For a first-time wig and hair system buyer, the industry terminology and definitions can be very confusing. When you start reading about hair systems and wigs online, you will come across many unfamiliar terms. That’s why we have put together this A to Z guide on hair system and wig terminology. We hope you find this glossary beneficial!
We will start by explaining what a hair system is as this is a new word and concept to many. To put it simply, a hair system is a semi-permanent hair replacement solution that is attached to the scalp by tape or glue. Hair systems are mostly made with human hair and are designed to be undetectable and worn for days on end.
They are much more than your typical wigs and toupees. That said, you will find that hair systems, hairpieces, toupees and wigs are all used interchangeably in the hair industry.
Let’s begin with wig terminology!
Afro hair systems
Hair systems made with Afro hair. Also known as man weaves.
The part of the hair system which is attached to the scalp. The base is also what hair is attached to. It won’t be wrong to call it the cornerstone wig terminology.
Base cutting service
We can cut our default 8” x 10” hair system base size down to the exact measurements that cover the area of your hair loss
It refers to the type of material that the hair system is made from. Materials range from lace to monofilaments and skin.
A biological film with a skin thickness between 0.08 and 0.12mm. Hair can be knotted or injected depending on thickness.
Knots are bleached to make wigs undetectable and to achieve a realistic look. They are particularly well-suited to the front hairline of a system.
It’s the name given to the process that attaches a hair system to the head with the help of tape or adhesive. Self-explanatory wig terminology this is!
Naturally straight and extremely strong. They are sleek but without a shiny doll-hair look. It ranges in color from off-black to dark brown.
Color rings display virtually all the possible colors that we can create. A very useful ordering tool when it comes to identifying your hair color.
Clip-on hair systems
Hair systems that are secured to your existing hair by sewn-on clips
Custom-made hair systems
Bespoke hair systems that are 100% crafted to your specific requirements. Choose all features of the base and the hair.
How we measure the number of strands of hair on a hair system. Generally measured by counting the number of hair strands in one square inch (2.5cm). If someone has “thick” hair then they will have a high hair density.
It’s a way of knotting the hair to the base. Double knots are considered the strongest and most durable type of knot and widely used on integration systems and other big-holed base materials. That said, these are bigger and more visible than other knots.
Double split knots
Double split knots are stronger than single split knots (see below) but smaller than double knots. Read on for more wig terminology!
(Double Split Knotting)
European hair is considered to be the softest and finest of all hair types. It is unprocessed virgin hair with all its cuticles intact and hair in the same direction. It’s usually brown or blonde and is not available in shades of black.
Planning to buy a hair system? Here’s a must-read if you are buying a wig for the first time!
Excess base material
A thin strip of material along the front part of the base that needs to be cut off before attachment
Fine mono (filament)
It’s a durable man-made fiber that can support higher hair densities.
Fine welded mono (filament)
This wig terminology is known for its strength. It’s the strongest mono! It’s very durable and can support higher hair densities. Its holes are bigger than fine mono.
The most commonly used among all lace materials! Lightweight, delicate and virtually invisible on the scalp. French Lace is more durable than Swiss lace, and can support up to medium-heavy density hair.
It refers to the shape of your front hairline. Choosing a front contour will help you decide what type of hairline your hairpiece will have.
Smaller-sized hair systems that are designed to mask a receding hairline. Typically measure just 1”-2” in width and 6” in length.
It’s made of lace or mono and can cover a PU perimeter to ensure a natural appearance to the front hairline.
Full cap wigs
These wigs extend down to the temples and to the nape of the neck. More commonly associated with women. The best option for people with complete hair loss.
A thicker and more durable type of lace with a less natural appearance than other lace materials. Can hold heavier hair densities.
Glueless wigs are full cap wigs that can be secured to the head with adjustable straps or combs removing the need for tape or glue.
Hair cutting service
We can pre-cut and pre-style your hair system before shipment so you can wear it right out of the box when you receive it.
The standard hair choice in the industry. Smooth and soft texture. Genetically speaking, it is very similar to Caucasian hair.
Injected hair (flat)
Hair is injected into a usually thin skin base at an acute angle. It cannot be combed backward
Injected hair (lift)
Hair is injected into a usually thicker skin base at an obtuse angle and can be combed in any direction
A type of hair system designed to be worn on top of existing hair. It’s ideal for people with thinning hair. The wearer can pull their own hair through the holes of the netting base and let it blend with the hair of the integration system. Instantly gives more volume and can cover bald spots.
The general term for attaching hair to the base of a hair system (also see ventilation). Knotting does not necessarily mean the hair will have knots.
Similar to a template but a plastic dome that can be used to mark out the area of your head that you need to shave for your hair system
Smaller-sized hair systems that are designed to cover a specific area of your head i.e. the crown
PU and poly are the names used to describe the transparent material that is often used around the perimeter of bases to give them added sturdiness and make the bonding process easier.
A transparent plastic material that is used as a hair system base. Can be made with different levels of thickness depending on whether the focus is realism or durability.
Another name for polyurethane but often used to refer to a thicker type of polyurethane that is used around the perimeters of bases to give them added sturdiness and make the bonding process easier.
Ready-to-wear hair systems
More commonly known as stock hair systems. Hair systems that can be shipped out within 24 hours.
Human hair that has been gathered in such a way as to keep all its cuticles properly aligned in relation to its neighboring hairs, therefore, meaning all the hair runs in the same direction. Hair is soft and silky. Used in higher-quality hair systems.
Hair samples allow us to replicate your exact hair color and density for customized orders.
When the lace or skin of a front hairline is cut in a zig-zag fashion to create a natural appearance. Must-know wig terminology for those opting for cut-in service.
Much thicker than other skin materials with a thickness around 0.5-1mm. Usually made with injected hair, it’s suitable for long and/or heavy-density hair and can be made to any color.
Intricate and labor-intensive type of base design. Hair is knotted onto lace and a very fine layer of silk mono is attached to the underside of the lace which hides the knots. Silk tops are thicker types of bases but very natural in appearance.
Smaller (but weaker) than all other knots so single knots have a more natural appearance. Hair has a flat look to it.
Single split knots
Typically used at the front of lace or skin hair systems to give a natural and gradual hairline. Single split knots are stronger than single knots and smaller than double knots.
(Single Split Knotting)
The most commonly-used terminology to describe the polyurethane, a biological film used to make skin bases. The skin can have a thickness of between 0.03 and 0.12mm. Hair can be knotted or injected into the skin depending on the thickness.
A widely-used term to describe polyurethane. The skin can have a thickness of between 0.03 and 0.12mm. Hair can be knotted or injected into the skin depending on the thickness.
Stock hair systems
Hair systems that are available to be shipped out within 24 hours
Super Fine Mono (filament)
It has smaller holes than other fine mono materials making it more delicate. Not suited to high density hair.
Most natural, undetectable and breathable of all base materials. Invisible-like! It’s very fine and delicate, making it not a very durable material. Also, it can take no more than a light-medium hair density.
Hair is made from fine plastic filaments that have the look and feel of real hair. Requires little maintenance but should not be blow-dried.
Choose painless and affordable hair loss solution. Opt for custom hair systems!
Used to demonstrate the size and shape of the area of your hair loss. Made out of plastic wrap and masking tape. A key component for custom-made hair systems.
The hair that is knotted to the underside of a PU perimeter to hide the PU and make the edge more natural.
The most natural of skin bases with a thickness of around 0.03-0.05mm. Hair strands are V-looped into the surface.
Another wig terminology used to describe the process of attaching hair to the base.
Hair that is pricked through a skin base and then pulled back through another hole to create a V-like appearance from a side view. No knots.
The raw hair from a donor’s head that has not been permed, colored or processed in any way.
A popular synthetic choice for gray hair as it can be treated the same way as human gray hair. Unlike human gray hair, it does not discolor over time!
It is human hair that imitates chemically-relaxed Afro-American hair.
This was all about hair system terminologies! Having prior knowledge of these wig terms will help you find the best product even if you are buying it for the first time.
Planning to buy your first wig? Buy 100% human hair wigs from Lordhair and get a special discount on your purchase. Order today and get it shipped anywhere across the globe, for free. Email us at email@example.com for your queries!