Updated: Jan 14, 2020
As the hair industry grows, the options are almost endless with creative applications to make lace wigs look more natural - from plucking the hairlines to adding make-up formulas to lace and wig cap applications for them to look more realistic. Lace front wigs have changed the game for people who’ve relied on wigs since their inception. It’s the baby hair revolution! Baby hairs have become synonymous with lace wigs. They help cover the perimeter and make lace wigs look more natural. More stylist are semi-customizing wigs in-house using stock pieces to assemble wigs for clients and selling their own lace wigs in their salons. Although our facts have not changed, stock lace wigs, 360's, frontal wigs look more natural due to creative applications.
We always strive for excellence offering the latest innovative wig base types to mimic scalp in addition to hairs growing out of the scalp. Lace hairpieces are very popular and have pioneered the hair replacement industry however there is a lot of misinformation shared about them online. Tons of vendors sell different Lace (Net and/or Mesh) types with the same names such as French, Swiss, German and Film Lace however the quality varies from vendor to vendor same as the hair color, textures and curls.
Let’s Start with 100 Facts to Consider When Buying Lace Wigs (Originality posted 2014 on Hairline Illusions Blog Spot)
Lace (Net and/or Mesh) is a wig thin sheer foundation material usually made with honeycomb or hexagonal shaped holes. Lace is made with holes in different sizes and comes in different weights and thicknesses (deniers) relating to visibility and durability. Lace is also offered in several colors to match skin tones.
Many people are under the impression that lace wigs are the most realistic, natural wigs made with the most undetectable hairlines and want their lace wig to look so real that the trained-eye can't tell they are wearing a wig. This will never happen with a lace wig even with the best wig application and camouflaging. Lace wigs were originally created for theatrical purposes – They are less visible on stage, after the sun goes down outside and inside under normal lighting.
Lace Base “Wig Foundation” is the lace wig cap where hairs are knotted (loose double or single drawn) hairs are hand-tied (ventilated) strand-by-strand onto the wig base foundation) and wefts can be used to form a wig.
Full Lace, Lace Front and Glue-less Lace Wigs are not Cranial Prosthesis and are not recommended for Cancer Patients under going Chemotherapy or people with Alopecia, with sensitive or sore scalps.
Wig adhesives should never be used on Chemotherapy patients - It can cause infections, irritations and scalp soreness.
Super Fine Swiss Lace (fragile lace front wig foundation material) is not recommended for first-time lace wig wearers. Light hair densities are recommended.
Stage “Film” Lace: (fragile lace front wig foundation material) - Similar to Super Fine Swiss Lace with less stretch (Depending on where it’s manufactured). This lace is not recommended for lace wigs for extended wear. Light hair densities are recommended.
Swiss Lace: (lace wig foundation material) - Is slightly thicker than Super Thin Swiss and Film Lace but thinner than French Lace. Some manufactures use, mesh stretch fiber and some have a more firm fiber. This means that the Swiss Lace may differ when ordering from different vendors. Light to medium hair densities are recommended.
French Lace: (lace wig foundation material) - Is the most popular amongst the laces and more durable than Swiss and Film Laces. Although this lace is more visible, it is recommended for new lace wig wearers. Light to medium hair densities are recommended.
Monofilament “Mono”: (lace wig foundation material) - Is use when constructing some lace front wigs. It is a durable wig making material. Medium to heavy hair densities can be used.
Welded Mono: (lace wig foundation material) - Is also used for constructing lace front wigs. The Mono has been treated with ultrasound to give it a slight curve.
German Lace: (lace wig foundation material) - Is similar to but slightly stiffer than French Lace. It is used for heavier densities because it’s a more durable mesh.
Welded Lace: (lace wig foundation material) - Is similar to French, Swiss or German Lace (Depending on the manufacturer) but the lace mesh has been treated with ultrasound to give it a slight curve.
When wearing lace wigs with your own hair there is always a shadow on the base where your hair starts underneath. Wearing a wig cap, camouflage material or tape can help create a better scalp illusion.
China uses nylon laces to construct a lace wig. German lace that is manufactured in Germany is cotton. Hairline Illusions uses silk and cotton laces.
Lace wigs imported from China feature shorter cut hairs in the same texture or curly texture around the hairline. The wig can look unnatural with thick density baby hairs. The baby hairs Hairline Illusions offers is collected from young donors first haircuts, so the hair is finer than adult human hair – Hence “Baby Hairs”.
When applying professional lace front liquid adhesives to attach a lace wig to your hairline, the adhesive can fill in the lace holes and disguise the lace more than adhesive tape – making it less visible. However outside in the sunlight the lace will still be visible. Lace wigs are almost invisible but not totally concealed in the daylight.
Stylists may use concealer make-up foundation to cover the lace and hair knots, but ultimately the lace fibers are still visible in sunlight even with camouflaging. Lace wigs can look flawless in studios and on stage using this technique.
Bleaching the knots involves turning the wig inside-out and applying hair color bleach or make-up spray to lighten the knots – making them less visible. Using the hair color bleach to lift the color from the knots damages the hair and will shorten the life of your wig. If the hair on your lace wig is similar to your skin color, avoid bleaching your knots.
Lace wigs should be washed on the head to prevent loosing shape. Lace fibers can loose shape and stretch during washing.
Well-constructed lace front wigs are more natural looking than traditional “Machine Made” wigs. However, a badly constructed lace front wig can look worse than a traditional wig.
Lace wigs are much lighter in weight than traditional wigs and full hair weaves. A well-constructed lace wig can weigh from 4oz depending on hair length and density.
When applied correctly without adhesives and clips, lace wigs can be a healthier alternative for hair growth than weaves and hair extensions. Lace wigs cover the head allowing the scalp to rest from constant pulling and pollution.
You can buy a premium well crafted lace wig and it will still be visible even with the best application and camouflaging. Invisible lace in sunlight does not exist.
Fragile hairline laces can rip during cleaning if you are not careful. Avoid the “Mirror Slide” adhesive removing technique on Swiss and Film Laces.
Mixing (70% distilled water and 30% glycerin) solution can keep lace wig hair softer and manageable.
Thicker laces and monofilaments can irritate and scratch the skin. Avoid these laces if you have a sensitive scalp.
Use Pinking Shears scissors to prevent fraying lace around the hairline. It also gives the lace edge a more natural looking edge when using adhesives. Click here for more info.
When using wig clips to attach your wig base to your hair, it can cause a bald spot where you attach the wig to your natural hair. Using wig combs or bobby-pins are a slightly better option but can also cause thinning.
Gluing lace to your skin along with using a wig cap or camouflage (matching your skin color) underneath will give you the most natural looking lace wig application. You can also apply liquid make-up (matching your skin color) on thin material or wig caps under your wig.
An experienced wig stylist who knows how to properly apply your unit is needed for best results. Although there’s a plethora of great videos and information online an experienced stylist is always best.
Adhesive “Glue” (liquid or tape) is not healthy for skin on your edges for extended wear. Skin can become irritated, itchy and a rash may occur after prolonged exposure to glue.
Always do an adhesive patch test to see how well adhesives work with your body chemistry. Wash a small area on the inside of your arm near your elbow. Wipe it clean and dry. Apply a small amount of the adhesive using a spatula or brush on your skin and let dry. If your skin experiences any redness, itching, or blemishes, this indicates that you may be allergic to something in the product.
When applying a lace wig, leaving out your hairline can look very natural using a wig cap, liner or camouflage (with your skin color) underneath. By exposing your hairline the wig can look more natural with a professional application.
Lace wig wearers with low hairlines should leave out their natural hairline and wear lace wigs behind their natural hairline. Some people shave their hairlines back to apply their wigs below their hairlines to avoid an unnatural look.
When leaving out your edges and applying a lace wig, an experienced colorist is needed to match your hair color to the lace wig’s hair color. If your hair color doesn’t match it can look less natural.
Clear acrylic spray can seal the knots to prolong the life of a lace wig. However it makes the lace harder and can bleed onto the hair through the wig base. While spraying if not careful it can cause hair to harden as well. Sprays can be toxic and it is always a good idea to protect your eyes, use disposable gloves and a mask during this process. Make sure to cover hair with a plastic cap or bag during this process and spray at least 10” away from the wig base.
On theatrical stages, film, photo and video shoots lace wigs can look realistic with the use of special lenses but it is not the most natural looking wig Hairline Illusions offer. Click here for more info.
No matter how well a lace wig is made, if it's not applied correctly it will not look as natural.
Liquid adhesives camouflage the lace more than adhesive tape allowing the lace to blend better with the skin. If your skin is not properly cleaned and dry before applying adhesives, the adhesive can turn a whitish shade making the lace more visible.
Celebrities more than likely have excellent wig makers and stylists to perfect their look. When they wear wigs during magazine, video and commercial shoots some leave out their natural hairlines for a more realistic look. Also photo retouching may be done as well as special lenses being used to make their hair look more flawless.
Lace wig applications with glue or tape will not last more than 2 weeks without touch-ups. It can also shift (move) back allowing adhesive to get into your hair. Using a hairline band can help keep your wig in place when sleeping. Click here for more info.
Some stylist use concealers and skin color tapes underneath lace wig bases - where wig hair is parted to give an illusion of a natural scalp.
A great lace wig adhesive application depends on body chemistry. Ultra Hold may work wonders for most, but some stylist swear by Perfector Plus.
Using scalp protector as a barrier before applying adhesives can help your lace wig to adhere longer.
Lace Wig Positioning Spray is a must-have when applying wigs. It helps you correct errors and allows your wig to adhere longer. Click here for more info.
Trichologist are dermatologist that specializes in the scientific study of the health of hairand scalps. If you have irritated, tender or a sore scalp, it is best to ask a Trichologist if you can wear a lace wig.
A lace wig will be more visible when applied over a black wig cap without adding skin color camouflaging. It is best to use a wig cap similar to your skin color.
Removing hair knots around the hairline can give you a more natural look when ordering inexpensive wigs. Hair knot removal takes a lot of patience and can cause you to rip holes in your lace wig base so be very careful. Some like to use barber clippers to carefully shave a part. Shaving a part can cut the lace so be very careful.
The majority of lace wigs sold on the market are blended with animal and mono-fiber hair fillers - even when labeled 100% Remy Human Hair without fillers. Real human hair wigs will last years and the hair will never change if not chemically processed and cared for correctly. Simply said, you get what you pay for.
Scattered hair (ununiformed hair in random directions) is the most used hair in inexpensive lace wigs. Some Remy AAAAA labeled wigs have had the hair cuticles removed using an acid bath to blend better with fillers.
A soiled or dirty lace wig can shed more because knots can become loose from the wig base. Keep your lace wig base clean to prevent premature shedding. You can clean the wig base only without cleaning the full wig using wig base cleaner. Click here for more info.
Most lace wig manufacturers use a silicone treatment on inexpensive hair to make if feel more soft and supple as human hair. Using a silicon mix is a deep conditioning treatment that can temporarily revitalize human hair with fillers. Once the silicone mix is washed away the hair can become dry and brittle.
Since most imported lace wigs have animal fillers, products like Mane & Tail, Cowboy Magic and Show Sheen can also revitalize the hair.
The Organic Apple Cider Vinegar method can reduce dry hair, matting and tangles. Dilute vinegar with distilled water 50%/50% (equal parts). After washing with conditioning shampoo apply vinegar mixture on hair for about 5 minutes. Rinse with cool water and apply your conditioner and rinse again.
After washing your lace wig you can use any Instant Freeze or Hair Holding Spray to seal the knots until the next wash. Aerosol sprays work best and don’t bleed as much through the wig cap onto the hair when spraying. Turn wig inside-out and spray on the inside of the wig base and let dry for at least 10-15 minutes before applying or set under cool dryer for 2-5 minutes.
You can imitate bleach knots by spraying Sally Hansen leg make-up on the inside of your wig base. Make sure to spray at lease 10” away from wig base to prevent make-up bleeding on the hair. Using a Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray can help the make-up spray last longer. Waterproof spray foundations such as Dior Skin AirFlash Spray Foundation can also last longer.
Tight wig caps and headbands can cause headaches. Make sure to stretch your wig cap looser several times before applying it. Apply your headbands snugged but not too tight.
You can dye your wig cap (not wig base) with Rit Fabric Dye to match your skin shade. Using Rit Fabric Dye on wig bases after wig is completed is not recommended because it can darken the hair knots if they are bleached.
Some people use color iron-on patches close to their skin tone under the wig base. Some swear by this older method of camouflage.
Experienced wig stylist also use materials such as band-aids and silicone sheets to camouflage (covering natural hair) to help parted hair look more natural like scalp.
Lace wigs should be applied slightly below the natural hairline when using adhesives. If you are not using adhesive you can apply the lace wig on or behind your hairline.
Steam cleaning your lace wig can extend your wig’s life. If you use adhesives this method may not make a difference because you will still have to wash your wig base when using adhesive removers.
Hairline Illusions creates wigs that are more realistic looking than lace wigs – even to the trained eye. Click here for more info.
Sewing a elastic band on the inside of wig base near the temple area can hold your lace wig in place giving it a snugged fit without adhesives and clips. Search for ‘Tootsie’s Mom Method” for more information.
To prevent “Cone or Helmet Head Effect” you should braid or slick your hair back away from your face so your wig can lay flat on your head and look more natural.
If applying lace wig behind hairline, your natural hair texture should match or resemble the hair texture of the lace wig for it to look natural. If you have natural unprocessed curly hair and the hair on your wig is straight you will have to straighten your natural hair with heat or chemical process to match the hair on your wig. Using heat and chemical processes on your natural hair can damage your hair so be very careful and let a skilled professional do the process.
If you do not have a natural hairline and not sure where to apply the front hairline of your lace wig (using a tape measure) you can measure under your nose-tip to your chin and use the same measurement from your (center front) hairline to (center top) of your eyebrows.
You can make your own quick lace wig using a lace frontal or closure, 1-2 packs of weaving hair (depending on desired hair density) and a wig cap by sewing the frontal or closure in the front of wig cap and weaving the wefts in the back. Some hairstylist use this method to create a quick disposable lace front wig.
Your hair and scalp should be cleaned prior to wig application. Using a leave-in scalp cleaner can prevent excessive itching and dirt build-up. Click here for more info.
Your lace wig can lift prematurely from water and perspiration. After a fresh glued-in lace front wig, do not wet your hair for at least 24-48 hours, depending on your skin type. Unnecessary sweating can also cause premature wig lifting for this time period so avoid activities that cause excessive perspiration.
When adhesive buildup is absorbed by your skin and hair, removing your lace can become more difficult. Avoid excessive wig pulling because it can cause Traction Alopecia. To Properly remove wig put your hair in a high ponytail and apply adhesive remover on adhesive using a sponge swab. Do not prematurely pull your wig from your head before the remover finishes releasing your wig. You should be able to remove and detach wig easily without any tension. Follow instructions included on the remover’s bottle and if it doesn’t release during specified time apply more remover and repeat process.
Lace wigs are more visible after the first wear when using adhesives. After removing your lace wig, using a sponge swab gently applying 99% Isopropyl Alcohol on glue residue left on your wig and gently scape off using your fingernails. Do this in small sections, then wipe with clean dry towel.
After removing your lace wig you can use a stainless steel spoon to gently scrape adhesive residue from skin.
You can use a toothbrush or fingernail brush to remove adhesive residue from your lace wig after applying remover. Avoid stretching lace as you brush.
Before reapplying your lace front wig if your wig is not properly cleaned the lace will be more visible even if adhesive isn’t used.
Platting hair in large braids before washing lace wigs with long hair can save time and extend the life of your wig. You will experience less pulling and friction during the washing process with this method.
People use dishwashing liquid to wash lace wig base to remove buildup and adhesive. This older method is still being used in some hair replacement centers.
Some adhesive solvent chemicals can alter the hair textures and cause premature shedding if left on too long. Make sure to wash away adhesive solvents 2-3 times to make sure your wig is completely cleaned.
The hair on your lace wig can develop split ends if you use excessive heat and wash it too often. Ionic products are great to prevent split ends when using heat because they infuse moisture and can seal split ends.
When wearing a lace wig with a hair color process outside in the sun, it can have a “UV Light” chemical reaction, which causes the hair to oxidize. Hair can become dull or more red from wearing in the sunlight.
Wearing lace wigs with hair fillers can cause skin irritation and pimples on face.
Wearing lace wigs that have been treated with harsh factory chemicals can cause your own hair to break (If leaving out your own edges). The chemicals used to make the hair feel more supple have an adverse effect on your own natural hair causing it to become more dry, brittle and eventually causing breakage. Keep your hair moist by applying leave-in conditioners and organic pomades.
If the hair on your lace front wig is blended with monofibre or thermofiber (synthetic) hair, after using heats over 200 degrees; The wig will begin to shed excessively everyday when brushing.
You can stain (dye) synthetic hair with rit fabric dye. The longer you leave the hair in the dye the darker and richer it becomes – closest to the desired color.
Some stylist use permanent markers such as sharpies to darken the roots of lace front wigs for photo shoots. This quick fix saves precious time when the clock is ticking and there’s no time to spare.
Most human hair used on lace wigs originates from temples in South India where natives sacrifice their hair for blessings. China and South Korea also collect hair locally to produce lace wigs.
An American cut ponytail can sell from $500 if it’s from a non-smoker donor and the hair is in great health without any chemical processing. Hairline Illusions primarily collects hair from donors from America, Africa, Asia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico and Russia.
It can take as many as 8 ponytails (depending on desired density and hair length) to make a full wig because the shorter hairs in the ponytail are not used.
Spirit gum is the most popular glue used in the theatrical community and the original adhesive for lace wigs. It can last from a few hours to three days.
Depending on adhesive, some stylist use cheese cloth to clean up adhesive when applying lace wigs.
Dabbing a lightly steeped, damp tea bag can tone down light lace to match your skin tone better.
Combing and brushing your lace wig while wet can cause premature shedding. Your wig is very delicate and even more fragile while wet. Excessive combing while wet can cause the ventilated (hand-tied) knots to loosen from the lace wig base and eventually shed.
Washing your lace wig with hot water can loosen the ventilated (hand-tied) knots and cause premature shedding. Use cool to lukewarm water when washing your lace wig.
Avoid using heavy oils and conditioners on lace wigs. They can loosen the ventilated (hand-tied) knots and cause premature shedding.
Using a traditional wire wig brush can be too abrasive and cause premature shedding. Use wide-tooth combs instead to carefully comb your lace wig.
Air-drying is the best way to dry your lace wig. The next best method is blow-drying or sitting under a dryer with a cool setting.
Lightly tying up your lace wig hair and covering with a scarf while sleeping can help extend the life of your lace wig. Sleeping with hair loose can cause friction to your base and ventilated knots. Wearing satin/silk scarves can help prevent premature shedding.
Using a hooded blow-dryer can shrink your lace wig if you do not use a wig head holder or it is not applied on your head. If you use this method, make sure to keep the blow dryer setting on cool to avoid shrinkage.
Lace wig makers are in demand and can earn extra income even working part-time repairing wigs. Click HERE link for more.
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