When you’re starting out with purchasing hair, it can be SO overwhelming. There is so much information (and MISinformation!) out there about what hair is best and which you should buy. The hair industry can be confusing, so let’s take it step by step and help you figure out what YOU should be looking for in your piece.
Synthetic hair toppers and wigs are, as the name suggests, made from synthetic materials, like plastics. People usually opt for synthetics as they are more ‘budget friendly’. Or, at least that’s what people say…
The issue with synthetic hair pieces is that they often only last 3-6 months before they start shedding hair (thin hair on my topper or wig too?! No way!) or becoming knotty. Some people LOVE the fact that with synthetic hair they come pre-styled, so you don’t need to worry about styling it yourself. However, this also means you usually can’t use any heat to style them (they turn into a melted mess!), so you can’t curl or straighten your piece. You also can’t have a synthetic piece coloured to get those dimensional, realistic colours to match your own bio hair.
Synthetic pieces also have a certain ‘shine’ to them, which doesn’t mimic how your own hair appears, making it a bit more difficult to blend. All in all, synthetic pieces are much less expensive than human hair pieces, but they aren’t versatile and won’t last you as long. For some people, this is perfect! But if you’d like more versatility and a longer lasting piece, you may want to invest in human hair.
Human hair pieces are much more versatile. Anything you can do with your own hair you can achieve with a human hair pieces. This means you can use heat styling, you can curl them, straighten them, mermaid wave, crimp… the sky’s the limit!
You can also have the piece coloured to match your own hair perfectly. Human hair pieces do, of course, come with a higher price tag than synthetic, but they will last you a lot longer. If you’re wearing your piece all day everyday, you can expect up to 2-3 years out of a good piece! The texture of human hair pieces is the same/similar to your own so it is much easier to blend into your own hair. To sum it up, you can do pretty much anything with a human hair, they look more realistic than synthetic and will last you much longer. However, be prepared to spend more on the initial purchase of your human hair piece.
Is all human hair created equal?
Nope. Sorry, but this is a classic case of ‘you get what you pay for’. But even this rule doesn’t always apply to the purchase of human hair pieces. We hate to be dibber-dobber-cindys but……let’s just say, not all hair brands would be able to put their hand over their heart and swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth.
When you are purchasing a topper, especially one that will be your daily crowning glory, you want to ensure that you are opting for the quality that is going to give you longevity as well as the most natural look.
So here are some buzz words so you know what to look out for...
This is the baseline of human hair that you want to be selecting in terms of ensuring you are not getting…wait for it…..maybeeee…..ekkkkkk…..drain hair! Gross. Remy Hair means that all the hair cuticles are running in the same direction and the donor hair is all from ponytails. If the hair is not Remy then the hair has been collected, possibly, from salon floors, hair brushes and unspeakable other locations… this hair is all bundled together, the factories then strip the life out of it and coat it with silicones. This is to disguise the fact that the hair shaft has been removed and a fake gloss is applied. This silicone will wash out within a couple of weeks or months, and then the true colours and textures will be revealed. Not pretty. Non Remy hair will also tangle constantly.
Hair that has never been coloured or processed is called ‘virgin hair’. Have you ever bleached or dyed your hair before and the texture totally changes? Well that’s not how you want your piece to start. If it starts with that drier, almost straw-like texture then how is it going to look after months of wear?
BUT - although you want to make sure that your piece started its journey as virgin hair, it’s totally okay to be processed or coloured afterwards.
Grade of Hair
A lot of voices will say that you need to look for European hair to get the best hair out there. Or maybe Brazilian hair... Or is it Russian hair... it's all very confusing!
So here's the tea... 'Brazillian grade', 'Euro hair' and other words like this are actually just marketing terms that were made up by the hair industry and don't refer to the origin of the hair at all. What this really refers to is the coarseness/texture of the hair. It's a little complicated and different sources say different things, but ultimately, describing a hair texture by region is outdated, inaccurate and confusing. Two different people from Europe can have completely different texture hair, obviously, so why would labelling a wig as 'European' hair say anything about how the hair feels? It doesn't.
Ask about the hair texture and how it has been processed. Not about where it comes from.
Our hair at Lusta is sourced globally, is strong and healthy and the texture is smooth and silky. The hair strands are quite fine but not the finest, wispiest hair grade as we prefer our hair to be able to hold a style and last you a long time.
If you want to find out more about different hair quality and how to find the right piece for you, come book a chat with us!
So now you’ve got the low-down on the different types of hair you are looking for, let’s talk a bit about how they are actually constructed. In most toppers there are three main components, the top, the wefts and the hairlines. There are three main types of ‘tops’; silk tops, lace tops and mono tops.
Lace top pieces have a thin, delicate piece of lace which the hair strands are sewn into. This makes a super realistic looking scalp, as you can see your own scalp through the holes in the lace (or, if you have your own hair, you can cover this with 'scar tape' to make it look realistic. As the lace is very thin, it's also a super breathable and light design.
Bear in mind with a lace top you can see the ‘return hairs’. What are return hairs? When the hair is sewn into the lace, the other end of the knot can be seen on the outside of the piece. Lace tops also tend to not last quite as long as silk or mono tops as the construction is super delicate. Usually, a lace top piece will last around 12 months.
Our lace top wig is called The Luxe Wig.
Mono tops have all the hair sewn into one layer of fabric. As this fabric isn’t as delicate as lace tops, they tend to last longer. However, they generally don't look as realistic as lace and you do still have the return hair ‘problem’. For some people this isn’t a problem at all! If you like having a high volume on the top of your head, mono tops are a good option for you! Mono tops don’t usually sit very flat or flush against your head, they sit higher than your own head. With some mono tops you can change the part-line and others you can’t.
Lusta does not stock any type of mono top piece.
Silk tops are our OG favourite at Lusta. Silk top pieces were are first ever products and we'll love them forever. Silk tops are great because they are much more durable than lace tops. You can expect for them to last 2-3 years of daily wear (with proper care). Silk tops lay super flat against your head, and our Lusta pieces have been designed to be the flattest pieces out there! You know those return hairs we talked about earlier? Well, with a silk piece, the return hairs are all concealed WITHIN the layers of material in the cap, so you don't see them.
Our Toppers, Essentials Wigs, Lace-Front Essentials Wigs and Game Changer Wigs all feature a silk top.
There are other types of ‘tops’ out there, but these are the ones that you’ve probably heard of most.
Now let’s get into the rest of the topper and wig construction.
In a topper or wig, part of the hair is sewn into the cap and the rest is sewn into the wefts. The wefts are there to give you an even coverage of hair. Lusta’s sewing team have formulated the best way to sew these wefts to sit super flat against the head, whilst taking into consideration the shape of your head.
Ah the hair line… the holy grail for all hair loss ladies. I know for me I wanted my hair line to look full, but not unrealistic like I had seen in some other topper options. I’ll let you in on some top secret Lusta goss… our hair line actually took years to perfect. The hair line looking realistic was such an important element of toppers for me. The hair line is the last part of the topper which is sewn in. It’s sewn entirely by hand (so intricate!) and is specially designed to look super realistic and indistinguishable with blended with your own hair. I wanted to ensure the hair line blended in seamlessly with my own and sit completely flat.
There are a lot of discrepancies within the hair industry. When I bought my first piece, this was my biggest issue! How could I feel confident when buying hair online?
Here are a few tips for buying hair online:
Do Your Research
Research the brand you're buying from. Is there a REAL HUMAN behind the brand? Do they respond to comments/messages on social media and to emails? Does the price seem just too good to be true? If so... it probably is. Make sure you feel confident in who you are buying from.
Check the Returns Policy
Make sure the company you buy from actually HAS a returns policy. It takes a lot of the stress out of your purchase if you know that you can return or swap the piece if it doesn't work for you. No returns policy is a BIG red flag.
Have questions? ASK THEM! Have an interaction with the brand so that you 1) feel more confident that it isn't just a robot sitting behind the brand and 2) learn things you're not 100% sure of yet.
Look for Reviews
Look for customer testimonials, Google reviews, photos of customers in their pieces, etc. It feels a whole lot better when you know there are other awesome queens who are wearing the brand's pieces - and loving them.
Book a Consult
If you have the option to, BOOK A CONSULT! Consults are a great way to have all your questions answered, talk to an expert and find the perfect piece for you. You can book a free chat with Lusta by clicking HERE.