Some Thoughts on Wig Cap Construction | Wefted versus Hand Tied.
I’m still a novice wig wearer – I only joined the amazing community of people wearing alternative and helper hair in the summer of 2020, but it’s through engaging with many of them via Instagram, that I’ve built up some confidence to experiment a bit with the styles and design of the pieces I choose – and come to understand more about what has actually gone into the construction of them in the first place.
My first wig was a perfect example of a good, uncomplicated beginner’s piece; ‘Elite’ petite by Ellen Wille.
This has open wefts (these are what the hair fibres are machine stitched onto), and they allow air to circulate – and are considered by some wearers to be more comfortable when the weather is hot. The salon where I bought my first wig recommended that I also wear a liner underneath the wig. I bought mine from their bespoke range, they call them ‘wig lingerie’ and they are made from lightweight cotton muslin, and they are super comfortable, especially for wig wearers who have total hairloss, but can also act as a means of tucking away hair for those who still have some of their bio hair. Because the muslin is breathable they don’t interfere with the airiness of the wefting and their colours are natural skin tones so are not visible under a mono top. Other benefits are that they extend the time a wig can be worn between washes,and can help reduce the itchiness that synthetic hair can sometimes cause to a bare scalp.
I carried on wearing a wig liner even when I bought my first fully hand-tied wig (‘Adore’ by Ellen Wille) mainly because I find there is room under that particular (average size) wig to do this – but all this changed when I bought a hand-tied wig in a petite size. My head measurements sit just at the point where petite sizes become average – and so this means I can wear many average styles quite comfortably. But I hadn’t fully appreciated the difference wearing a hand-tied cap can maketo the feeling of a wig on my head until I invested in my first petite size, hand-tied wig –
Elisha’ by Jon Renau. Jon Renau’s petite hand-tied wigs fit me like a glove – there’s no space for a liner. And because I have total hairloss the difference in the feel of the hair on my head is amazing – it must be about the degree of contact the wig has with my scalp – it feels more natural,
and outdoors when the breeze lifts the fibres it’s almost like having bio hair again. The cap itself becomes almost invisible once on your head and personally I find them far more lightweight than a wefted wig, there’s no bulk to them at all. So all in all, I really really like wearing hand-tied caps. They are a slightly more expensive purchase because of the nature of their construction, but I believe they are worth it. I recently read a post by Jo (@baldmothertucker) in which she recommended that you buy the best cap construction you can afford and I’d agree.
By all means, choose a wefted piece for your first experiment with wearing hair, it’s a great way to learn what you like and I’m sure there will be other alternative hair wearers out there who much prefer them, but when you are ready to explore a bit further, do try hand-tied.
Hand-tied styles I’ve tried so far: ‘Elisha’ by Jon Renau, ‘Cameron’ by Jon Renau (both available in average and petite sizes), and ‘Adore’ by Ellen Wille (only available in average).
Wigs Shown in order of photographs: