Everything You Need to Know About Lace Front Wigs
If you’ve just started wearing wigs, you may be slightly surprised and/or confused at all the detail and nuances to the different types of wigs. You may be asking yourself questions like “What is a lace front?”, “What’s the difference between a regular wig and a lace front wig?” and “How do I wear a lace front wig?”. It may seem daunting and complicated at first, but at United Beauty Supply, we aim to make beauty accessible to everyone, so in this post we will be breaking down the common terminology used in wigs, what the differences in lace front and regular wigs mean, and how to install your wig like a pro!
General Terms to Know
Starting with the basics, here are some common terms about wigs that you need to understand. Knowing what these features are and how they add to a wig will help you when choosing a lace front wig.
What Is “Lace”?
“Lace” as it pertains to wigs is a mesh or lace fabric that is sewn into the cap of the wig. Oftentimes, this is referred to as the Lace Front, meaning a piece of lace mesh fabric that is sewn to the hairline of a wig that helps the hair to look like it is actually growing from the scalp. The lace can also be found inside the cap of the wig, specifically in the parting region and top of the head to make it easier to re-style the hair. Lace front wigs are generally more realistic looking than regular wigs.
What Are “Wefts”?
Wefts are the tracks of hair that are sewn together into strips, and then attached to the cap of the wig all the way around. Each weft in the wig can be seen when parting the hair moving downward. The wefts of hair make up the wig
What Does a “Deep Lace Part” Mean?
A deep part is a part or split in the hair that goes far to the back of the head. A deeper part will generally look more realistic, as this mimics the way natural hair lays on the scalp.
What Does Is Mean To “Lay the Wig” or “Melt the Lace”?
Laying your wig is the process of gluing down or otherwise securing the wig to make it lay flat against the hairline and help it look more realistic. Melting the lace or a melted hairline is essentially the same thing, and it refers to blending the lace front of the wig into the natural skin and hairline.
The size of the lace can make a big difference in how you wear, style and maintain your wig.
A lace front wig is a wig with lace along the hairline for a more natural appearance against the skin. The lace usually extends to the part as well. Lace usually goes from ear to ear and can be slightly extended in some types of wigs, allowing the wig to be worn behind the ears.
A full lace wig is constructed with lace through the entire cap, which means it has the most style versatility. Because there is lace around the entire wig, you are free to do pretty much any hairstyle you can think of including ponytails, pig tails, braids, and more. Full lace wigs need to be installed a bit differently and would ideally be glued all the way around the head.
A 360 lace wig is a wig with lace around the entire perimeter of the head, but does not have lace on the top or crown of the head. This type of lace is also pretty versatile in terms of styling, as you can put the hair into ponytails and buns.
Wide Lace Region
A 13” x 5” lace front or lace region essentially means that the wig is free-parting. There is a section of lace that goes 13 inches across the head from ear to ear and 5 inches lengthwise to the back of the head. The wig can be styled in a variety of ways with different parting, small braids at the crown of the head and a half-up ponytail. Variations of this size include 13” x 4”, 12” x 3”, 12” x 4”, ETC.
There are different types of lace in terms of thickness and feel. Each type of lace has pros and cons to it.
Regular lace is the standard in lace front wigs, and while it is more durable, it can be more noticeable, itchier, and rougher in general. Regular Lace definitely does the trick, but wig makers have found better types of lace to create a more realistic look and more comfortable wear.
Transparent lace is thinner and more ventilated than regular lace. It is still durable and easy to glue down, but will appear more see-through against the skin, making it look more realistic.
Double-lined lace gives an ultra real scalp illusion. This is because the knots at the hairline are disguised in between the two layers of lace. Double layers of lace creates a powder-blended effect making the lace harder to detect.
High Definition lace is the thinnest and most see-through lace found in wigs. HD lace is excellent for photoshoots or videos as it is very easily blended into the hairline. This lace can be trickier to work with, as it is more delicate and more prone to ripping or tearing.
Swiss lace is a soft and see through lace material that is still transparent but a little more durable than HD Lace. Swiss lace is soft and slightly stretchy without being itchy, and easily blends into the hairline.
Lace parts come in different sizes as well as shapes. Understanding the different types of parts in a wig can help you to choose the most flattering look for your face shape.
Straight Part. Can be on the side or in the center.
Curved part, usually on the side.
A straight part connected to the lace front to offer a wider part region.
U-shaped part allows for half-up half-down looks with lace going around the cap in a U shape.
Free parting can come in a variety of parting region dimensions, but allows the part to be changed from middle, left and right, as well as allowing for half ponytails, buns, and braids at the top of the head.
Here are some other common features found in Lace front Wigs that are important to understand when wig shopping.
In a darker colored wig, the knots can be visible, especially when they are bigger knots. To achieve a more realistic look, knots can be bleached so that they become undetectable.
In a darker wig, the knots can be visible, especially when they are bigger knots. To achieve a more realistic look, knots can be bleached so that they become undetectable.
Single knots are smaller in comparison to double knots, which is bigger in size. Single knots are usually found closer to the hairline, and double knots will be found further back from the hairline.
Baby hairs are small, short hairs along the hairline, ears, and sometimes the nape of the neck on a wig to help mimic the look of natural baby hairs that occur along the hairline. These can be styled with gel, and edge brush, or cut off completely depending on the desired effect.
The hairline density refers to the thickness of the hairline. A wig that states it has a natural density to the hairline will look more realistic, as the density at the hairline is gradual for most people.
Pre-plucked parting or lace means that the part already has been plucked. Many people like to pluck out hairs from the hairline and the part to give the wig a more realistic look, since the parting in natural hair usually will show a bit of the scalp, you’ll want to mimic a gap in that area.
Tips on Laying a Lace Front Wig - Glueless Method
Cutting the Lace
When cutting the lace, you want to do so slowly and carefully. Cut small amounts at a time – you can always cut more, but not less! If you want to glue your lace front down, then you’ll want to leave about half an inch or less of lace left to blend into the hairline. If you don’t want to glue your lace down, you’ll want to cut as close to the hairline as possible. Read our How to Wear a Wig for Beginners blog for more tips!
Styling Baby Hairs
If you want to style your baby hairs, the best products to use are an edge gel and edge brush. There are endless possibilities with baby hairs, and they can be styled into cute swirls and patterns to offer a more realistic look. Use a silky edge laying scarf to make sure they set and lay flat! If you don’t want to style the baby hairs, you can cut them all off or simply comb them back into the rest of the hair. For a wig that comes without baby hairs, it’s easy to cut your own using a pair of scissors or a small hair cutter with a guard.
Pluck the Hairline & Part Line
If your wig doesn’t come pre-plucked (or if you think it could use more plucking) you can easily customize the hairline and parting region by plucking it yourself. This will help make it look more like real hair. Hold your wig firmly, or pin it to a canvas head. With a pair of tweezers, pick up 2 -3 hairs at a time and pull them out of the lace. Be careful not to pull too much hair at once or to pull too hard as this could cause a tear in the lace.
Blending the Lace into the Scalp
Lace comes in a variety of beige and brown skin tones, but it’s difficult to get lace that matches with any skin tone. The easiest way for a beginner to disguise the lace and knots of a wig is by using a tinted lace spray like the Ebin New York Tinted Lace Spray. Simply turn the wig inside out and spray any lace parts you want to blend with the skin. It comes in multiple colors to match any skin tone. If you want a quicker and easier way, you can also dab some concealer into the lace and finish with some powder on top with a very small, detailed brush.
Glue Down or Spray Down the Wig Lace If You Want
You don’t have to glue down your wig, but you can if you want to wear it for an extended period of time. There are various types of wig glues that vary in strength and finish, including gel, cream, and spray consistencies.
Pull Out Some Natural Hair
If you have natural hair that matches with the wig, it can help to pull out a few of your own baby hairs to mix in with the wig hair. This will help it look even more realistic!
Learning about the details of how wigs are constructed can help you significantly when trying to decide between which type of lace front wig will work best for you. Following the tips in this blog you can become a pro with lace front wigs in no time! What are your favorite tips and tricks when working with lace front wigs? Let me know in the comments below!