Appearance vs Durability
Most people want a hair system that will provide the most natural, undetectable appearance possible. If this sounds like you, your choice is simple, full lace hair bases are the way to go.
If you’re looking for a base that will last a really long time and be durable, this is also an easy decision. You should be considering a Daily Ware Hair System .
Or maybe your needs are slightly more complex. Maybe you want a solid combination of both appearance and durability.
Maybe you have specific preferences in the type of hair used in your extended wear hair system, or the method of ventilation or style of hair cut.
Either way we have 20 different bases to a create custom hair system that is right for you. We know you’re unique and choosing may be a little scary. But no worries, our hair replacement techs can help you make the most educated choice for your needs.
Hair Replacement System Tutorials
How are the materials used? Learn about the various configurations and designs of hair system bases and how they are put together to meet different needs.
How are all the hairs attached? Find out the definition of hair replacement system ventilation and how your hair style will affect your decision on which hair replacement system base is most appropriate.
Hair system bases are one of the most crucial parts of your hair replacement system. Unfortunately they can also be the most confusing.
Remy, Super Skin, Bio Skin, Skin Grafts, Virtual Base, Transbase, Omni Lace, New York Lace, Hollywood Lace, Paragon, Concentric, C-thru, CTR, Bio Matrix, High Definition, Derma Tex….HUH?!?
Even though the hair replacement industry uses an abundance of decorative names when marketing them, there are really only two materials used in base construction. Regardless of what it may be called, a hair system base is simply the foundation into which the hair is tied or injected.
Ok. So what are bases made from?
The two materials used in hair system bases are Polymers and Mesh Fabrics. Usually a combination of both is used.
Polymers create an imitation skin-like material and are commonly referred to as SKIN bases because of their close resemblance to real skin tones. Depending on the type of polymers used, SKIN bases can be extremely durable. Because of their durability, Polymers are sometimes added to bases to strengthen stressed areas such as the part, tape tab, and the base perimeter. Other polymer bases are constructed entirely of polymer materials.
Mesh fabrics are used to create a fine lace material and are typically made of either nylon or polyester. There are base systems constructed entirely of mesh fabric, however, more commonly, this LACE is used only in the more exposed areas of the base such as the front hairline.
More information about Polymer Bases
Polymer bases are constructed from two primary materials: Silicone and/or Polyurethane. Sometimes polymer based systems are marketed as being Gas Permeable. Although this is true, THEY ARE NOT BREATHABLE and can be very hot and uncomfortable.
Pros and Cons of Silicone
Silicone by nature is highly inert. Its tendency to repel body acids and other elements make silicone base material very durable. However, due to those inert properties, silicone is not affected by dyes, so achieving a natural skin tone is difficult plus attaching these systems with tape or bonding adhesives is nearly impossible.
Pros and Cons of Polyurethane
Polyurethane, although not as durable as silicone can easily be dyed to resemble natural skin tones. They are also much easier to attach using common hairpiece tape or bonding adhesives. On the downside, polyurethane is vulnerable to body acids and will turn yellow and break down with time.
To overcome these challenges, silicone and Polyurethane are sometimes joined during construction (i.e. Remy, see diagram below).
More information about Mesh Fabric Bases
Mesh fabrics or LACE bases are typically made from either nylon or polyester. Most times these bases provide a more natural look but depending on the weight/thickness of the material may have a shorter life span.
Nylon mesh is created through a weaving process. A monofilament (single strand) thread is woven, much like a tennis racquet, to create the mesh.
Polyester, on the other hand, is a multifilament (many strand) fiber that is knitted, not woven. The knitting process gives it a distinct honeycomb look.
Mesh fabric bases can be very delicate and may easily tear. They are also vulnerable to body acids which can cause early deterioration and damage. It is common to replace or repair mesh fabric base systems on a regular basis.
Despite these drawbacks, mesh fabric remains among the most popular types of hair replacement systems. They consistently provide a natural and undetectable hairline plus they are comfortable and cool to wear.
What does it all mean?
Looking past the creative array of names for hair system bases, you’ve seen that all hair system bases can be reduced down into two types of basic construction materials: Polymer and Fabric.
Polymer or SKIN bases are made from silicone and/or polyurethane. They are known to be durable and long lasting, but warm and sometimes uncomfortable. Mesh fabric bases are made from nylon and polyester. They can be very comfortable and provide a natural look, yet are not as durable as Polymer.
If you’re scratching your head (no pun intended) and wondering: How can only four types of base materials possibly provide custom solutions for so many men and women? Which hair base system is right for me? Please browse through our wide selection of custom hair bases and read about the features and benefits each offer.
Also be sure to check out High Definition Hair™, a leading base technology using mesh fabric materials to create a completely undetectable hairline.
Having a good understanding of how hair bases are designed will help you pick the right base every time.
Why so many configurations?
Knowing your preference is important before you order a custom base system from any company. You may be looking for the most undetectable appearancepossible, or perhaps you prefer strength and durability. This does not mean you can only have one-or-the-other. Many bases are designed to offer a combination of both.
In hair bases, four design categories reign supreme
There are four basic construction methods for hair system bases. Although the industry provides a vast array of designs and materials, almost every type of custom hair system can be placed into one of four main areas of base construction. The trick is to figure out which is the best for you.
Base systems made entirely of mesh fabric or “lace” material are the hottest trend in hair replacement these days. A full lace base can be made from many different types of lace materials to increase the durability. However, the more popular full lace systems use ultra fine material to provide the most natural appearance possible.
These systems are also thought to be the lightest and most breathable systems available. The downside to a full lace base system is that it will probably have a limited life-span and require regular repairs or replacement. See our entire line of full lace base systems.
In an attempt to achieve the natural appearance of a full lace system yet provide a longer life span, the industry has created hair systems using the lace material only in the front and hairline area.
These “lace front” systems are available in a variety of different designs and materials. Most times you see lace front bases using skin material in the back and top.
The drawback to these types of bases are in the way they feel – because of the varying weight between lace in the front and skin in the back, running your fingers through your hair will sometimes reveal a small “bump” at the point where the two materials meet. See our entire line of lace front base systems.
Base systems made entirely of polyurethane or “skin” material are common in the industry because they can be dyed to resemble your natural skin tones. This will frequently provide a natural appearance and like the full lace systems, the weight or thickness of the skin material will vary depending on preference.
The popular Remy hair systems are a part of this category and use a combination of skin materials to provide a natural look from the top of the head. However, these systems tend to be very thick and will not offer the most natural appearance in the front hairline.
Perhaps the biggest drawback to a full skin system is they are not breathable, although they are gas permeable. This often causes the system to be hot and less comfortable to wear than the lace systems. See our entire line of full skin base systems.
Long considered the flagship base systems in the hair replacement industry, these bases are very common among hair wearers.
Most times these hair systems use thicker materials and a common design is to provide a mesh fabric top with a polyurethane perimeter for added stability.
Although still very popular, conventional base systems are steadily becoming extinct in the industry because they cannot offer the same level of appearance as the full lace, full skin or lace front systems. See our entire line of conventional base systems…
We Can Help You Choose!
We encourage every hair wearer to educate themselves and know what is available before picking a base system. However, Hair Now is always here to help!
We have a highly-qualified staff of hair replacement consultants to guide you through the selection and design process of your hair system.
Browse through our wide selection of custom hair bases and read about the features and benefits they each offer.
Hair System Ventilation
Ventilation has a lot to do with both the appearance and durability of your system. And you’ve got choices. Do you know how the hair is attached to your hair system? Do you care? Wait, don’t answer that! We know it sounds boring, but knowing a little bit about ventilation might help you achieve a better looking hair system.
Ok. So how is the hair attached?
The most popular types of ventilation are called knotting, injection and looping. Knotting is most commonly used in lace base systems but can be used with skin bases as well. Injection and looping are often confused with one another. Both types are only available in skin bases, provide a great look from above and appear as if the hair is truly growing from the scalp.
Injection & looping ventilation overview
Injection is most common in Remy Hair systems. It requires a thicker base so the hair can be sealed between a layer of polyurethane and silicone. The cool part is there is no hair return. That means all the follicles go in the same direction so tangling is rarely an issue.
Looping on the other hand means the hair is sewn through the base almost in a V or U pattern. There is a hair return with looping and it isn’t as strong as injection. The skin layer, however, can be much thinner. And we all know, the thinner the skin, the better that front hairline will look!
Take a stand for single strand!
We don’t mean to be whistle blowers, but we would like to toot our own horn. Many factories and hair replacement studios will use a technique called multi-strand construction to save money. This means they tie 4-10 hairs into each knot to cut down on manufacturing time. It also produces a much larger knot size.
We kind of consider that cheating, so we use single-strand construction on our bases which means we only tie 1-2 hairs into each knot. No matter where you purchase your hair system, be aware of this deceptive practice. Make sure that your system is made with single-strand construction.
Note: There are occasions when our customers request a very thick hair density level. And we give it to them with a smile. However, when this happens we must use multi-strand construction just to fit enough hairs onto the base.
Knotting ventilation overview
Knotting is most common in lace base systems but can be used with skin bases as well. The hair is tied around the monofilament material in very tiny knots. These knots are usually available in a few different sizes: double knots, single knots and half knots. The durability vs. appearance values for each is probably obvious. What you really need to consider with knotting is how you like to style your hair.
Double knotting is ideal if you prefer a very thick density, with lots of volume and height. The bigger knot size makes it difficult to lay the hair flat down so your hair style should be fuller.
Single knots are the easiest to lay flat. So if you like the slicked back look or style your hair to lay flat on your head, the single knotting is ideal.
Half knotting (also called split knots) are the smallest and most undetectable knots. They do however, provide some lift. Half knots are even smaller than the single knots and can also be used in a slick back style.
The big news in knots these days is something called bleached knots. These knots are put through a bleaching process after being tied to the base. This takes out most of the dark color and leaves a virtually invisible knot that really appears to be growing right from your scalp!