Hairpieces for women come in many shapes and sizes ranging from accent pieces to full-fledged wigs. Although hairpieces aren’t for all women, there are a wide range of situations that could warrant the use of a hairpiece. The most immediate image that one likely brings to mind when hearing the word “hairpiece” is likely of a gaudy synthetic wig that’s impossible to style. Although these types of low-quality wigs do exist (usually from non-reputable dealers), there are many retailers of genuine hairpieces for women that are designed to look as natural as possible. All major hairpiece styles are available in either human hair (most versatile for styling and cleaning) or synthetic hair. Understanding the difference between wigs, extensions, additions, and accents is important when deciding what kind of hairpiece would best suit a woman’s needs.
Wigs are essentially hairpieces that have a central piece to which the hair fibers are attached. The size and coverage that a wig offers depends on the type of wig. The following sections explain the differences between the two most common types of wigs.
A lace wig is a popular choice because it provides a very natural look and is virtually undetectable. Lace wigs are constructed with a sheer lace base. Full lace wigs have a complete base of delicate lace material to which synthetic or human hairs have been tied. This gives the appearance that the hair is growing directly from the scalp. This type of wig may be pulled into a ponytail, shaped in an up-do, or styled virtually any way the wearer likes and the wig will not be detectable. A cheaper alternative is the lace-front wig. This type of wig is constructed with the same lacey material as the full lace wig except that the lace base is only present in the front of the wig so that the wearer may part the hair in any place they like. The sides and back of the wig are constructed in a more durable material, however, should the wearer part the hair at the sides or back then the wefts will be exposed and it will be obvious that the individual is wearing a wig. For the same reason, a wearer of a lace-front wig should not wear her hair in a ponytail or other up-do. As this type of hairpiece has such a delicate base, it is more prone to shedding and will likely require repairs within a year of use. Lace wigs are lightweight and realistic in appearance, but are most suitable for individuals who do not suffer from total hair loss.
Monofilament wigs are just as versatile as lace wigs however they aren’t quite as undetectable as lace wigs. Monofilament refers to the base used to construct this full-coverage type of wig. Monofilament is a silky material that is very breathable and comfortable. It is virtually invisible because its color blends in with the wearer’s natural scalp color. While the camouflaged scalp produced by a monofilament wig allows the wearer to part the hair anywhere she likes, the hairline isn’t as seamless as that of a lace-front or full lace wig. The front hairline may be covered using a bangs hairpiece. A major advantage of a monofilament wig is that it provides sturdy full coverage of the head without the need to glue the base to the scalp. It is also less prone to shedding than a lace wig.
Extensions are extremely popular because they allow women with short hair to instantly enjoy the benefits of long hair. Hair extensions come in two main types: one piece and multi-piece kit. One-piece hair extensions are made of a net-like base to which two or three rows of hair are tied. The foundation initially clips to the base of the wearer’s natural hair so that the extension is snugly fitted against the scalp. The wearer then pulls her own hair through the holes in the foundation so that her own natural hair is mixed in with the extension. This type of extension not only adds length but it also adds volume to the back of the head.
Multi-piece hair extensions are typically purchased in a kit containing several pieces of varying lengths. Each piece will be a single row of hair with several clips which will be used to secure the extension to the base of the wearer’s natural hair. The varying layers of hair provided in the kit will help to add natural-looking volume. This type of hair extension takes more time to apply however the results are very voluminous and natural-looking.
Other hairpieces for women are available in the form of accent pieces. A woman who struggles to wear her hair in a perfectly tidy bun may choose to wear a bun hairpiece to give the impression of a classic bun without the fuss of styling and touch-ups that natural hair often requires. Braided hair pieces are great for enhancing one’s natural hair and can be used for everyday wear or on special occasions. Hairpiece bangs are especially attractive to women who like to enjoy wearing bangs once in a while without the commitment of cutting their natural hair. This type of piece is often fitted with small clips; however some pieces are designed to be glued to the scalp. One may also choose among various headbands, pony tail bands, and clips equipped with long, curly, or voluminous hairpieces.
Before choosing among the many hairpieces for women, one must ask herself what her own hair needs are. Natural results can be obtained through full-coverage wigs, extensions, and accents depending on the context in which they are used. Women who intend to use the wig on a regular basis may want to choose a wig that is sturdy and capable of standing up to the rigors of everyday use.