Differences Between Wigs

If you’re here, you’ve hopefully picked out a character to cosplay or are just seeking some quick advice on wigs. The goal of this post is to help differentiate between the various types of wigs. Choosing the right wig for yourself can really have an impact on how you cosplay.

And with so many options, knowing information about each can help you choose the wig best for you.

Real or Fake?

First things first, do you want a wig made of synthetic fibers or human hair? Each definitely has their own prose. Human hair can be styled and dyed without the concern of melting said hair. Synthetic fibers without heat resistance would melt at the mere touch of a flat or curling iron.

When deciding between human and synthetic hair, consider how often you’re willing to style the wig. Human hair can have a harder time maintaining its style when exposed to the elements. However, they are easier to style. With synthetic wigs, they can be styled, and you wouldn’t have to worry about it coming out regardless of the weather.

Price. This one is important. Everyone wants to know the cost of the things they’re going to be buying. Human hair is more expensive, and the better the quality, the more expensive it will continue to get. Synthetic wigs can vary in their price range. They can be either extremely cheap or rather pricey.

Synthetic Wigs

Should you choose to purchase a synthetic wig, there are several other choices you need to take into consideration. Price is first on the list. You can choose a wig that’s extremely cheap or a bit on the pricier side. My first wig purchase was a disaster. I bought the cheapest thing I could find. I thought all synthetic wigs were the same no matter what. Simply put, I was wrong.

Not only do cheap wigs have the tendency of being a nightmare, but they’re impossible to style with any heat source. I learned that the hard way. That’s not to say you can’t find a good bargain for a wig, but try to stay away from the wigs that come from party stores.

The pricier synthetic wigs have a few perks. Depending on the type of synthetic fiber, you can get a wig with heat resistance. To find out if the wig you want to potentially purchase is heat-resistant, look at its details. If you can’t find any information, then the chances are that the wig is not heat-resistant.

Synthetic Wig Fibers

Shopping for synthetic wigs can be a handful. As we as a society have gone through numerous technical advancements, it should come as no surprise that there are several kinds of synthetic fibers. Synthetic fibers have proven to be quite a benefit in more than one way ranging from hair to costumes.

  • Acrylic Fiber
    • This type of fiber is the overall cheapest of the synthetic wig fibers. It can come in a wide range of colors and styles. However, acrylic wigs cannot be around any source of heat. This includes an excess of steam such as that from a sauna. Acrylic fibers are extremely sensitive to heat and therefore can be easily ruined when around heat sources.
  • Polyester
    • Polyester is a man-made fiber. This kind of wig is basically a plastic wig, and you can buy them extremely cheap. For the purpose of cosplay, buying a pure polyester wig may not be in your best interest. Polyester is not heat-resistant. If you have to style it, it can difficult to do if not done properly. It also has zero similarity to human hair. It feels like plastic and shines bright.
    • However, if you’re doing a simple cosplay, and this is all you can afford, then give it a try. While it’s not composed of more expensive and heat-resistant fibers, you can still make this wig type look good with effort.
  • Kanekalon
    • Kanekalon is considered to be one of the strongest fibers for wigs. It is heat-resistant and can be styled. Getting a wig that is entirely Kanekalon can be expensive though. However, you are paying for the quality of the wig. Kanekalon has a softer feel to it like human hair. It has a small shine like your natural hair would. Kanekalon overall is a good choice if you intend to wear your wig more than once as it has the longest lifespan of the synthetic wigs.

Lace Wigs

Frontal Lace Wig

There are 3 main types of lace wigs: full lace, glueless lace, and frontal lace. The first two types discussed use a skin adhesive to glue the wig or double-sided tape to hold the wig in place. Each of these have their own qualities for buyers to keep in mind.

  • Full Lace Wig
    • This type of wig is extremely versatile and provides the most flexibility for wigs. Full lace wigs are completely hand tied onto the lace of the wig. What this means is that each hair is tied individually. Because of this, it allows for the wearer to style the wig as they wish without worrying about an unnatural part or hairline. Going with this approach, you can see why it makes for a reasonable purchase.
  • Frontal Lace wig
    • As the name suggests, this type of lace wig is only hand tied around the front where the lace lies. The rest of the wig is woven by a machine. This option is what people tend to go with when they’re on a reasonable budget but still want to go out with natural looking hair. The lace front wig has some versatility to it but not as much as the full lace wig since it’s not 100% hand tied. It does provide the wearer with a natural hairline though.
  • Glueless Full Lace Wig
    • This is a full lace wig that does not require you to have to buy wig glue or double-sided tape. It still functions the same as a full lace wig. It just lacks the same steps to putting the wig on.

Overall, lace wigs are great if you want some versatility. However, they can be pricier due to their versatility and the material they’re made of. A synthetic lace wig can be cheaper than a human hair lace wig.

Final Thoughts

There are many choices for wigs. When searching for a wig, it can be overwhelming. However, with a bit of research you can find exactly what wig suits you the most. Choosing what feels right to you is the best. Keep in mind the qualities you want in a wig and how much you can afford. The cosplay is all about you so rock your look to the fullest.

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