Ultimate Guide To Lace Front Wigs
In 2017, everyone who loves extensions and hair has worn or is wearing a lace front wig. These babies have been taking the world by storm, despite having been around for quite some time now. The emergence of these kinds of wigs have come a long way and now, they are more affordable, more versatile, better looking and more accessible to the public than ever. If you want to jump on the lace wig train, but you don’t know where to start, don’t be afraid, we’ve got you covered with this ultimate guide to lace front wigs.
What Are They?
By now, everyone and their mom has heard of lace front wigs. Whether you know what they are is a different story all together. Lace wigs come in many different styles, but we’ll start with the one thing they all have in common, a strip of lace at the hairline of the wig, that mimics a human’s natural scalp. The aim of this lace is to make the wig appear like the hair is growing from the wearer’s scalp.
Now the amount of lace the wig has is what tends to vary. Lace front wigs, as the name suggests, have lace at the front of the wig. This lace could go from ear to ear and a few inches away from the hairline, allowing the wearer to part the wig in many different places. The lace can take up a much smaller portion of the front of the wig, being placed at the side to allow for a side part, or being more centered, for a middle part.
The back of the wig is more like what you can expect from a standard wig: tracks and combs. It has no lace, therefore even though it can be parted all the way to the back, the tracks will be very visible (which is a big no-no).
Despite the variations in the types of lace front wigs, they goal is the same; to look as natural as possible.
A Brief History
Like we said earlier, lace wigs have been around for a long time. People are only just now really starting to wear them. Its little sister, lace front wigs, were invented a few decades after.
Wigs have been worn since the time of the Ancient Egyptians. Other cultures such as the Greeks, Romans and Phoenicians also incorporated these decorative headpieces into their everyday fashion.
The modern wig came about as a means to hide King Louis XII of France’s baldness. By the end of the 17th century, it was seen as a means of high status and wealth in the upper class. In those days, the wigs were made using human hair, horse hair and hair from yaks.
After the Revolutionary War, the use of wigs took a turn. They were no longer used to display wealth, but to hide baldness, to show off intricate hairstyles and for religious purposes.
By the 19th century, ventilating needles (the needles used to knot the hair into the lace) were being manufactured and used, which led to the creation of the lace machine. This allowed for mass production of lace wigs.
Lace front wigs were invented to:
- Reduce the cost of having to make an entire wig made of lace
- Give people a cheaper option that can give them the same look
- Allow the manufacturing of more products at a faster rate
Who Wears Them
Before, lace front wigs were only worn by those who could afford them, such as celebrities, socialites or anyone with enough money purchase and maintain them. People like Beyoncé, Rihanna and Wendy Williams are some of the few celebs who wear them all the time.
Now, just about anyone can wear a lace front wig, not only because of the lowered prices, but also because of the wide range of options that are now available to us all. We now have human hair lace front wigs, human hair blend lace front wigs and synthetic lace front wigs. Each of the aforementioned types have different lengths and textures that multiply our options exponentially, allowing everyone to be able to find something for them.
How to Get One
In 2017, purchasing any kind of hair has been made extremely simple, thanks to the internet. The first step is to do some research to get a better idea of the look you’re going for. People are now able to read reviews from previous buyers and watch videos to see how the wigs look on other people, making it so much easier to make a decision. When you’ve decided, what you want, you can either:
- Buy the wig online
- Go to a beauty supply store so you can try it out yourself
- Have one made by a professional hairdresser
- Take a chance and make one yourself, using a closure and some bundle hair
How to Apply It
Applying lace front wigs can be extremely tricky. Some wigs are snug enough that they don’t need any hair pins, glue or even wig combs. Others can be secured with a few hair pins or even wig combs. Others, need to be adhered with a glue, made specifically for wigs.
- First, try the wig on, as is. You’ll notice whether the hairline is just right for you or if you need to pluck it a little for a more natural look.
- Then you’ll need to cut the lace at the front of the wig. Be careful to cut very close to the hairline, without accidentally cutting through it.
- Try the wig on without the lace to see if it fits just right. If it does, you’re ready for the next step. If you still need to tweak it, do so very carefully.
- Now it’s time to secure the wig. If your wig is snug enough for your liking, you can wear it as is, add in some hairpins or even a wig comb. If you prefer securing it down with a glue, move to the next step.
- Apply a tiny bit of glue to your hairline. Wait a while for the glue to get tacky, then pull the lace front forward, on top of the glue. When you get the right fit, take a blow dryer, and pass it along your hairline, to make sure that the glue dries. You can now style the wig to your liking.
How to Take Care of It
- Human Hair or Virgin Lace Fronts
The care of your lace front depends entirely on the kind of hair your wig has. If your lace front is virgin or human hair, you’ll need to take care of it like you take care of your own hair. The lace on human hair or virgin lace front wigs tend to be very delicate, and can rip or tear easily. Be very careful when handling it, because it can be very difficult to patch up a tear.
- Human Hair Blends
Human hair blends are a mix of human hair and synthetic fibers. Taking care of them are a bit trickier because synthetic hair tangles and mats over time. On the bright side, the lace on these units are a bit more durable and won’t rip as easily as their 100% human hair counterparts.
- Synthetic Lace Front Wigs
Synthetic lace front wigs tend to have the hardest lace of all three. Nine times out of ten, this wig’s lace will not rip, even if you pluck hairs out, for a more natural look. On the downside, this wig won’t last for an extremely long time because synthetic hair is not built to last.
How to Remove It
The removal of lace front wigs can be as simple as just pulling the wig off, pulling the pins out, or the painstaking task of removing glue. It all really depends on the how you choose to attach your wig. Some wigs are snug enough that they don’t need any hair pins, glue or even wig combs.
To remove a lace front wig that has been attached with wig glue, you’ll need to also purchase a product that melts, dissolves or softens the glue for the save removal of the wig, without causing damage to your edges an your hair. Detailed instructions on how to do this are available all over the internet.
Pros and Cons
As with everything, there are pros and cons with lace front wigs. Here they are:
- They look very realistic
- They’re versatile
- They can be worn for long periods
- They’re a lot cheaper than full lace wigs
- They’re easy to apply and remove
- It’s a great protective style
- They’re great value for your money
- They need special care
- They have a relatively short life span
- The adhesive can be a little difficult to work with
- It can be time-consuming to apply
- Can slip if not applied properly
Lace front wigs are a beautiful way to experiment while maintaining a natural look. They’re easy to wear, can last a long time and are one trend that will never go away.
Kennita is a Caribbean girl who hails from the beautiful island of St. Lucia. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves hanging out with her friends, shopping and of course, looking up the latest hair trends.