Medical Grade Wigs

Medical Grade Wigs: What are the Most Popular Types?

What is a medical grade wig?

Medical wigs, also known as cranial prostheses, are specifically designed for those patients who have lost their hair due to any medical issues or treatment, such as Cancer, chemotherapy, alopecia, or any other medical ailment.

For decades, medical wigs have been helping people (mainly women) fight their hair loss caused by certain medical conditions.

People who undergo hair loss due to any medical condition or treatment do not want to be noticed or answer the hair-related questions of the people around them.

For this reason, one should select a medical wig according to suitability and the fact that it provides a very natural look. Today we will dig deeper into the different types of medical wigs.

 

Types of Medical Grade Wigs

There are four main types of medical-grade wigs:

Mesh Units

Lace wigs (Full lace and Lace Front)

Monofilament Medical Wigs (Single Monofilament and Double Monofilament)

Combo Medical Wigs

Monofilament Top Medical Wigs
Monofilament Crown Medical Wigs
French Drawn Unit

Polyurethane Thin Skin Wigs

Poly
Thin Wigs
PU Medical Wigs

Capless Medical Wigs

Wefted or Open Cap

Medical-Grade Mesh Units (Wigs)

These are a general category of medical-grade wigs using full lace and monofilament styles.

Lace Wigs (Full Lace and Lace Front)

This type of medical wig uses a ventilating process in which the hairs (either human hair or synthetic) are tied by hand to a sheer lace base that goes over the scalp. The wearer can choose between lace front and full lace wigs in this type of medical grade wigs.

Installing lace front wigs is common with the help of lace glues and tapes, which fix the lace to the front hairline.

The front lace portion of the lace wig is tightly secured to the area upon drying the glue. It creates a durable bond that maintains the lace wig in place over the head.

Once applied, the lace or lace front wig lasts for weeks on its place at one time, fixing if maintained with shampoo and styling in the meantime.

Lace Front Wigs:

Lace front wigs are trendy because of their extreme natural appearance. In this type of medical grade wig, the lace is only present in the front half of the wig. Due to this reason, the wearer can part the hair they want.

These types have a basic wig cap, typically “1.5 to 3” of sheer lace around the forehead. Lace front wigs can range anywhere from $100- $1,000.

Lace front medical wigs are usually stored on a synthetic head or in a satin sealable bag to control frizz and tangles. It's essential to protect it from direct sunlight as it will prevent the fading of color. The user should store it in areas with little or no dust.

model lace front wig

Full Lace Wigs:

Full lace wigs use Swiss or silk-based lace and 100% hand-tied systems. These wigs are costly and give a more natural look and versatility for styling than Lace Front Wigs.

As the name indicates, they have an entire base of the lace. The wearer can part the hair in any direction he wants, or he can pull it up into high ponytails. These medical wigs are lightweight, breathable, and comfortable to wear.

However, due to their delicate lace material, they require careful handling and maintenance. Some laces may also require customization before wear.

Monofilament Medical Wigs

This type of medical grade wig is similar to the lace wigs; however, monofilament medical wigs have some key differences from lace wigs. Monofilament wigs use 100% hand-tied, single, and double hair ventilation.

The wig cap combines very fine lace-like material, usually polyester or nylon mesh. Each hair on the monofilament wig is hand-tied to the mesh blend base.

For this reason, monofilament wigs have fewer hairs than other types. Just like lace wigs, the monofilament medical wigs are thin and gauze-like. The difference lies in durability as compared to a lace base. These wigs provide a very natural look and blend the hair seamlessly.

This category is, without a doubt, the most versatile option. Its top is breathable; therefore, it is a good fit for sensitive scalps. Due to this advantage, it is the most comfortable wig for chemo patients because the breathable fabric is less irritating on the scalp than cloth cap alternatives.

Single Monofilament Medical Wigs

This type of Medical Wig is made up of hand-tied hair throughout the wig, thus giving a natural look with fibers and hanging and moving like natural hair. The wearer of this type of medical-grade wig can part the hair anywhere on the head.

Single monofilament medical wigs provide a very realistic movement of the hair. These are costly wigs due to their specialty in that they are hand-tied.

Double Monofilament Medical Wigs

Double monofilament medical wigs have an additional layer of silk lace compared to single monofilament medical wigs giving an even more natural look.

This silk lace is extra fine silk immersed with polyurethane, thus looking like real scalp skin. This way, an extra layer is added for safety from the hand-tied knots in these wigs. Therefore, the double monofilament wigs are perfect for sensitive scalps providing additional protection.

They are lightweight and comfortable to wear with more strength and durability. The only disadvantage of double monofilament medical wigs is that the overall density is thinner and has low volume with fewer hair fibers.

cancer patient wearing medical grade wig

Combo Medical Wigs

Some monofilament styles are combined to make Combo medical wigs. In these medical-grade wigs, a machine-made (less-visible) back and sides are designed. To give a more natural appearance to wigs, the most prominent areas of the wigs are hand-tied, like the top, crown, or sections along standard hair part lines.

Due to the use of machines and fewer hand-tied fibers in Combo hair prostheses, the process is less time-consuming. There are various types of combo medical wigs; let’s briefly look at them.

Monofilament Top Medical Wigs

In monofilament top medical wigs, only a section of hand-tied hair fibers stretches on the top of the head. Machine-sewn wefts are sewn to fill the wig's back and sides.

Monofilament top medical wigs have the benefit that it allows the wearer to do some half-updo styles. For this reason, it’s the most versatile type of combo hair prosthesis.


Monofilament Crown Medical Wigs

The construction of these medical wigs includes a section of hand-tied hair fibers over the crown to provide a more natural look. In addition, machine-sewn wefts fill up the rest of the hair prosthesis to have a realistic movement of the hair in the crown section.


French Drawn Units

Two layers of silk lace and a single layer of Swiss lace are used to construct this type of medical-grade wig.

The hair is tied to Swiss lace, and this lace is sewn between the two-layered silk lace. This medical wig also provides a very natural scalp appearance.

Polyurethane Thin Skin Wigs

They are known by other common names, including poly, thin skin, or PU skin wigs. As the name indicates, this type of medical wig has a polyurethane scalp base that looks like a natural scalp with hair growing through it.

Poly hair prosthesis is the best fit for people with full head alopecia (the reason may be any type of alopecia or any medical treatment).

These wigs have disadvantages because their material isn’t as breathable as other wig materials. Furthermore, these wigs may not provide a natural look when fitted over a full head of hair because they may look “float” on the wearer's scalp. The material used in PU skin wigs is not stretchable. Therefore, its fitting is crucial.
Polyurethane thin skin wigs are usually custom-made.

They have the advantage of easy cleaning and reusability. The best thing about them is that hair fibers from the wig appear to grow naturally from the scalp. They are considered the most natural-looking option for those with complete hair loss. Moreover, these are safely attached with or without the use of adhesives.

Capless Medical Wigs

Capless wigs are wefted or open-cap wigs, but it does not mean they have no cap; instead, they do have caps. There are machine-sewn wefts that are attached to a stretchy wig cap.

A technician will sew the weft onto a thin strip of elastic material with vertical lace strips. Therefore, there is a lot of open space in the cap. Unlike hand-tied hair fibers, machine-sewn wefts don’t grow naturally.

So, a technique called ‘Permatease’ provides volume that hides the wig cap at the crown and the part areas. Most capless wigs have fitted elastic adjustment straps that go behind a user's ears so it stays in place.

The open space between the wefts allows airflow under the wig providing better ventilation. These wigs are lighter, so it’s easy to wear them all day. They are affordable and usually cost $150 or less. Carefully handle capless wigs to maintain their shape.

Human Hair Medical Grade Wigs

Top-quality medical grade wigs utilize 100% human hair. The benefits of human hair include it’s realistic appearance, ability to style, color, and natural feel.

Most human hair is sourced from India, Burma, Mongolia, Vietnam, and China.

Human Hair wigs for Alopecia

Synthetic Hair Medical Grade Wigs

The use of synthetic hair is more common with lower cost medical grade wigs. Synthetic fibers are factory made opposed to donated like human hair.

The realistic look of synthetic hair has come a long way over the years, but it still does not look exactly like human hair. This is a great option for smaller budgets or wigs not covered by insurance.

What type of Medical Grade Wig is Best For You?

With so many options, the best medical grade wig that will fit your need might be hard to determine just by reading articles online.

You will first want to come up with a budget or find out if your insurance plan will cover the cranial prosthesis or if you will be out of pocket. The two main factors for the cost will be determined by the type of cap used and if you plan on having synthetic or human hair.

The best next steps would be to consult with a Cranial Prosthesis Specialist near you to review the process. Suffering from hair loss can be a mental drain, but there are people here to help!

Researching How to be a Cranial Prosthesis Specialist?

Wig Medical offers a comprehensive Cranial Prosthesis Course that will get you certified to work with clients looking for medical grade wigs. This course will also help you set yourself up with insurance companies to accept insurance payments for a cranial prosthesis.

You do not need to be a licensed cosmetologist to get started.

Let us know in the comments if you have any questions.
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1 comment

Does this class include wig making? Where are the units coming from?

Renisha Williams

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