The Ultimate A to Z Wig Glossary Guide from Gem Wigs

The Ultimate A to Z Wig Glossary Guide from Gem Wigs


When reading about wigs, you might come across some terminology that you are not familiar with especially for first-time wig shoppers. Here is our ultimate A to Z wig glossary to help you make informed decision.

360 lace
: 360 lace wigs have lace around the entire wig allowing for multiple styling options like up-dos and ponytails in the wig without sacrificing the natural hairline at the nape. Our 360 wigs at Gem Wigs are lace minus around the ears.


1/2 wig: a partial wig or hair topper that covers ½ of the head.


¾ wig: a partial wig or hair topper that covers ¾ of the top of the head only.


100% hand-tied cap: a technique in creating a wig where each individual hair or fibre is tied into a sheer material by hand to achieve the most natural look and movement of the hair.


Adhesive: a substance used for attaching hair toppers, hairpieces and wigs to allow for extra security. Wig tape and wig glue can be used to adhere lace front wigs or hair toppers to the forehead for a smoother look. 


Adjustable straps: elastic straps at the nape area of a wig are used for adjusting the circumference to ensure a secure wig fit. 


Alopecia: an auto-immune condition that causes hair loss of the skull, facial hair, and or entire body.   


Alterations: making structural adjustments to a wig or topper to properly fit the head.


Alternative hair: a term used to describe a hairpiece, hair extensions, hair toppers, or a wig. Hair in the synthetic form of human hair is worn to augment a person’s natural hair or remedy hair loss.


Bob Wigs: a cropped hairstyle. We are proud to stock a wide range of bob length wigs in a variety of colours and hair types.


Bonding: a term used in the industry to refer to the attachment of a hair system, extension, or wig, using adhesive, heat tools, and/or tape. 


Cap: the foundation of the wig. There are many types of caps and it is a very important choice when choosing the correct piece. From machine-made weft pieces, to fully hand-tied pieces, it is the basis of good wig construction.


Circumference: a measurement of the outer perimeter of the head/hairline. This measurement is needed in order to best determine the size of the needed wig. Every wig at Gem Wigs allows our wig caps to be adjusted to tighten or loosen as required.


Closed/traditional cap: the original construction of machine-made wigs that have an interior lace material sewn to the crown of the wig.


Coarse: a specific type of hair texture that has a large diameter; all three layers of hair (medulla, cortex, and cuticle) are present.


Colour treated hair: hair that has had any type of chemical applied that alters or covers the natural pigment.


Condition: the state of the hair’s texture, which can also describe the health of the hair.


Cuticle: the outermost layers of the hair shaft. Made up of hard, shingle-like dead cells, which can be five to twelve deep, this layer provides protection to the inner layers of the hair.


Drawstrings: a ponytail-like hairpiece with two combs that attach to a bun in the back of the head and are secured by pulling on an elastic string.


Emulsify: to mix, blend together.


Flat-ironing: the use of a heated tool to smooth, flatten and style. 


Follicle: a small cavity in the epidermis and corium of the skin, from which a hair develops.


Fringe(Alternatively known as Bangs): hair that hangs in the front of the face to frame the face. Can be swept off to one side or fall straight forward. Check out our wide range of fringe wigs.


Full Wig: A full wig is a wig designed to fully cover the head. When most people think of a wig, this is the type they are thinking of.


Hair Toppers: also known as top pieces. Hair toppers add volume and coverage to the top of the head. Hair toppers are not designed to provide full coverage of the head. If you need more coverage than just the front, top or crown area, a wig is the best solution.


Hand Tied Cap: refers to the entire wig cap being hand-tied from the monofilament top all the way to sides and back. 


Headband Wig: a full wig that attaches with a hard or soft headband at the front. Check out our range of Headband wigs styled on a soft black velvet headband.


Heat-Friendly Fibre: a special fibre that is heat resistant or sometimes referred to as HD fibre (Heat-defiant) and will allow you to use heated appliances. This helps to avoid damage to hairpieces as a result of styling. Shop from our heat-friendly wigs range


Heat tools: blow dryers, straighteners, flat irons, curling wands, curling irons. 


Human Hair Blend: Combination of human hair and synthetic fibre, giving the piece great versatility. The fibre will tend to hold its shape after washing, and the human hair looks natural and is more durable.


Knot(s): are how the hair is hand-tied and secured into the fine lace material of a lace front or monofilament top.


Lace front: the front portion of a hair topper or wig where the hair is hand-tied into a lace material, giving the illusion of naturally growing hair at the front hairline. Lace front wigs are known for providing natural and versatile wig styles. 


Lace Parting: a wig with a lace is the portion of parting where the hair has hand-tied into a lace material to allow for a realistic looking scalp. Lace partings can be styled in the centre, or to either side dependent on the style of the wig, if the wig has a movable parting there are of lace is much bigger in the front of the wig cap.


Layers: Adding layers in hairstyles, adds shape, volume and texture to the hair.


Mannequin head: made of styrofoam, rubber, or canvas and cork, mannequin heads mimic the shape and are ideal to use for styling wigs.


Monofilament part: a section on the top of a wig where the part is visible, where the fibres/hairs are tied into a sheer material resulting in the most natural-looking part. 


Multi-directional knotting: a term used to describe hair that has been hand-tied onto the base of a hair system or wig, can be styled in multiple directions.


Nape: the area of the wig that lays on the back of your neck.


Natural hair colour: the natural level and tone of hair before any chemical service.


Non-Remy: human hair collected from multiple sources that cannot guarantee the root and tip ends are travelling in the same direction. The cuticle is partially removed to prevent tangling and inversion of the hair.


Piecey: When the fibres are grouped together and slightly separated to create a hairstyle with a textured or tousled effect.


Pinking shears: Scissors designed with a zigzag shape blade. Used to cut materials and help stop fraying.


Pre-Styled Wig: the piece has been cut, styled, curled, and shaped at the manufacturing stage. It may/can require further styling, but it saves time and effort from cutting and styling the wig yourself.


Processed Hair: chemically treated hair. In most cases, the cuticle will be removed to allow the hair to lay in either direction without tangling. It may then be bleached and coloured to the shade required.


Remy: The method of cutting and collecting human hair that is uniformly aligned with root ends and tip ends always running in the same direction, which mimics our natural biological hair. Generally results in a better look and feel of the hair if the hair is of high quality 


Synthetic Fibre: a nylon-based synthetic fibre used to create wigs, hair extensions, or hair toppers and pieces. One of the original fibres in the alternative hair industry is a more cost-effective and low maintenance option to human hair.


T-pin(s): Similar to a sewing pin, the at-pin features a perpendicular bar at the top so that the pin cannot puncture a surface completely. We recommend using t-pins to secure your wig or hair topper to a mannequin head when blow-drying or heat styling.


Volume: referring to the fullness of a style. The majority of pieces are made to a medium density which will give the most natural effect.


Virgin hair: Simply put, virgin hair is untouched hair, like what we start out on this world with. It refers to strands that have never been colour-treated or chemically processed in any way. Shop from our virgin hair wigs range.


Weaving: the process of forming a base along the scalp in order to attach weft hair.


Weft: a sorted bundle of hair that is sewn together with several stitches to make a single “curtain-like” veil of hair.


Wig: an artificial covering of hair made of either synthetic or natural hair. Gem Wigs stocks exceptionally stunning range of ladies human hair and synthetic wigs. There is one for all. 


Wig Band: A wig band is similar to a headband as it is made of soft, thin fabric, but you wear a wig band under your wig. Wig bands can help reduce wig cap pressure and can keep your wig from sliding on your head.


Wig Stand: Made of plastic or metal, wig stands are easily assembled to mimic the shape of the head. Wig stands can be used for short and long-term storage of wigs.