First thing's first: when it comes to picking out the right wig for you, the choice will always be yours — we're just here to help you weigh out the pros and cons of all the options.
That said, deciding between a lace front or a U-part wig can be a bit tricky. On one hand, a lace front is a great option for anyone looking for full coverage of their natural hair, but depending on how it's applied, it could cause traction alopecia along your edges.
As for a U-part wig, it can give you a more natural-looking finish, however, using hot tools to style your leave-out can lead to heat damage and breakage.
That's why we're getting into to the nitty-gritty of both options, so you make the best choice the next time you're in the market for a new wig.
Lace Front Wigs
As mentioned before, lace front wigs can be helpful for anyone looking to use the hair as a protective style, since you're able to cornrow your natural hair underneath and use the piece for full coverage. Another plus that they give you the ability to completely switch up your hairstyle, since they sit right near the hairline. Depending on the quality of the wig, they can be parted in different areas and it's often difficult to tell that you're wearing a wig at all.
If you have a human hair lace front, they're relatively easy to maintain. Kaleidoscope hair products CEO and founder Jesseca Dupart recommends keeping the wig on a wig stand for storage, and generally treating it like how you would your own hair.
"Brush through your human hair regularly to avoid excessive shedding from the pesky knots that can occur," she says. "Knotting up is known to arise near the bottom of your scalp and close to your neck. I recommend using the Kaleidoscope Hair Products Milkshake Detangling Spray. The Milkshake spray is infused with organic coconut milk to gently soften, making hair easy to manage."
When it comes to washing, give it a good cleanse and condition every eight to 10 wears.
However, if you're working with synthetic hair, use three parts water and one part apple cider vinegar to create a cleansing rinse, and avoid brushing too often.
While the wig itself offers a lot of pros, depending on how it's applied, it can cause damage to your hairline.
"Wigs that are super tight can cause traction alopecia," Dupart told InStyle in a previous interview. "Also any wigs that require gluing or bonding, which is not healthy for the hair, especially if there is an unskilled person applying. Synthetic bands in wigs can also cause problems, especially for those with sensitive skin."
You also have to be mindful when it comes to tweezing the hairline and scratching your scalp while it's on. "Your hair naturally sheds and if you excessively tweeze, you’ll have to replace it the frontal portion or potentially the whole wig once it becomes too thin," she says. "And if you feel the need to scratch your scalp, avoid using sharp objects, as they can easily puncture the lace front."
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Since a portion of your natural hair will be left out, U-part wigs offer more versatility when it comes to sectioning out your hair, and often give a more natural-looking finish. You also have the freedom to style your edges however you'd like.
They're a great choice for anyone who wants to add some length as well, but either wishes to give their hair a break from weaves, or wants the option to easily take their hair off at the end of the day.
The same rules apply for U-part wigs when it comes to maintenance, haircare, and storage as they do with lace fronts.
When clipping in the wig, you have to be mindful of any tension it can cause on the scalp, as this can also lead to traction alopecia. Also, when you're in the process of picking out your wig, you will need to pay attention to the size.
"If the wig is too small or large it can then lead to pulling which can cause rips and tears [in the lace], because it’s fragile from the wear and tear," says Dupart.
Another con is that while it can give you a more natural finish, since your own hair is left out, if you're constantly using hot tools to help blend your hair with the wig, it can lead to severe heat damage, breakage, and split ends. So, learning how to manipulate the hair without using excessive amounts of heat is key.
This is All Natural. From the kinkiest coils to loose waves, we're celebrating natural hair in its many forms by sharing expert tips for styling, maintenance, and haircare.