Why have wigs, hair systems, and hair pieces changed in design? The answer is evolution. What does that mean? Hair additions (wigs, hair systems, hairpieces and hair extensions) have evolved in how the hair is processed as well as how natural the hair addition is perceived.
Hair processing has changed in the last 40 years. Different hair types are available. Indian, Indonesian, Burmese, European, Chinese, Korean, Russian, and Remy are all descriptions of hair type and processing. Remy simply refers to leaving cuticle on the hair so it is more natural and less processed. The other names or “places” are where the hair originated from. We did not have several choices of where the hair originated and the factory did not disclose this information. Hair was simply hair.
Most hair was original sewn into weft, a line of hair commonly used in less expensive wigs or extensions. Now hair is hand sewn into net, silk, urethane, or another type of base material so it looks more natural and is more versatile in application. Hair systems, hair pieces, mono top wigs and handmade wigs use a more natural base material so the appearance of the hair “addition” looks more realistic. Lace fronts, skin units and other types of handmade materials were not readily available years ago so the systems were heavy and thick in appearance and not as natural looking. In the 1980s the hair market actually had a shortage of human hair, thus giving rise to mass production of synthetic fiber for use in hand made hair goods.
Synthetic fiber was a suitable replacement for human hair until……..clients realized it could not tolerate heat, friction and could not be colored. Furthermore long synthetic fiber when worn over clothing will get frizzy over time. So we went back to human hair and found alternate sources of supply. Today human hair is still used extensively BUT many wigs and hair systems are so lightweight and realistic looking that their life span has become reduced, thus giving the birth to program hair or disposable hair. That is topic for another time!