A full lace wig is a hairpiece designed to cover the entire head and mimic natural growing hair. The hair is looped into a flesh-toned lace material, which, when glued onto the perimeter of the head, will create a natural-looking hairline and hair partings. Lace wigs were once mainly used in film and theater productions, but have recently gained consumer interest, with many wig masters selling custom-made full lace wigs. Wigs can be made with different types of lace, hair, and hair styles.
The thin base material is what allows the lace to blend and disappear into the skin. For the most blendability, the wig can be made with Swiss lace. This material is delicate but will usually blend well against the skin. French lace is thicker and usually used for the first-time wig wearer. Some wig masters integrate Swiss lace around the hairline and French lace in the rest of the unit, creating a compromise between detectability and durability.
Hair type is another feature that can be different between lace wigs. A quality full lace wig will usually be made with human hair, creating a unit that is natural to the eye and sense of touch. Lace wigs can also be made with synthetic hair; it doesn't always look as natural, however, and can have fewer styling options. Synthetic hair does tend to be more economical than human hair systems.
A full lace wig can be made in a "freestyle" form, or with a pre-set style that will hold up against multiple washings. Freestyle designs allow the wig wearer to part and style the hair in whichever form she chooses, while pre-set styles will typically have a parting in the full lace wig that is more permanent. The part will typically be in the middle or side of the hair. This feature is usually up to the wearer's requests and personal preferences.
The lace wig is usually applied with tapes or liquid adhesives, each of which has its own pros and cons. Water-based, liquid adhesives tend to be more gentle on the skin and on the wig, but may lose their holding power if subject to water and excessive sweat. Acrylic glues will offer a more secure hold, but may cause outbreaks on sensitive skin. Some wig wearers forgo glues altogether, opting for double-sided tape to adhere a full lace wig.