Today, there are more options than ever in the field of wigs and hair pieces. This means that you can find an individualized solution for virtually every situation. However, so many choices can also make selecting the right wig or hairpiece challenging. Our certified consultants have put together this guide can help you narrow down the choices to find the perfect wig for you.
Custom Made Wigs
A custom-made wig or hair piece is a one-of-a-kind piece, hand-crafted just for you. You have complete control over every detail - hair type, cap type, size, density, texture, and so on. A custom wig usually begins with making a template, or mold, of your head. The template along with other specifications are sent to our factory, who then crafts the wig for you.
A custom wig is an excellent choice for individuals with hard to fit head sizes, or long time wig wearers who know exactly what combination of features they desire. It takes about 4-8 weeks to receive your custom-made wig, and you can expect a custom wig to cost about 2-3 times what a pre-made wig would cost. Since a custom wig can be cost and time prohibitive, they are not usually a viable choice for chemotherapy patients. Pre-Made Wigs
Pre-made, or stock wigs, are available in a wide range of styles, colors, hair types and cap construction. Since they are mass produced, they are less expensive and available immediately. A Special Place offers over 1,000 pre-made wigs in stock, with thousands more available by special order. Special order wigs are usually available within 7 business days or less with no shipping charge, with overnight delivery available if necessary for a nominal fee. We carry all the major brands - Raquel Welch, Gabor, Jon Renau, Aspen, Dream USA, Jessica Simpson, Gemtress, Gisela Mayer, Revlon, Estetica, Rene of Paris, Noriko, Amore, Tony of Beverly, Louis Ferre, Alan Eaton, Tressallure, Henry Margu, New Concepts and New Image. Customized Wigs
A Special Place is proud to offer a 3rd option - the customized wig. About 90% of wigs come in only an average size, but only about 55% of women have an average size head. Also, most wigs are designed to be worn over hair, so they do not fit the same during hair loss. To offer all of our clients a "custom-fit", our certified wig fitters can tailor a wig for a personalized fit. A common complaint regarding "pre-made wigs" is that they have too much hair. We can thin the wigs, for a more natural density, trim bangs and napes, and add texture or layers to pre-made wigs. We can perform most of the customization same-day - not 6-8 weeks like a fully custom wig, and at a much lower cost. This is the ideal solution for most hair loss patients or fashion clients!Customization Quick Guide
|Designed from scratch to your exact specifications
||Altered and styled in-house for a custom size and look
||Available in a wide variety of styles and colors|
|Ready in about 4-8 weeks
||Ready in 1-7 days
||Ready in 1-7 days|
|Ideal for: Long term hair loss clients who want a wig made to their exact specifications, hard-to-fit sizes
||Chemotherapy patients, hair loss clients, or fashion patients who want a custom look and feel without the custom price!
||Hair loss or fashion clients who do not want or need customization|
Part 2 - Human Hair or Synthetic?
One of the most common questions we hear - which is better - human hair or synthetic? The answer - neither is technically "better" - they're just different! However, one may be better for your situation. Here's what you need to know:
Today's high quality synthetic wigs look and feels unbelievably natural. The style is "baked in" - which means that it requires very little styling, even after you wash it. However, you cannot change the style with a curling or flat iron, and it cannot be colored. Due to the lower maintenance and lower cost, synthetic is a popular choice for chemotherapy patients and first time wig wearers.
Human hair has a soft, silky, luxurious texture, and can be washed, dried, cut, permed, colored and styled just like your own hair. It is more durable than synthetic, especially in the longer styles. In general, you can expect a human hair wig to last about twice as long as a synthetic. Human hair requires styling on a regular basis.
Here's a quick guide that can help you decide which will be best for you:
|Human Hair May Be Your Best Choice if:
||Synthetic May Be Your Best Choice if:|
|You want shoulder length or longer hair
||You want short to mid-length hair|
|You need a wig for a year or more
||You need a wig for less than a year|
|You prefer the silkier texture of human hair
||You are looking for a lower cost option|
|You want versatility to change the style
||You prefer minimal styling and care|
|You want a custom color
||You want grey hair|
Once you've decided if you want human hair or synthetic, you will want to choose a wig cap. This will affect the naturalness and comfort of your wig. To learn more about cap construction, click here
If you still aren't sure which is right for you, your wig fitter can help you during your consultation, where you can touch, feel, see and try on both human hair and synthetic wigs. To learn more details about types of hair used in wigs, continue to scroll down the page:
Keep in mind, both human hair and synthetics come in different grades or qualities. A low-grade synthetic will be thick and plastic like (think Barbie doll hair), while a high-grade synthetic will be silky and have a natural appearance.
Similarly, Grade A human hair wigs are made with only the best quality hair, and are more durable and natural than lower grades. Only Grade A hair can be chemically processed.
For most, cost is going to be one of the largest determining factors when choosing between human hair and synthetic wigs. As a rule of thumb, you can expect to pay 2-3 times more for a human hair than a synthetic with similar features. Human hair wigs hold up longer than synthetic wigs, though, so if you are needing a wig for a year or more, a human hair wig may actually be a better value.
Some wigs are made from a blend of human hair and synthetic. This gives the wig a more natural, silky texture, yet provides the easy maintenance of synthetic. Blends cannot be heat styled, and generally cost more than a synthetic and less than human hair. Currently, there are only a limited number of styles made in a blend.
One of the newest developments in wigs is the heat-friendly synthetic fiber. Like a synthetic, the hair holds it's style, requires little maintenance, and costs a lot less than a human hair. Unlike a synthetic, though, you can curl or flat iron the hair to get a new look! This hair requires a different technique than human hair, though, so you will need to possess the time and skill to learn how to style it. However, once you heat style it, the style stays in - even through washing - until heat is applied again. Currently, there are only a few styles available with heat-friendly synthetic.
Remi hair refers to human hair that has been carefully cut so that all the hair strands run the same direction, and the cuticle remains intact. Remi hair is thicker, stronger, and silkier than non-Remi, and is not as prone to tangling.
Most human hair used in wigs comes from India. This hair is thicker and slightly coarser than many Caucasian women's hair. Hair from Europe has a finer texture that is more natural for many Caucasian women. European hair is very expensive, however, gererally costing 2-3 times what Asian hair costs.
Here's what The American Cancer Society
says about human hair and synthetic:
"Many women favor synthetic wigs, since they are easier to maintain, hold their set longer, dry faster after washing, and are far less expensive than "real hair" wigs. Hair varies from tough (low-end) to almost silky (high-end). At the same time, human hair wigs win fans for their natural feel and versatility; in fact, you can reset as often as real hair and touch up using heat appliances (ie. curling irons, blow dryers, etc.) that would melt a synthetic wig. Grade A human hair wigs (not Grade B which are less resilient) can even be re-dyed or permed. However, since the added work required for human hair can be become tiresome and pricey, many women prefer to go "low maintenance" with synthetic. It is a highly personal decision."
Part 3 - Cap Construction
One of the most important decisions you will make regarding your wig is the cap construction. We offer 3 basic types of cap constructions:
Compare the Features for Yourself:
Hair is thicker, and teased at base, for a fuller look and to hide wefting
Transparent, hand-tied top creates the appearnce of hair growing naturally from your scalp.
Entire wig is hand-tied, for the lightest density and most natural appearance.
Open wefting for a lightweight feel and air flow to the scalp to help you stay cool.
Lightweight mesh top has hundreds of tiny air holes and open wefting in back for lighter weight, cooler feel
Breathable mesh for lightest weight, coolest wig. Eliminates scratchiness of wefted wigs.
(Average cost $125)*
(Average cost $250)*
(Average cost $400)*
Good Quality at a Low Price
Incredibly Natural Look
Ultimate in Comfort and Naturalness
*Average price for a synthetic wig
Here's what The American Cancer Society says about cap construction:
"Quality construction is a key factor in choosing any wig. A well-crafted machine made synthetic wig looks like your own hair and offers comfort minded details, like a vented cap, at a reasonable price. Such mass-produced synthetic wigs perform better than some low-quality human hair wigs, so it's important to know what you're getting. High quality, hand-tied wigs look even more natural, since strands of hair are individually tied, allowing the wig to be parted and styled with hair accessories."
Another option that has become very popular this year is the lace-front wig. Featuring a strip of micro-thin, transparent lace with individually hand-tied strands of hair, the lace front wig creates the appearance of a natural hair line. Hair can be brushed back off the face, and no one will ever know it's a wig.
Notice the hair line of the wig above...no tell-tale wig line. Also notice the monofilament top creates a completely natural look at the part. No one will ever guess this is a wig!
Part 4 - Choose Your Style
Now that you've made all your "technical" choices, you can get to the fun part - choosing a style!
About 80% of chemotherapy patients want to match their own existing style closely. They find comfort in looking and feeling like themselves...and may not want to draw attention to themselves with a new hair style at this time. If this describes your feelings, rest assured, we are experts at matching your current style and color. Wear your hair to your consultation as you would normally wear it, or bring pictures of yourself with your desired hair style.
On the other hand, If you have ever wanted to experiment with a different hair style, now is the ideal time to do so. Wigs give you the freedom to wear your hair in styles that may have been hard to achieve or maintain with your own natural hair texture.
If you are considering a change, cut out some pictures from magazines to bring in. We have over 100 wigs on display, so you can also browse them for ideas. Also, keep in mind that while the long styles may seem fun - they are more work and do not last as long as the shorter style wigs.
Many expert stylists recommend choosing hair styles based on your face shape. Our consultants can evaluate your face shape and make recommendations of styles that would compliment it. Part 5 - Color - The Finishing Touch
We recommend saving the color choice for last. Since each manufacturer has it's own color selection, it's easiest to pick your style first, then select from the colors that it's available in.
An exception to this rule - if you are most concerned with matching your color exactly - especially if you have a unique hair color - you may wish to start with looking at which manufacturers make the color you want, then select a style from their line. But, usually, we recommend selecting style and then color.
Synthetics come in dozens of basic colors, as well as highlights, rooted colors, and progressions (darker in the back, lighter in the front). Human hair wigs usually come in fewer color choices, because they can be colored to suit.
Pay attention to the undertones in blonde - they can be ashe (more of a grey tone), reddish, golden (yellowish), or neutral. Brunettes are usually the easiest colors to match. Greys and reds can be more tricky - there are so many different shades in these color families. We always recommend (weather permitting), that you step outside into the sunlight with a mirror to see the color in natural light.
If you cannot find a color that matches yours exactly, we recommend going a shade lighter. Keep in mind that chemotherapy often causes pallor, so going a little lighter with your hair can offset paleness of skin.
Following these 5 simple steps will let you feel confident that you have made the best choice for you!