By Gary Price
Image: Remy human hair wig by Gary Price
Choosing a wig for the first time can seem confusing, as there are so many types and styles to choose from.
The terminology used to describe the various wig types, how they are made, and the different price points just add to the confusion. So, lets first look at the three main types of wigs and why they may look and feel different.
Wefted wigs are machine made, they are the cheapest to manufacture and therefore the most inexpensive to buy. Wefted wigs often have a fabric base which can feel a little too thick for some wearers. Traditionally wefted wigs contain the thickest density of synthetic hair, which is ideal if your natural hair is thick or coarse. A wefted wig will also have more volume, for those that require a very full hairstyle a traditional fully wefted version is often the best choice. The root of the wig may appear crimped, this is to help disguise the fabric of the base and also creates root lift. This type will have a set style and no parting. Some wefted wigs are made with a monofilament parting, this means the parting area has the synthetic fibres knotted into a fine semi-transparent net in order to create a more natural parting.
Monofilament wigs are one of the most popular choices due to the comfort of the base and the natural appearance of the scalp area. This type has the hairs, or synthetic fibres individually knotted into a sheer mesh cap. Monofilament wigs vary in price because some have hand tied partings and crowns. This creates a very natural scalp and hair, or fibre, will have a realistic appearance. Unlike a wefted wig the hair on a monofilament one can be moved in different directions and usually the parting can be moved from one place to another.
It is important to note that some wigs are made of a combination of wefting and monofilament, this means the cost will vary, your consultant will be able to explain which wig will be the most suitable for your style and budget.
A double monofilament wig provides extra comfort and helps prevent scalp irritation for those who find the wefted type uncomfortable. Double monofilament wigs simulate the natural hairs’ appearance. The double layer cushions the scalp from the knots of the hair or synthetic fibre. They are the best choice for those with sensitive scalps.
Fully hand tied
A hand tied wig is the most comfortable to wear and recreates the appearance of natural hair growing from the scalp. This type of wig has individual hairs hand tied into a soft, stretch net resulting in a very soft but secure fit. High quality synthetic and real hair wigs are usually made this way.
Each type of wig mentioned above may also have a lace front which gives the impression of a perfectly natural hairline. A full lace front is generally only used when the wig is worn for long periods of time, it needs to be secured at the hairline with glue. At the Daniel Galvin Selfridges wig department, we only stock partial lace fronts which require no gluing. Our range has been handpicked by myself for their quality, comfort, realistic hairlines and partings.
Synthetic fibre or real hair ?
If you are not sure whether to choose synthetic or real hair your wig consultant guide you to the most suitable option. Here are pros and cons of each option;
Advantages of synthetic fibre
- Synthetic wefted construction has the lowest price point
- Easy to care for. Simply wash in warm water and leave to dry naturally, they will fall into style.
- Monofilament synthetic wigs come in a wide variety of different styles and colours that are not available in real hair wigs. (Grey shades are not available in human hair wigs).
Disadvantages of synthetic fibre
- On average a synthetic wig will need to be replaced after 6 months.
- A fully wefted synthetic version may be heavy and dense
- Most synthetic fibre ones cannot be heat styled. There are a few heat styleable synthetic fibres available, they can only be blow dried or heat styled with low temperature appliances. High heat will permanently damage the fibres.
Advantages of real hair
- Human hair wigs will last much longer than synthetic fibre ones. On average a human hair wig will need replacing after a year of constant use. The longevity depends on the aftercare being followed correctly. High temperature appliances and harsh products will shorten the life span of real hair.
- High grade hair types are easy to maintain. Low grade human hair wigs can be purchased cheaply online but the quality makes them difficult to maintain & style and they rarely last more than 6 months.
- Good quality hair can be toned and made darker but not lightened. We strongly advise against attempting to colour a human hair wig at home.
- Real hair wigs can be cut, blow dried, and styled with curling tongs or straightening irons.
Disadvantages of real hair wigs
- The cost may seem prohibitive. However, in balance over the course of a year the cost of 2 to 3 hand knotted synthetic wigs is equal to the cost of one good quality human hair wig.
- Proper aftercare and styling must be carried out to maintain the condition.
- People with very fine hair may find the real hair wigs appear too thick, when compared to their natural hair. A light density monofilament synthetic may be a better option.
Here at the Daniel Galvin Selfridges Wig Department, director Gary Price sources and picks the very best ready to wear wigs, from across Europe. Gary has brought together a selection of wigs to suit all budgets. The collection includes;
- Small discreet hairpieces – from £248*
- Full hair toppers highest quality real hair – from £420* to £650* (depends on hair length and type)
- Synthetic wefted wigs – from £248*
- Hand knotted synthetic & human hair wigs – from £320* (synthetic)
- Lace front human hair wigs – from £720*
- Lace front Remy human hair – from £1,200*
Custom made wigs can also be ordered, price by quotation. For more information see our article on custom made wigs
Medical VAT exemption
All wigs supplied for any medical hair loss such as chemotherapy treatment, Alopecia, female pattern hair loss etc normally have a VAT exemption on any wig or hairpiece purchased.
Daniel Galvin’s Wig Director will be happy to guide you through choosing the best type of wig. While we endeavour to carry a wide choice of colours and styles, if the style, colour or texture of the wig you require is not already in our collection we will certainly be able to source the perfect hairpiece or wig. More information and full description of the Daniel Galvin Bespoke Wig Service
*Prices quoted on this page are at the time the article was published. Daniel Galvin reserves the right to change the prices, products and services offered.