I have had a lot of time over the past few years to research wigs due to the addition of the HairUWear, Rachel Welch HairDo line, add-on hair, clip-in ponytails, bangs and Long and Luscious Wigs in the HairBoutique.com Marketplace.
Those who have known me for years know that whenever we bring a new line of products into our Marketplace I spend lots of time trying to understand as many aspects as possible about the product.
Over the years I have kept tons of notes about wigs and add-on hair and decided to go ahead and put them into a Glossary for easy reference.
I know that it took me awhile to figure it all out so if you are buying your first wig or considering any type of add-on hair hopefully many of these terms will help you understand the products you are evaluating better.
Depending on which hairdresser or hair expert you talk to, add-on hair can range from adding a small triangle of clip-in bangs to a wide range of clip-in ponytails, braids chignons, buns, or even individual pieces of hair to add spot volume or length.
It can also cover temporary clip-in extensions which generally require nightly removal, semi-permanent hair extensions which remain in the hair for several weeks or a wide range of wigs and hair enhancement system.
Basically add-on hair refers to anytime you are adding hair to your head. Each type of subcategory of add-on hair has their own definitions but for the purposes of this document I am covering the high points.
Advanced Wig Cap Construction Technologies
The construction of wigs has advance significantly and rapidly over the past 50 years. One of the ways wigs have changed is in their cap construction.
Wigs are now constructed with a focus on lighter, cooler front hairlines with moderate stretch for a customized fit. Caps are designed with materials which allow a completely cooler air flow to the scalp to avoid overheating and discomfort.
The ears and sides of the wigs, which used to be a concern for many wearers are now often crafted with soft, expandable fabrics which are attached to the inner ear tabs which not only add to the comfort of the wig but provides a nicely contoured and very customized fit. The nape of the neck was often a challenge in the past for wig makers since now two necks are identical.
Current wig caps are constructed to gently and securely hug and conform to the wearer’s neckline. In some cases tiny flexible combs are added to provide a better and more secure fit. There is less risk of a wig becoming easily dislodged.
Basic Wig Cap Construction Technologies
As a rule, wigs are constructed in a basic way across all manufacturers, distributors and sellers. Wigs are designed to incorporate some of all of the most popular features including utilization of special fibers at or near the base of the wig cap to add body to the wig without tangling or styling.
The special fibers provide natural life, height and appropriate volume like you might see in a natural head of hair. Due to the ongoing advancements in the wig industry the days of the hard wig caps have changed into a variety of soft or no cap options.
Depending on the manufacturer and the model, wigs may have a totally capless base which is completely open wefts pieced over a base but with no closed sections. The result is a much cooler and lighter wig. Although wearing a wig is still going to feel somewhat like wearing a head covering, wigs have evolved dramatically so that the comfort factor of the past is long gone.
The new wigs also might have a basic soft cap construction which may or may not include hand tied, lace front or natural skin hairlines for a more natural appearance.
This means the hairlines are carefully hand stitched with individual hair or hairline fibers or created to simulate natural skin such as might be found on a real hairline.
A wide range of adjustable inner structures designed specifically for comfort have also been incorporated into many cap or capless systems.
These features include, but are not limited to velvet lined fronts, comfort bands, ribbon or lace foundations and adjustable ear tabs or nape areas.
Velcro® or similar attachment tabs are often added to allow for easy adjustability of a wig for a larger or smaller fit. All sorts of efficient and cost effect methods are utilized for greater styling ease. Some of the newest wigs offer special hair like fibers which can be brushed in all directions and can be back combed.
Keep in mind that not all manufacturers or distributors offer all of the same wig features. When you are shopping for a wig which is right for you be sure to evaluate all options from all manufacturers as carefully as possible. When in doubt consult with a wig expert.
• Hair Addition - A hairpiece with some type of base, no matter how small, that is smaller than a full-cap wig.
• Banana Comb - A comb clip that is contoured and flexible featuring a strong swivel joint and snap clip at the top of the wig.
• Blending - A process also known as hackling which achieves realistic color graduations in a hairpiece, extension or wig by mixing multiple fiber colors.
• Butterfly Clip - A butterfly-shaped clip that holds onto hair through interlocking teeth by opening the pressure-sensitive teeth and attaching.
• C3 Construction - A wig construction that is breathable, lightweight, and made of new, soft and light materials. Named for it’s attributes: cool, comfortable, and capless.
• Cap – The base, skeleton or framework where the hair or hairlike fibers of a wig attaches and acquires it’s ultimate shape. Regardless of how you present it, the cap is the basic foundation of a wig.
The average standard wig cap is generally based upon the following measurements:
- Around the head - 21 1/2 inches - Front to back - 14 1/4 inches - Ear to ear - 13 1/2"
Caps can sometimes be custom ordered for larger heads and generally are based upon the following measurements:
- Around the head - 22 1/2 inches - Front to back - 14 3/4 inches - Ear to ear - 13 3/2"
In some cases caps are completely custom made for unusual head shapes. This customization must be arranged through a wig expert.
• Capless – A capless wig has a lot of similarities to the standard cap designs. The difference? It does not have a closed layer at the crown like the cap. The capless wig base is the lightest cap available for purchase featuring maximum ventilation.
The cap has a closed layer at the crown but the capless does not. Does not have the closed lace The capless is open-wefted in the back, sides and crown.
• Chignon – A small hairpiece worn as a hair twist or bun and positioned near the nape of the neck or near the lower section of the back of the head.
• Color Ring – A manufacturer’s ring of color swatches. Each color is shown on an actual hair sample, not a photo, so prospective buyers can see what the color really looks like. Color rings are different with unique naming conventions and color options depending on individual manufacturers who provide them.
• Co-polymerization – A chemical process that yields the synthetic modacrylic fibers used in wigs.
• Crown – The crown is located at the top of the head. The hair or fibers placed at the top of the wig is measured to find the length marked as crown.
• Cuticle – The outer of three layers that compose the hair follicle. The cortex is the middle layer and is composed of keratin, moisture, and melanin that defines hair color. The medulla is the core of the hair shaft.
• Falls – In most cases a fall is an abbreviated version of a wig. Unlike fall’s of the past, current falls offer almost full coverage of the head while allowing plenty of ventilation and the guarantee of a secure fit.
Unlike the solid hard dome-like foundation of traditional Falls of the 60s and 70s that were positioned at the top and crown area of the head. The 3/4 cap Fall design is positioned 1” to 1 ½” just behind the front and side hairlines allowing the blending of the front and sides of your hair in with the Fall to create the look of a natural head of hair.
• Fishnet Cap - A fishnet cap is for women with larger hair who want to wear a wig.
• Flexible, Open Ear Tabs - A soft inner wire that allows ear tabs to adjust and contour to the face at your temple.
• Gemini Clips - These clips consist of two interlocking, flat side clips that are contoured to fit closely to your head for a secure, comfortable fit and natural looking silhouette.
• Hair-Tied - A wig cap featuring thin, resilient, stretchy material that molds to the shape of the head offering a lighter and more secure fit than wigs using wide stretch lace.
• Hand-tied Hairlines - Intricate hand-stitching of individual fibers at the front and side hairline for a natural appearance.
• Inside Wefting - An economical alternative to a hand-tied hairline. This machine-sewn fiber weft softens the wigs front and side hairlines.
• Kanekalon® Fiber - A specific modacrylic fiber composed of the monomers acrylonitrile and vinyl chloride that are combined during the co-polymerization process.
Kanekalon® is used in a wide range of wigs and add-on hair. It allows the wig style to remain set with colors retaining their vibrancy. Kanekalon® is considered by many wig experts to be the world’s finest wig fiber for easy care and quick styling.
Many wig experts believe Kanekalon® synthetic fibers create the look of human hair with great lifelike colors and movement. Wigs made with Kanekalon® are easy to care for and offer quick styling options.
• LiteLife™Fiber - A special exclusive fiber from Kanekalon®. Ultra-light, denier fiber combined with traditional fiber, resulting in more coverage and volume, and a wig that is up to 25% lighter.
• Memory Cap - A wig cap that replaces the wide stretch lace used in most of today's wigs with a thinner, more resilient stretch material that actually molds to the shape of the head for a lighter, more secure fit.
• Miracle Criss-Cross Wefting - A very cost efficient method of adding greater front and top styling versatility. It allows the fiber to naturally brush in all directions.
• Monofilament - A labor-intensive process of hand tying individual hair fiber to the cap for a natural look that is easy to comb and part. Typically isolated to the parted areas and the edge of the cap to conceal the material when the hair is pulled back.
• Natural Look® Neckline - The standard ½" nape extension is eliminated completely. If you have a short neck and experience discomfort at your neckline, try wigs with this feature.
• Natural Skin Monofilament - A section of extra-fine-grade nylon monofilament with hand-tied fibers usually in the top of wig. It duplicates the look of the human scalp.
• O'Solite - A wig featuring a cool, lightweight, secure cap construction and a new fiber mix that is as soft as natural hair with enough body and memory to hold its style.
• Perma Tease™ - "Crimped" fiber at base of cap, adds body without teasing and tangling.
• Perma-lift™ - Shorter teased fibers sewn at base of cap, gives lift for built-in height and volume where needed.
• Sheer Indulgence - A wig constructed using advanced monofilament technology allowing hair to be brushed and parted in any direction for a natural look, lightweight feel, and ultimate comfort.
• Side Swipe Clip - A dual-functioning hair attachment that works as a clip-on or pocket piece. Open the pocket piece flat to style as a demi-fall or tighten the drawstring to use over a bun or as a ponytail.
• Skin Part - A fixed part on a wig that creates a natural look through the illusion of skin and is cheaper to construct than a full monofilament wig.
• Soft Stretch™Hairline - A lighter, cooler front hairline with moderate, soft stretch.
• Soft Stretch™Ear tabs - Soft, expandable fabric attached to the ear tab resulting in a contoured custom fit.
• Soft Stretch™Nape - Gently and securely hugs and conforms to your neckline.
• Soft Stretch™Sides - A special fabric that eases tension between the ear and nape.
• Soft Flex™Combs - Tiny, flexible, weightless combs for added security.
• Soft Weave™Wefting - A cooler cap design that allows more air flow to your scalp and better fiber movement for added styling versatility.
• Standard Cap - The most common and affordable cap construction featuring layers of open-wefted hair on the back and sides for ventilation and a closed lace layer at the crown. To hide the cap from visibility, the hair is often lightly teased or crimped at the crown creating natural volume.
• Stretch Ribbon Lace - The foundation frame of a wig cap with added stretch and security.
• Switch Attachment - A hair piece attachment constructed with an elastic loop like a ponytail holder.
• Thin Wefts - An advanced technique that evenly distributes hair on the wig increasing comfort and making it easier to style.
• Total Capless Construction - Open wefted base all over cap, no closed fabric sections on cap. The result is a cooler and lighter weight wig.
• Velvet Comfort Band - 1" to 1½" of soft velvet-like fabric at the inside front of wig cap increases comfort and security.
• Velvet Lined Front - An economical alternative to the Velvet Comfort Band. The ¼" to ½" velvet-like fabric is sewn to the front underside of the wig.
• Velcro® Sizing Adjustments - Two Velcro® tabs allow you to adjust your wig up to 1' larger or smaller for a comfortable fit.
• Weaving - A process of attaching wefted hair to the scalp by forming a base or track.
• Wefts - A curtain of hair created by sewing strands of hair fibers together at one end before attaching them to a cap to create a wig.
• Weaving - A process of attaching wefted hair to the scalp by forming a base or track.
• Wig Comb - Combs with evenly spaced teeth that firmly attach and interlock in and under hair when the teeth are pushed together.
• Wiglet - A hairpiece with a base that is smaller than a full-cap wig. Wiglets are worn to fill in areas of thinness. They come in many different varieties and sizes. Some have honeycomb bases with room to pull your own hair through, while others attach with clips or combs.
• Yaki - An ethnic weave style featuring a relaxed texture and a crimped, course look.
Celebrity Hair Spokesperson For HairUWear
Speed forward a few years and Ken had just signed on to be the Celebrity Hair Spokesperson for the famous HairUWear company based in the Midwest.
It was a perfect fit because Ken was a big fan of the Great Lengths human hair extensions (a sister company to HairUWear) and he loved the POP (Put On Pieces).
When Ken joined HairUWear as their celebrity spokesperson he initially worked primarily with the PutOnPieces (POP) line.
From there he joined forces with one of the HairUWear designers, Theresa Lane, and the two of them, in conjunction with Jessica Simpson, worked on the HairDo line which was inspired by Ken's clip-in hair pieces.
Even more importantly, what most consumers may not know, is that Ken, Theresa and Jessica all have a very involved role in the design, development and ultimate creation of the various HairDo lines ranging from the beautiful clip-in human hair and synthetic hair pieces to the recent addition of the clip-on ponytails, bangs and the Long and Luscious Wigs which were showcased in Las Vegas in July of 2009 during the famed Cosmoprof hairdressing show.
The inspiration behind Jessica and Ken's latest “Long and Luscious Wig” was tied to Ken, Theresa and Jessica's desired to design and develop a wig that is stylish and beautiful as well as comfortable. Ken is a perfectionist and wanted a wig that really didn't look like a wig.
Ken works with Theresa on many iterations of cutting and styling each piece as it is being developed in the factories using the original designs created by Theresa, Ken and Jessica.
The “Long and Luscious Wig” not only is comfortable, it incorporates many state of the art features which make it a fabulous offering. In fact, it's really a steal. For the price, the design and workmanship is impeccable.
The “Long and Luscious Wig” features stretch bands embedded throughout the back of the wig for an instantly customized fit for each head.
The wig also has a velvet-line front hair line. Lace material has been added to cover the crown area of the wig cap. The comfort factor was addressed with ear tabs to avoid rubbing or pressure on sensitive ears. Special wefts along the back and the nape of the neck also protect.
Like the latest clip-in bangs and ponytails from HairDo, the “Long and Luscious Wig” is heat-friendly. The wig, like the clip-in bangs and ponytails are created with the revolutionary new Tru2Life® synthetic fiber so that it can be heat styled with hot irons, hot rollers or blow dryers with a low to medium heat setting of up to 350 degrees.
The Tru2Life® technology sets the "Long and Luscious Wig" apart from other wig companies because it offers so much versatility to every wig wearer of this model.
Many synthetic wigs from other companies can not be heat styled without potential damage. Not so with the "Long and Luscious Wig."
Ken, Theresa and Jessica wanted to make sure their latest wig allowed hair consumers to heat style and guarantee that the styling would persist.
This latest creation from HairDo is truly a revolutionary design and will last a very long time.
It will also save wear and tear on your real tresses. Instead of subjecting your own hair to constant wear and tear of washing, drying and styling, you can simply tuck your own strands underneath your gorgeous new Jessica Simpson "Long and Luscious Wig."
Ken Paves is constantly searching for new inspiration in the add-on, clip-on hair world. Don't be surprised to see lots of great new offerings in the future.
The stunning Long and Luscious Wig, available in 9 multi-blended, salon-inspired colors, which were developed under the watchful eye of Ken Paves is like buying a custom haircut and hair design from the celebrity hair master himself.
For ordering assistance please call our toll-free order line M-F from 9-5 CST or email CustomerCare@HairBotuique.com for personalized assistance in selecting your perfect color. If you have questions about the HairDo line please email AskKaren@hairboutique.com.
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