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Lace fronts have been on my mind, and you may be wondering if you need one.
For example, have you ever been concerned with wind as it relates to your wig or topper?
You know, one big gust will blow the hair up off your face and it’ll be completely obvious that you are wearing a hair piece?
Even if this does happen, let me assure you that nobody is looking at your hairline…but if you need peace of mind, a lace front wig or topper can definitely help.
Maybe the wind isn’t an issue. If you don’t have a ton of hair up front or you prefer not to use any of your own hair with your wigs and toppers, then a lace front might be for you.
Curious about them? Let’s dig in.
What is a lace front wig or topper?
The lace sits right on the forehead and is designed to blend as much as possible into your own skin. The hair starts just beyond that, and looks like it’s coming straight out of your scalp.
It’s a fabulous feature that allows hair wearers to successfully wear their hair off their faces.
No harsh rim lines!
A lace front can be constructed from different types of lace, such as french, swiss, etc. The kind that I’m most familiar with is what’s found on many of my own pieces, and that’s a welded lace. This lace is created by layering two piece of monofilament (scalp) material over each other, to form a criss-cross or hashtag pattern.
Compared to some of its sister laces, welded lace is fused together to be durable. It’s much less likely to tear than other types of lace fronts.
Why choose a lace front?
Lace fronts allow you to wear your hair off your forehead – you can pin it back or leave it hanging down, and it will look realistic at the hairline.
I was trying to see if I had a non-lace front wig to show you the rim without the lace, but I realized that ALL of my wigs have a lace front!
Here is the hairline with a lace front wig:
(For reference, that is Jon Renau’s Kendall, and you can read more about her in my post about gray wigs and toppers.)
Pure perfection (or damn close to it), right?
Like I mentioned above, the lace removes the strong rim visual that exists on non-lace front caps and toppers.
The lace will sit flush against your forehead and the hair will gradually begin and look as natural as possible.
Many wig and topper wearers feel without a lace front that they need to cut in bangs to disguise the rim.
I’m in this camp as well. I always opt for lace-front wigs because I think there needs to be some hair hiding the rim if there isn’t a lace front.
And guess who looks terrible in bangs?? (Hint: her first name begins with an “L” and ends in an “AUREN”.)
When it comes to toppers, I tend to stick with non-lace front. There aren’t many lace front toppers, actually! If you want to take a look at one you can check out Top Smart.
Because of the way I wear the front of my hair, I found I don’t need one. You can see here that my own hair is not “off” my forehead. I do pull a bit of my own hair out to help blend the front of my toppers.
If you don’t have any usable hair to use for blending and integrating, a LF is a great option. You don’t need ANY hair at all to wear one.
Caring for a lace front
A lace front is probably the single-most delicate part of any wig or topper. So, you HAVE to exercise caution when placing your piece – never use the lace to adjust the placement.
I used to work at a big retail chain at the mall when I was in high school, and later, college. People would try to return jeans all the time because the belt loops tore.
People. Belt loops will NEVER tear under normal circumstances.
However, if you are using them as handles to pull your pants up, then, yep! I cringe every time I see someone adjusting their pants by the belt loops, shimmying and shaking them up their hips.
It’s the same with your LF. It’ll perform beautifully if you let it do the one job it was born to do: create a realistic hairline.
Don’t tug on the lace, period. No shimmying and shaking.
If you need to adjust your wig, it’s simple to do.
Just slide your thumbs under the ear tabs and move it around to your heart’s content. Simple.
One more thing. To protect the lace front further, use a wide-tooth comb or paddle brush on your hair — those are more gentle than other alternatives.
Cutting for customization
Most of the major synthetic manufacturers come with lace that’s ready-to-wear.
Jon Renau, for example, has a ½” or so lace that shouldn’t need any trimming at all for the average wig-wearer. But, everyone is different and has different preferences, so there are times where you might want to do a little snip-snip.
Resist the urge to break out your kitchen shears, or your craft or cuticle scissors (I’ve soooo used the curved cuticle scissors on my lace before).
Just check out this (fraying) hack job from those cuticle scissors! Whoops:
The lace is welded in a way that these common household scissors will cause fraying. But, if you use a pair of pinking shears, you’ll minimize all of that. These special scissors actually seal the lace in place as you cut due to the zig-zagging design, so you aren’t left with a rolling or a fraying lace front. See the zig-zag edge?
Another bonus of the zig-zag cut is that it diffuses the lace, meaning, the lace won’t catch the light in a straight line. It’ll be more of an integrated look (this is sometimes visible with harsh overhead lights. In fact, the only time I’ve ever noticed this was in an airport bathroom).
Securing your lace front
With a lace front wig or topper, you may find that you need a little help getting it to stay in place. This is definitely the case for toppers.
Because toppers don’t have the tension all the way around the head that wigs do, the LF can tend to float a bit off of the forehead (and that’s not to say you don’t need a little help with wigs, it’s just 99% likely you will with a topper!).
Don’t let tape scare you. A tiny bit of tape under the LF will help keep the lace sitting right on your forehead, and will keep your wig or toppers feeling very secure.
I’ll have to do a “tape post” soon, because I’ve actually transitioned to using tape under my hair topper. You might recall that for several years I used this temporary glue to help keep my topper in place without using a front clip (if you read that post, make sure to click through to another post I’ve linked there, about my glue hack!)
Blue tape is what is recommended for lace fronts. You’ll also need an alcohol-based remover like Lace Let Go. One bottle of this has lasted me a year.
Blending to make it look (even more) natural
The lace is transparent in that it should match 95% of skin tones (after all, your own skin will be peeking through it), but there may be times when you need to diffuse the look a bit.
A bit of face powder can work wonders: simply buff some powder into the lace.
It’ll help remove any shine that might be there (from either the lace or the tape underneath) and will help the lace to blend with your skin. It’s important not to use TOO much though, as you don’t want a ton of powder to settle into the lace.
You can also shade in at the hairline – I need to do this, sometimes, when I wear darker pieces as the hair can look a bit pin-dotty.
I use Joan Rivers Great Hair Day Powder in the color Blonde to do this, and have for years. I also like Rootz, from BoostnBlend. Take a peek at how I blend my hairline with a topper to learn how I do it.
Common concerns and solutions
This handle table details some of the most common issues that occur with lace fronts, and what causes them. Usually, it’s a simple solve to make lace-front wearing a fantastic experience.
What are your thoughts on lace fronts? Do you prefer them?