WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HUMAN HAIR WIG AND A SYNTHETIC FIBER WIG?
Since the 1960’s until recently, human hair wigs were considered superior to synthetic ones. But due to the advance in technology, a majority of the wigs sold these days are made of synthetic fiber. They are less expensive, come in a variety of blended and highlighted colors that are not achievable with human hair. Conveniently, they spring back into their original style after being washed. They are cooler and lightweight to wear, while looking natural.
However, in addition to reasons such as religious, allergic reaction to chemical products, and preferences, human hair wigs last longer, and can be re-styled using hot appliances such as curling irons, hot rollers, blow dryers, etc.
WHAT IS A HEAT-RESISTANT FIBER WIG?
Since the availability of high quality human hair for wig making has become scarce, the wig manufacturers have developed a new “heat resistant” synthetic fiber that better resembles human hair in that it is possible to use moderately hot styling appliances to alter the appearance of the style. Blow dryers at low settings, and hot rollers, curling or straightening irons may be used at settings up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This “heat resistant” synthetic fiber has less “shine” than some synthetic fiber wigs.
WILL MY WIG COME "PRE-STYLED"?
Most synthetic wigs do NOT require a lot of styling. For most styles, the wig just needs to be shaken out before you put it on, and then brushed or combed a bit around your face, then finished up on the sides and in the back with a few more brushstrokes. If preferred, you can apply a few squirts of wig spray to keep everything in place.
HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT STYLE AND LENGTH WILL LOOK BEST FOR ME?
Please refer to our discussion titled How to select a wig.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT SIZE TO BUY?
Please refer to our discussion titled Wig sizes.
HOW CAN I ADJUST THE WIG SO IT FEELS MORE SECURE?
Most wigs come with adjustment straps in the nape (back neck) area of the wig. Some straps are made from Velcro and other straps have a small hook on the end that is placed in the appropriate “pocket” so the wig will fit more securely and comfortably. A wig can be adjusted to about an inch smaller in circumference using these straps.
For customers who have lost hair due to medical conditions, you may feel like your wig is not being held securely in place. Your wig can be further secured by using double-sided tape. Most monofilament-top wigs come with “tape tabs” around the perimeter of the wig. These are small plastic strips that are used to secure the double-sided tape.
CAN I BLEND MY OWN HAIR WITH THE WIG SO IT LOOKS MORE NATURAL?
Yes! If you leave out some strands of your own hair at your forehead and above your ears, these can be blended into the front of the wig to create a natural-looking hairline. If the wig you are wearing is not the exact color as your own hair, this can work to your benefit by creating the effect of highlighting in the front.
I AM GOING THROUGH CHEMO. HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO WEAR A WIG?
Generally it will take about two to three months after the last treatment before you see any significant hair re-growth. Even then, if you have always worn your hair long, you may feel uncomfortable going “wigless” in public until your hair is at least several inches long. Hair usually grows at the rate of one-half inch per month. You can use this as a guide for determining how long it will take for your hair to reach the desired length where you will no longer feel the need for continuing to wear a wig.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WEFTED CAP AND A MONOFILAMENT CAP?
The majority of wigs are made from synthetic fiber strands that have been sewn onto narrow fabric strips to create “wefts.” These wefts are then sewn into the shape of a cap. These wefted cap wigs are then individually cut and styled. Modern wigs seldom have actual netted caps like you might see on cheap costume wigs sold at discount stores.
On a monofilament wig, a section of tightly-woven transparent mesh is sewn in at the top area of the wig. Individual strands are then tied into the mesh, giving the overall appearance of hair growing out of a natural scalp. Monofilament wigs use a more time-consuming and costly process of cap construction, which is why a “mono-top” wig costs more than a wefted wig. Many women prefer this type of cap, as the strands may be parted anywhere, resulting in a more realistic looking part line. They also tend to be less “full” or “bulky” than most wefted cap wigs.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO HIDE MY OWN HAIR UNDER THE WIG?
If you have long hair, this can be a challenge. What works well is putting your hair into one or two low ponytails at the base of your neck, twisting it, and then wrapping the twisted ponytail around your head. It can then be pinned in place using bobby pins. If you have relatively short hair, just pin up any sections that might “pop out” from under the wig. No matter what length of hair you have, you might find wearing a wig cap helpful to hold in any loose strands.
WHAT IS A WIG CAP, AND DO I HAVE TO WEAR ONE?
There are three kinds of wig caps: solid nylon (the type of material used for pantyhose), nylon mesh, and cloth. The idea is to use the wig cap to help hold in any stray strands of your own hair so they don’t make a sudden appearance on the outside of your wig.
The wig caps are very useful in holding long hair in place, they help to keep your wig cleaner because they act as a barrier between your natural scalp oils and the wig, and if you are just starting to re-grow hair after chemo, they may prevent hair breakage caused by the wig rubbing against your scalp. However, some customers find them to be very constricting (sometimes to the point of causing headaches), they tend to make the wig feel less secure and more likely to slip off, and if you’re not careful to pull the cap back far enough, it can show at the hairline.
HOW DO I AND HOW OFTEN SHOULD I WASH MY WIG?
Please refer to our discussion on How to care for your new wig.
WHAT PRODUCTS SHOULD I USE TO WASH AND STYLE MY WIG?
This is very important! If your wig is made of synthetic fiber or if it is a human hair/synthetic fiber blend, you MUST use products that were developed for synthetic fiber wigs! Even the mildest baby shampoo will dull and damage a synthetic fiber wig in no time! This goes for shampoo, conditioner, mousse, glossers, lusterizers, volumizers, refreshers, and holding sprays! Some products that have been formulated for human hair will actually deteriorate the strands of synthetic fiber wigs.
For a human hair wig, any good shampoo and conditioner sold in a hair salon should be fine.
MY WIG IS A MESS! ANY SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO DE-TANGLE IT?
The method used to de-tangle a wig will vary depending upon the texture or curl pattern. Some extremely curly wigs will be ruined if you take a comb or brush to them, so the tangles need to be gently worked through with your fingers. Straight and wavy styles can usually be de-tangled using a wide-toothed comb or a pick comb. If the wig has large spiral curls, you will need to be careful to keep the curls in place as you work.
A super long wig will be challenging. We’ve found it best to start at the bottom of the wig where most tangles occur, and then work upwards. Some tangles just don’t seem to ever come out, and it may be necessary to snip them out of the wig, but this is a last resort if the tangle is in a noticeable place! Do not use a de-tangling product or crème rinse on your synthetic fiber wig if the product was designed for use on human hair. This could deteriorate the synthetic fibers and ruin your wig.