There are few lace types for lace wigs, with the most common (at the time of writing) being French lace and Swiss lace and there are some subtle differences between the two.
French lace slightly thicker than Swiss lace and this is in part due to the holes being smaller – it sounds odd but if you think about it like a honeycomb it begins to make sense, smaller holes mean more holes which mean a slightly denser material.
This small difference in thickness is means that for some, instead of French lace, they prefer to use Swiss lace for their lace cap wigs, but it’s important to note that although Swiss lace is the thinner of the two lace types, it is not invisible and you can find out more about French lace properties here.
Swiss lace slightly thinner than French lace and this is in part due to the holes being larger – although that sounds odd, if you think about a honeycomb the picture unfolds.
Larger holes mean a less dense structure and for some, this this small difference is not enough for them to want to use Swiss lace and they prefer the increased durability of French lace cap wigs.
It’s important to remember that neither types of lace are invisible – Swiss lace is simply slightly less visible. Swiss lace is more fragile than French lace but strong enough for daily use if handled carefully and you can learn about Swiss lace in-depth here.
As Swiss lace is the more fragile of the two lace types, it's not usually the lace to choose if you're new to lace cap wigs - the better option would be French lace.
However if you really would prefer Swiss lace over French then using a lace cap construction of Swiss lace with ear to ear stretch is a great place to start.
Ear to ear stretch means that the cap has stretch lace material between the ears which you can use as an anchor point to roll the wig over the rest of the head (a bit like rolling a new pair of socks over your toes and feet - on first look the socks seem but they stretch around your feet and fit comfortably).
This means you have all the benefit of Swiss lace but with the ability to firmly handle the wig at the stretch panel in the middle without worrying about the tensile strength of the rest of the Swiss lace.
A brief word on cap constructions
Whilst we're talking lace wig cap constructions it's worth mentioning that if you're not ready to wear full lace cap wigs, you can always start out with lace front wigs (where the lace is primarily at the front part of the wig).
Both types of lace are available in what is described as a transparent version (but technically speaking is not actually transparent) as well as a light beige colour (similar to peach), light brown, medium brown and dark brown.
If the lace on your wig does not match your scalp, then you have a few choices:
- use regular foundation on the parting or hairline
- dye the lace (you can even use tea to darken the lacer)
- use a fabric marker
The knots can be bleached on both types of lace - the fact that Swiss is very slightly thinner doesn't prevent knots being bleached.
Whilst we're on the subject, it's worth mentioning that bleached knots increase the rate of shedding (you can use all the knot sealer you like) as bleach causes the hair to deteriorate which means it sheds more quickly.
The image shows how the knots are bleached to make them appear lighter; the place where the hair is tied is the knot and the aim is to dye that part only and not the rest of the hair strand. This is supposed to make the knots less visible.
That the forward march on French and Swiss lace wigs finished, but there are more answers to more questions in the Lace Wig (and traditional wig) Q&A section as well as the navigation menu or if you'd like to keep up with new info, then why not join our blog - it's easy to do and doesn't require any personal info - hurrah!