Today, wigs are most commonly used for medical solutions. As a result, the manufacturing process, the materials used, and the fit have become paramount. It’s not just about what’s on the outside. Style, hair quality, and color aren’t enough. A great medical wig feels and looks great from the inside out.
Back in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the ancient Egyptians wore wigs to shield their bald or shaved heads from the sun. They were also one of the first to try bonding, by using beeswax!
Then, during the Victorian times, the English caught on. Kings, Queens, and all the important people with their: fancy dresses, stiff upper collars, snuff boxes, and knickerbockers wore fancy, white, heavy density, enormous wigs. The fad went over to the House of Lords (U.K. version of the the U.S. Senate). White curly wigs were worn at shoulder length. And, still today, these wigs can be seen on some of the men and women in the House of Lords. Wigs remained as a fashion or status symbol for many more years. But, as fashion moved away from wigs, the positioning of the industry changed to the medical side.
It was no longer just about making a beautiful wig on the outside. Top hair designers were capable of designing amazing styles and color combinations in both synthetic and natural hair wigs. But, the inside of the cap was another story.
Even though doctors have been prescribing wigs, also known as “hair prostheses or cranial prosthesis” for insurance purposes, since the 1950s, the technology for improved cap constructions only took off over the last several years. However, it wasn’t doctors that improved the industry’s wig cap constructions, it was “YOU”, the hair replacement specialist. From listening to your customers’ complaints and praises, you were able to tell “us” the manufacturers and suppliers to make the improvements into realty.
The most common wig cap in the world is termed as machine made. This is also the most affordable type of wig, in both synthetic and natural hair. The entire wig is made with “wefts” or tracks of material with hair sewn in. The wefts are then sewn around a perimeter of material strips to form the shape of the wig. The wig serves its purpose as a head covering and a fashion statement, but for a medical patient or for someone with alopecia, wearing a machine made wig is a chore.
Machine made wigs are often itchy, heavy, and they sometimes have so much hair density that they do not allow air to circulate through to the scalp.
Great medical wigs begin with great knotting. Instead of using machine made wefts the wigs are hand knotted. Each knot is individually sewn into the base with a needle. By hand knotting we dramatically reduce the weight of our wigs. Both natural hair and synthetic hair can be hand knotted. Although, the knotting technique and strength of pull is different, when comparing a handmade synthetic wig and a handmade natural hair wig. The knots on handmade natural wigs must be pulled much tighter than with synthetic hair. (F.Y.I: If you take a factory worker that has only hand knotted natural hair wigs, and you have him or her hand knot a synthetic wig, they will pull too tight when knotting, and hairs will not stand naturally). Consequently, by hand knotting and by also not adding too much hair density, we can make our medical wig: lighter, more breathable, and more natural looking.
If we turn the wig inside out we can focus on what’s going on inside. At Dimples we use hypoallergenic fabric with soft seams and internal stitching where ever possible. People having chemotherapy are usually very sensitive to any material, and their scalp is prone to allergies. The most important area of the handmade wig (or monofilament top wig) is the monofilament top. This is the area from above the forehead to the crown. This is where we part and style our hair the most. As a result, there can be a lot more discomfort from the movement of knots against the wearer’s skin, when styling. On most of our caps we add a double silk mono top, so that the knots and course monofilament material cannot be felt on the wearer’s scalp. Silicone has also become a popular material. For people with alopecia totalis, silicone works great. Silicone grips to skin without the need for glue or tape. When a wig cap fits snug with plenty of silicone around, it will stay on during most activities. Silicone works wonders, but with too much of it, we go back to the problem of limited breathability, as silicone doesn’t breath. Some wig caps have a balanced combination of silicone and polyurethane. The polyurethane areas are used for tape tabs or glue.
Consequently, what makes a great medical wig is the process of hypoallergenic materials, hand knotting for lightness and breathability, silicone and polyurethane for grip, and a natural density of hair.
Dimples focuses on natural hair solutions in three different hair qualities: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. From Remy Hair to Virgin European Hair wigs and top pieces. Located in Los Angeles U.S.A and Manchester England.