A-Z of Wig Terminology: Complete Hair System Glossary

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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.

 

Base

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

 

Base material

It refers to the type of material that the hair system is made from. Materials range from lace to monofilaments and skin.

 

BIO  skin

A biological film with a skin thickness between 0.08 and 0.12mm. Hair can be knotted or injected depending on thickness.

 

Bleached knots

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.

      

Bonding

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! 

 

Chinese hair

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

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.

 

(Hair) Density

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.

 

Double knots

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 knotting

(Double Knotting)

 

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

(Double Split Knotting)

 

European hair

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.

 

French lace

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.

 

Front contour

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.  

 

Frontal hairpieces

Smaller-sized hair systems that are designed to mask a receding hairline. Typically measure just 1”-2” in width and 6” in length.

 

Folded front

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.

 

German lace

A thicker and more durable type of lace with a less natural appearance than other lace materials. Can hold heavier hair densities.

 

Glueless

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.

 

Indian hair

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

 

Integrations systems

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.

 

Knotting

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.

 

Mold

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

 

Partial hairpieces

Smaller-sized hair systems that are designed to cover a specific area of your head i.e. the crown

 

Polyurethane (PU/Poly)

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.

 

Polyurethane (Poly)

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. 

 

PU

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.

 

Remy hair

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) Sample

Hair samples allow us to replicate your exact hair color and density for customized orders.

 

Scallop(ed) front

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.

 

Silicon skin

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.

 

Silk top

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.

 

Single knots

Smaller (but weaker) than all other knots so single knots have a more natural appearance. Hair has a flat look to it.

Single knotting

(Single Knotting)

 

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 

(Single Split Knotting)

 

 

Skin

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.

 

Skin

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.

 

Swiss lace

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.

 

Synthetic hair

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!

 

Template

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.

 

Under hair

The hair that is knotted to the underside of a PU perimeter to hide the PU and make the edge more natural.

 

Ultra-thin skin

The most natural of skin bases with a thickness of around 0.03-0.05mm. Hair strands are V-looped into the surface.

 

Ventilation

Another wig terminology used to describe the process of attaching hair to the base.

 

V-looped hair

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.

 

Virgin hair

The raw hair from a donor’s head that has not been permed, colored or processed in any way.

 

Yak hair

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!

 

Yaki hair

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 support@lordhair.com for your queries!

 

  Email: support@lordhair.com

  Tel: +86 532 80828255

  WhatsApp: +8618678615507

  Skype: Lordhair

 

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