Liquid Toupee Bonding Adhesives

Bonding adhesives (also known as liquid adhesives) are a popular way to attach hair replacement systems for both daily and extended wear.

There are two main types of bonding adhesives: solvent-based and water-basedWhat’s the difference?

Liquid toupee adhesives are applied using either a brush, dab-on or squeeze application. The real trick when using these types of hairpiece adhesives on your hair system is to know when they’re dry so you won’t attach the unit too soon.

It’s also important to understand how much to use so you minimize the “seep-through" and clean up doesn’t take forever.


Tips & Tricks for Using Liquid Bonding Adhesives

There are many different ways to use bonding adhesives. Below we’ve assembled a list of helpful tips to help you achieve the strongest and most secure bond possible.

  • Always clean, shave and properly prepare your scalp before attempting to attach using liquid adhesive.
  • When applying the liquid adhesive, only use thin, even coats. If you’re using a brush, paint in both directions – horizontal and vertical.
  • If more adhesive is desired use thin multiple coats, but make sure the previous coat is dry before applying the next coat.
  • For best results, when attaching a polyurethane system, use a corresponding coat or coats on the scalp as well as the system. Again, it is essential that the adhesive is completely dry before applying your hair system.
  • Also, when attaching a polyurethane unit, it’s best to apply red-liner tape to the base first. This will make clean-up a little easier.
  • Never try to apply liquid bond directly to a lace system. Instead, apply it on your scalp and place the hair replacement unit on your head.

The 2 Most Important Things to Know About Liquid Bonding

Whether you’re using solvent or water-based adhesives, one of the most essential things you need to realize is that the adhesive must be dry before you attach the unit. Get all the details about drying through our online drying guide.

We all know the more adhesive you use the longer the bond will last. But a vital tip to remember when applying liquid adhesives to your hair system is to use multiple thin layers rather than just a few thicker layers.

Applying a very thin coat or layer of liquid adhesive first makes it easier and quicker to dry but also prevents the adhesive from seeping through the base into your hair after you attach the unit.

Caking the liquid on in thick layers will exponentially increase the amount of time it takes to dry and will also make cleaning the hair system much more difficult after you remove it.

Solvent-Based vs. Water-Based Liquid Toupee Adhesives

All liquid bonding adhesives are either solvent-based or water-based. Neither types is necessarily better or worse, it’s more a matter of individual preference. So, how do you know which to choose?

Solvent-based bonding adhesives

Solvent based liquid adhesives are currently the more popular of the two and offer more brand-name choices than water based. In general, they also provide more tack than water based hairpiece adhesives and allow for a longer wear time.

So how can you tell if it’s solvent based? Besides checking out the label, the easiest way to identify a solvent liquid toupee adhesive is by its color, which will always be clear.

Water based hairpiece adhesives on the other hand are white, but turn clear when they are completely dry. This makes water based a little easier to work with because you can tell when it’s dry – though it does take longer to dry than solvent-based adhesives.

Water-based bonding adhesives

Despite the fact that water based liquid toupee adhesives are less popular and currently can’t provide as much tack as solvent based, we believe the formulas will get better. And many hair replacement wearers will begin to prefer water based because it is less invasive over the long-term.

The Most Important Thing to Know About Liquid Hair Replacement Bonding

Whether you’re a solvent-based or a water-based hair wearer, one of the most essential things you need to realize is that the adhesive must be dry before you attach the unit. Get all the details about drying through our online drying guide.

A Drying Guide for Liquid Bonding Adhesives

Understanding appropriate drying times is the key to knowing when to attach your hair system for optimal performance.

Proper scalp preparation is the key to getting the most out of your bond. Failing to properly clean and prep your scalp before attaching your hair system will significantly decrease the length of time your system will stay secure.

Drying time factors

The drying time of a liquid adhesive is mostly dependent on 4 factors. Consider each of these factors when determining how long to allow the adhesive to dry.

Air Temperature

Humidity Levels

Thickness of adhesive application

Individual Body Chemistry (do you have oily skin or sweat heavily?)

Tip #1

Water-based hairpiece adhesives are white when you put them on, but turn clear when dry so it’s much easier to tell than if you are using solvent-based. Learn more about the differences between water and solvent based liquid adhesives.

Tip #2

When using any type of liquid bonding (especially solvent-based) we recommend using a hair dryer to expedite the drying time of each coat. However, because extremely hot temperatures can damage the hair in your hair replacement system, remember to use a lower heat setting.


Hard Bond or Soft?

Two very different ways of thinking about extended wear bonding

When it comes to hair system attachment you’ve got 2 categories to choose from, hard bond and soft bond. The most popular among hair wearers is soft bond.

But the difference between the two might not be crystal clear. And there really is a pretty big difference, so let’s discuss.

Soft bond refers to all the various types of hairpiece tape and includes most of the liquid adhesives on the market. Basically, a soft bond is any form of hair system attachment that doesn’t contain the ingredient called cyanoacrylate.

What’s cyanoacrylate you ask?!? Well for starters, it’s a big word and difficult to spell (we’ve got the dictionary sitting right next to our desk for this article). Simply put, cyanoacrylate is the generic name for substances that are typically sold under trademarks like Superglue™ and Krazy Glue™.

Yup, you got it… hard bond is essentially superglue gel. As you can imagine, it will certainly keep your hair system secure for extended wear, but can you live with the risks?

What are the risks from using hard bond?

Most commonly used by the retail salons and Hair Club®, hard bond should only be applied by a trained hair replacement professional. But first consider the drawbacks:

The base ingredient in hard bond is cyanoacrylate (superglue in gel form) and that means it is a carcinogen and could lead to health problems with long-term use

Just like superglue, it must be kept far away from your eyes and mouth at all times to avoid accidental consumption

Even a short delay in attaching your hair system after applying the hard bond could cause serious damage to your unit. We all know that superglue has a nasty habit of drying very quickly so you don’t get too much wiggle room for mistakes or adjustments

Avoiding the risk but still getting a secure extended wear attachment

We believe strongly in the dangers of using hard bond, so much so that we don’t sell it. Because of this, many hair wearers and clients will ask us for a safe alternative. Although it is true that hard bonding provides a super secure attachment, you do have similar options in the soft bond category.

Getting a secure, long-lasting hair system attachment using soft bond all comes down to proper scalp preparation. Easily 9 out of 10 hair wearers that have problems keeping their hair replacement on tight for more than a few weeks made their first mistake by not fully cleaning and preparing their scalp.

Choosing the right soft bond toupee adhesive for extended wear is easy. You’ve got two great options depending on your personal preference for tape or liquid.

Soft bond hairpiece tape for extended wear

Pro-Flex Hairpiece Tape: These mini tape tabs provide such a strong bond that the manufacture actually pokes tiny holes through them to make clean-up easier. Ideal for use with lace hair systems, Pro-Flex will provide 3-5 weeks of secure soft bond attachment.

Soft Bond Liquid Adhesive for Extended Wear

Ultra Hold Liquid Adhesive: This is a super-strength brush on liquid adhesive that can easily provide up to 4 weeks of secure soft bond-based hair system attachment. Made by Walker Adhesives, its solvent based glue and so strong it should only be applied in very thin coats.