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Glossary of Wigs and Hair Terminology
What it all means

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Glossary of Wig Terms

Wig Attachment Products

Best Wig Choices

Wig Cap Types

Caring for a Wig
Restyling a Wig

Coloring Wigs

Face Shapes and Wigs

Wig Retailer Guarantees

Hair Fibers of Wigs

Measuring for a Wig

Medical Questions
Cranial Prosthesis

Selling your hair
for Wigs

Colors

Finding a Retailer

Finding a Wholesaler

Professionals Page

 

Don't know what a particular wig or hair term means?  Select the first letter of the word from the list above to jump to appropriate section of the glossary. If the term you are looking for starts with a digit or symbol, choose the '#' link.

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3\4 Wigs  A 3/4 wig--sometimes known as a French Comb hairpiece--has a cap which fits over the back of the head. They are available in both human hair and synthetic fiber, in many different lengths and styles. With a 3/4 wig, the front hair is worn out over the wig to create a very comfortable and natural-looking alternative to a full cap wig. 
A partial hair piece - not a full wig. 
see Partials

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Add-ons   A partial hair piece - not a full wig. see Partials

Advanced Elura Synthetic          See Elura

Alopecia Alopecia Areata. is a common cause of hair loss. It often starts with one or more small round bald patches on the scalp and can progress to total body hair loss. For more information see Alopecia message board

 

Attachment Systems and Products for Wigs - Tape, adhesives, or other ways to attach hair temporarily or semi-permanently. more information

Average Wig Cap size

Wigs which are designed for a the average person with a head size of  21 to 23 inches. Most wigs on the market have this cap size and it works for most everyone. However your head size may be smaller, petite, ultra petite, children's or larger.

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Bargain Department Store Brands Wigs

Wigs with a short life and a "wiggy" appearance.

Banana Clip

A banana clip is a long, 2-part, plastic hair clip with teeth on the inner side of each part that grasp the hair and snap closed at the top. Many wig companies take these clips and attach hair to them in various lengths and styles. When a person's own hair is pinned or pulled back in a short ponytail and the banana clip hairpiece is snapped closed over it, it creates the illusion of a ponytail or bustle effect down the back of the head.

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Cap or Wig Cap

The underside cap portion of a wig upon which the wig hair fiber is sewn.

To see various wigs caps ranging from machine made, to skin top, monofilament, hand-tied and integration  pieces and partials, more information and pictures.

Capless Wigs See Wefts and wefted construction

Cranial Prosthesis

A "Cranial Hair Prosthesis" is medical insurance jargon (used on insurance forms) for a hair system for those suffering from hair loss due to medical conditions. It is essentially a high quality wig. Prostheses contain a combination of fabrics and compounds that are used to recreate natural hair growth patterns and the look of the scalp. All materials in the prosthesis are designed to provide  maximum comfort.  more information and pictures.

For information on how to get insurance coverage for a Cranial Prosthesis Go to the Medical FAQs Page.

Custom Finishing-- see Professional finishing

Custom Wig

A custom wig is a wig is one where a manufacturer can use any combination of hair fiber, cap, styles, color to get you exactly what you want in a wig that is totally you.  

Also see Full custom or Prosthesis

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Demi Wiglets A partial hair piece - not a full wig. see Partials

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Elura

Synthetic wigs are more natural looking than ever before. Synthetics can be shampooed and dried naturally with minimal care. Less costly than human hair wigs.

European hair 

Very fine quality human hair which has been processed, ( processing removes the cuticle ). Therefore, it is strong and natural in appearance.  Human hair wigs are very natural looking and the most comfortable. This is a good but expensive choice if you want a high quality human hair wig.   more information

Also see Virgin European hair and Remi hair

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Fall(s)  A partial hair piece - not a full wig. see Partials

Fillers  A partial hair piece - not a full wig. see Partials

Finished Wig see Professionally finishing

Fitting for a wig   See Measuring

French Top See Micro Skin Top

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Hair Fibers

Synthetic, human hair, or some combination of hair and synthetic fibers that are sewn or hand-knotted into a wig cap. more information

Hair Integration

The perfect solution for FINE AND THINNING HAIR. Hair integration is a system of nylon or polyester lines--kind of like a hairnet with hair attached--which allows you to pull your own hair out between the lines to create or add volume and/or length. Many of them are attached with small clip-combs which snap closed on your existing hair for security. They come in different sizes and different base constructions to accommodate various patterns of hairloss. A hair integration blends an individual's hair with an  integration hair system to create fullness, volume and length. There are methods of attachment which would allow one to swim, play sports, and in general lead a very active life while wearing the integration system. More information and pictures.

Hairpieces  A partial hair piece - not a full wig. see Partials

Hand-Tied or Handmade top  --Hair is knotted by hand into a double thickness of nylon or polyester mesh. More information and pictures.

Human Hair

Human Hair wigs are normally fashioned from the finest human hair available and are most like your own hair in responding to complete styling changes, accepting perms, or even changing the color. Human hair comes in many qualities so be sure you understand what you are getting before you buy. For more specific information and details on wig hair fibers and fibers used in the wigs  go to Hair Fibers in the left frame   Also see Virgin European hair , European human hair and  Remi hair

Human Hair Blends

Human hair and synthetics blends offer the easy care of synthetics with exceptional flexibility and styling versatility.

Human Hair For Wigs - Human hair that comes from various regions of the world where human hair is grown and harvested specifically for wigs. There are many qualities of human hair used in wig making. See the above for more details. Want to sell your hair for a wigs? Information on selling your hair for a wigs.

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Insurance Coverage

Available to those suffering from medical hair loss.  More Details

Integration see Hair Integration Picture

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KANEKALON is a trademark for a Japanese-made synthetic fiber which is used extensively in making wigs and hairpieces. It is very popular due both to its ability to hold its shape after washing, and also the fine texture of the fiber, making it a good choice for simulating the texture of human hair.

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Long Wigs

Wigs that go below the shoulder.

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Machine Made Caps:

Most wigs today are made are wefted wigs made by machine and are sometimes referred to as capless wigs. Many inexpensive wigs come with inexpensive machine made caps.  More Details

Measuring (for a wig)

Using a cloth tape to measure certain parts of the head to assure proper fit of a wig. This is probably the first thing you should do before you order any wig from anyone. Next, you need to find out what size the company's wigs come in. For extensive information on measuring for your wig go to the Measuring page.

 

Medium Wigs

Wigs whose length is below the ear and above the shoulder.

Micro-Skin top  -- Hair is hand-tied into nylon mesh, ( Micro-filament ) and then a coating of very thin latex is applied, creating the effect of a scalp with hair growing out of it. More Details Picture

Monofilament top  --Fine flesh-colored nylon mesh with hairs individually hand-tied into it. May be parted anywhere on the
top. Very suitable for persons with extensive hair loss, as color of scalp may show through.  More Details Picture


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Natural Skin Top See Micro Skin top

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Partials

Partials are for those who have extreme hair loss in a specific area   such as from cranial surgery, burns,  thinning, or any other reason.
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Petite Wigs

Wigs which are designed for a person with a head size of  20 to 21 inches. It does not mean a short wig ( on this site. ) Go to measure for more information or go to "Petite' on our Directory if you know that is your cap size.   See also Ultra Petite

Pre-Styled Wig

A term used to describe a wig which has the basic cut and curl pattern already in it, and requires minimum work on it to make it resemble the style shown in the catalog. Inexpensive and high quality synthetic wigs come in this cut/styled fashion and are easy to handle. You do some of the final detail work as you would with your own hair to finish styling it like after you washed and dried it. They require some combing, picking, or scrunching. to suit your needs, but generally, depending on the style, require minimum effort from the wearer.

Prosthesis

May be a  full Custom is made from specific measurements taken by a hair professional. More Details Picture

Professional Finishing:

A professional stylist taking a Pre-Styled wig and picking it out, teasing it, or maybe adding mousse to it. All pre-styled wigs can be professionally finished for you by  Internet wig retailers which have a salon and do styling (Many do not however). In most cases this is not necessary. You can also have a pre-styled wig professionally re-styled.

Professional Re-styling.   Taking a pre-styled wig and changing  its appearance by thinning it, changing bangs, the way it falls, length and so forth.

Professional Styling   Taking an unstyled wig (typically a wig that has hair of one length) and cutting it styling it, shaping it to look like a picture.

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Remi Hair

Remi hair is very high quality human hair that has been minimally processed so that some of the cuticle is still intact. It is beautifully soft and silky,  but it has body--and is tangle-free. This type of human hair is very expensive because it's some of the highest quality hair in the world. It's in high demand for wigs so it's not as easy to obtain as lesser quality hair. more information

Also see Virgin European hair and Human Hair

RESTYLING or re-conditioning    

To clean and recondition, de-frizz, and bring a wig back to life using a professional cleaning method and/or our Thermal Vapor process.

Reversible Falls

A fall that can be reversed and look different on side than on the other side. A partial hair piece - not a full wig. see Partials

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Shake and wear

These wigs are so easy to handle you simple shake them out and wear them.

Short wigs

Wigs whose length is above the ear.

Skin top See Micro Skin top

Styled Wig

A wig that has had extended work done on it by a professional stylist that may include hair thinning, cutting, feathering, cap adjustment, tinting, perming, and much more. Most wigs don't need this type of work done on them and often you are paying someone to do something you can easily do your self. There exceptions however. Some wigs, especially human hair wigs, may need some additional work done on them. 

          

Synthetic wigs see Elura

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Ultra Petite Wigs

Wigs which are designed for a person with a head size of   19 to 20 inches. It does not mean a short wig ( on this site. ) Go to measure for more information or go to petite  pages if you know that is your cap size.
See also
Petite

Unstyled Wig

Wigs that are either raw, that is, in an unfinished state that requires a professional to complete the cutting and styling to make it look as one wants. Unless you are getting a custom wig chances are you will not be getting an unstyled wig.

 

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Venting (ventilation) 

1. This term is sometimes used with regard to a wefted wig construction and some people say that the spaces between the wefts are for ventilation to keep your head cooler and make the wig more comfortable.  In fact most often the hair covers these open areas,  thus cutting out most of the ventilation. however, these so called venting areas do make the wig  fit better on your head since they give the wig stretch-ability. This is very good if  you are purchasing this type of non-custom wig. One exception to this would be Hair Integration Units,  which are spaced much wider and have less hair. In this case ventilation is provided within the construction.  2.
A term used in the wig industry to describe the process of knotting individual hairs by hand to the base of a partial or full-coverage unit. The base may be made of fine monofilament or polyester mesh, thin polyurethane or silicone "skin", or a combination of both. This is a very time-intensive process and requires a steady hand, a sharp eye, and a lot of patience to master the precision of this skill.

Virgin European hair 

Very fine quality human hair which has not been processed, ( processing removes the cuticle ) only sanitized and blended. Therefore, it is strong and natural in appearance.  Virgin human hair wigs are the most natural looking and the most comfortable but just like human they tend to tangle. This is a good but expensive choice if you want a very finest human hair wig. more information

Also see European hair and Remi hair

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Weft

A weft is a long string of hairs doubled over and sewn in closely together in long strands More Details Picture

Wefted Construction

Wefted construction, means that the cap has "wefts" of  hair sewn onto the woven material of the cap. more information   Picture

Wig Cap or Cap

The underside cap portion of a wig upon which the wig hair fiber is sewn.  Picture

Wig Hair Fibers

Synthetic, human hair, or some combination of hair and synthetic fibers that are sewn to a wig cap. more information

Wig Styling Videos. A Video that shows you how to handle a wig whether you are a wig wearer of stylist. There are a few available on the market. The Hair Again Video is available on this site  

Wiglets   A partial hair piece - not a full wig. see Partials

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