Summer is quickly approaching and what that means for many Black women is that they’re looking for their next protective hair style. When it comes to protecting your hair during the warm months there are so many options and it truly depends on your lifestyle, desired maintenance level, personal hair philosophy and budget. Now if you’re a fan of natural styles then you may opt for box braids, faux locs or crochet styles. However, if you like traditional hair extensions then you may consider wearing a sew in or a wig, and more specifically, a frontal sew in or a full lace wig.
Not familiar with these terms? Ok let me break it down for you. The most popular frontal units are lace frontals.
What is a frontal? A frontal goes from ear to ear and covers the front of your entire hair line. A frontal is typically 13” long and 4” wide and can be made of lace or silk. It is typically sewn down behind your ear so that the hairline looks natural.
What is a closure? A closure is different from a frontal because it does not cover your head from temple to temple. Instead, closures are installed in the “horseshoe” area of the head to close of the style, hence the name closure. Closures are typically 4” X 4” but can come in slightly smaller or larger sizes. There are two types of closures: silk base closures and lace closures:
- What is a silk closure? A silk closure is made of silk and mimics a natural scalp, however it is thicker than a lace closure, so it may require more skill and experience to ensure it lays flat. One benefit of silk base closures is that you do not have to bleach the knots. However, many women will use concealer to match the silk scalp color with their own scalp color or they will tint the closure with a dye.
- What is a lace closure? A lace closure is usually made with swiss lace and often times lays flatter than a silk closure. However, if you look closely you can see small squares so some people prefer silk closures instead. Often times you may need to bleach the knots of the closure to ensure that it matches with your scalp and eliminate the grid-like effect, however if you’re not familiar with this process then you may want to consult the help of a professional. The typical size is 4” x 4” as well.
What is a full lace wig? A full lace wig has a base that is completely made of lace. This base for the wig allows for free parting throughout the hair so that you can essentially wear it in any style (half up, half down or ponytail, two braids) and be able to see the scalp, when the hair is parted. A full lace wig will often have combs and an adjustable strap so that you can easily put it on and take it off.
What is a lace front wig? A lace front wig is similar to a full lace wig, except it doesn’t have the same versatility of the full lace wig. The lace front wig has a sheer lace in the front of the unit that are typically cut off just before the wig is installed. The base of the lace front wig is not made of lace, as is the case with a full lace wig, but instead it is made of a thicker material. One of the common applications for this wig type is with glue or tape which can be damaging if not installed properly or with the right frequency. This wig type will not allow you to part it down the center of the unit or pull it all up into a bun, the way you could with a full lace wig. However, it is less expensive than a full lace wig.
So as you can see there is a lot to consider when trying to decide between a frontal, a closure or a wig. I hope this helps as you determine your next type of install.