think of what makes the wig what it is. The cap is vital: not only to our comfort, but it makes a difference in how the wig holds up. There are several types of caps, as most have learned by now.
Since the labor and materials used to create a varies, the price can be affected. It’s hard to talk about cap construction without talking about permatease. Some love it, some hate it, and some learn to appreciate it as necessary for some styles. Some manufacturers refer to it as “machine teased,” and that’s as good a name for it as any.
It is a structural component placed in some wigs to give it volume where the style demands. In reality, permatease is short matted fibers that are usually placed at the top of the wig to give it that permanent lift. In longer wigs, the fibers are placed/crimped to hide wefting and add volume. Most basic caps come with some level of permatease, usually in the crown area. Some with a monofilament crown or part may have some permatease but not as much as an open cap wig.
Love it or hate it, there are some pros to permatease. It helps maintain the style, and the less that you must style the wig, the longer it will last. It helps hide wefting. Because it is found more often in basic caps and open wefting, you have a wig more comfortable to wear in summer weather. Wefting allows for more air circulation. Of course, we need to also think about the cons. Since permatease is short fibers, the wigs heavy on permatease tend to come with flyaways. But they can be tamed, and over time they will flatten out on their own with a bit of help from your conditioner. The one thing that I hear most wig wearers complain about is too much volume due to the permatease. It makes the wig look too “wiggy” and unnatural. That’s the tradeoff it seems. Though some manufacturers seem to have caught on that wig wearers want more realistic looks, and the permatease that I have seen most recently has been done better.
If we don’t want to wear human hair wigs, for whatever reason, we are left to find our way to what works best for us. There are many benefits to synthetic wigs. They are more affordable than human hair wigs, and if given good care can last up to a. year, depending on the style. They come in many colors, and there are plenty of options of low or no permatease to choose from. Synthetic wigs are lighter than human hair wigs, and cooler, and can be more comfortable to wear. Your synthetic wig won’t react to the weather. Hot, cold, rainy, or dry, your wig will continue to look the same. My favorite thing about them is that they are easy to wear because they are easy to style. They have style retention, and with a bit of “training”, they can look great with a minimum of fuss.
Low maintenance is a lovely thing. Synthetic wigs are less delicate than human hair wigs and require less upkeep. But that doesn’t mean NO upkeep. To keep our wigs looking great, they still need TLC. Correct washing, drying, and styling products abound to help us with that.
So, whether you are a permatease lover or not, there is a wig (or many wigs) that’s right for you and your lifestyle. That is the real beauty of wigs—they are there for us in any color or style that we want, and we can put one on and be out the door looking great in minutes.
I have autumn fever already and have decided to go to a bit longer style. I have chosen a new wig, Racquel Welch, Upstage. Now, if I can just decide on a color…
What is your look for autumn? Ready for a new you?
Until next time,
It’s the Little Things
Though we are all wig wearers, some for many years, some new, we are individuals with different likes, dislikes, and needs. This is as true in wigs as it is in life in general.
We all have different wig priorities. If you have no hair at all or little hair, or a sensitive scalp, the wig cap construction will be very important. If you can’t stand wig bands, clips, and pins, the kind of cap and the way it fits will play an even larger role in your choice. For me, it is the less on my head the better, so a good-fitting cap is very important to me. The better the fit, the fewer security measures I feel the need to use. Sometimes it’s just luck. Our heads are all a bit different and sometimes a “made to scale” wig manufacturer’s cap won’t fit as well if you have an in-between size head and can’t get that perfect fit. If that’s the case, you will need to make security decisions.
Getting a hand-tied cap with a mono-top and lace front will cost you more because it costs the manufacturer more to make. That’s easy to understand. And ideally, you’d think everyone would want or need this. But that is not necessarily the case. Many wigs that just come with a basic cap can work well for many people. A lot depends on the wig style. If the style one doesn’t have a part and may have bangs—then a mono top and lace front would not be a dealbreaker for a lot of people. Also, for the same price, you can often get two or three of the basic cap wigs compared to maybe just one of the wigs with all the bells and whistles. That is appealing to a lot of people, especially if you are hard on your wigs, or if you just like to change styles a lot.
All fibers are not created equal. This too, you may have already learned. Some look and feel better and seem to last longer. Every manufacturer seems to do them a bit differently. They have their own vendors, processes, and craftspeople. Human hair wigs are just that, so we all know how to take care of human hair, and the pros and cons of this. It is when you get into fibers that it is more of a challenge. Over time, the coating of the fibers, the color, and the strength of the fibers will change. Depending on how much you wear your wig and how you care for it, can shorten, or lengthen the life of your wig, but eventually, the fibers will show their age and wear.
The big tradeoff: So, we must decide, do we want the best of the best, the middle of the road, or some less costly ones but do the job just fine? Fortunately, we can have one of each if the budget allows. I seem to have landed in the middle of the pack with lace front, mono-top and hand-tied as my preference, but hand-tied is not a deal breaker if I can have the other two. I still have a couple of basic cap wigs that I bought early on and can still wear but I find them hot and scratchy now because I have lost more hair loss over time. My scalp is more sensitive now too, and I must be picky about my caps.
The little extras are important. I like to get a wig with those soft tabs on the side and at the neck, along with the ability to adjust the fit. I can live with a mono-part vs. mono-top, but I hate not having the ability to make fit adjustments or have that comfort of the felt tabs on the side and the one at the bottom of the neck. So, in the end, we all find our sweet spot, what we can live with or hope we don’t have to live with, as the case may be.
Until next time,
The Nouveau Collection | JON RENAU
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