Mary’s College of Hair Piece Knowledge
Lesson: 2 – Base Materials
I often have customers ask me what the difference is between the base materials that are used for the HN models. This is a great question because your comfort and the wear ability of your system has everything to do with the base material option you choose.
There are 3 basic categories for hair piece base materials they are:
- Skin bases
- Polyester and Nylon Meshes
- Fine Welded Mono and Lace options
For this I’ll focus on the materials used in the Hair Necessities Models for easier reference.
Skin bases are available in 2 forms; PU (Polyurethane) and Silicone
PU Pros : Great appearance, no obvious transition area, light weight, can use all forms of attachment, works best using Full Bonding or Grafting.
PU Cons include: Non-breathable, Stretchy, Hair loss, Short wear time per system, thinner bases can tear easily, not particularly hygienic.
Silicone Pros include: Great appearance, light weight, non-stretchy but pliable, skin look and feel, holds hair well, long lasting and is biocompatible
Silicone Cons include: Generally thicker base, must use silicone adhesive and only available in custom production. Custom only
Here at HN we have the all PU skin model PRESIDENT but hopefully I’ve been able to eliminate some of the cons. The President Base Material while a pretty standard PU for production, I’ve designed ours to be not too thick and not too thin, the hair is KNOTED not looped or implanted so it stays in the base a little longer. It’s also a little less “floppy” than super thin skin units so it’s a lot easier for you the end user to apply the system yourself.
Polyester and Nylon base materials a quite varied and have a wide range of weave patterns and opening sizes for everything from Small Partial pieces to Full Caps, hair integration systems to extension pieces.
Polyester Pros in: Soft material, shapes to the head, easy to keep clean and very durable, easy to repair. Polyester base materials are great for systems you want to last a long time as well as larger bases like full caps and the best option for High Hair Density.
Polyester Cons include: Heavier and thicker than Nylon not suggested for light natural looks, not for bonding or grafting. Available in custom orders only.
Nylon Mesh base materials are probably the most popular for both stock and custom hair systems. Nylon meshes come in a large variety of weaves with openings as large as screening to as tightly woven as silk.
Nylon Mesh Pros include: Very light weight, breathable, translucent to take on natural skin color, cool and comfortable to wear.
Nylon Mesh Cons include: Mesh can unravel if cut or torn, difficult to repair, can stretch out of shape, hard to keep clean, body oils, acids and sluffed skin can build up in the base creating an un-hygienic environment for your scalp.
The most common Nylon Mesh base material is what we use for the center top of the CEO model and FYI the perimeter of the CEO is the same as the President model.
Finally we have Fine Welded Mono and Lace base materials. Both these base materials are great for all types and sizes of systems. They are used most frequently for Top of Head systems, stock and custom and like the Nylon mesh base materials they are also light weight and cool to wear.
Fine Welded Mono Pros include: Material can be heat set for a good contour, material won’t run or unravel when cut. Each connecting point of the monofilament thread is Sonically Welded for strength. Cool to wear.
Fine Welded Mono Cons include: Material is stiff and non-conforming for odd head shapes. Nylon threads can cause hair loss if hair is manipulated too much or if the unit is not kept clean.
Lace base materials are probably the Oldest of the materials still being used in production. Traditionally these materials were used for Theatrical and Film hair pieces but were integrated into the Hair Replacement world in the Mid 90’s.
Lace Pros: Soft and pliable can be tailored to accommodate partial to full cap base sizes. Breathable cool and light weight material provides a natural look and for the most natural looking frontal nothing beats Lace.
Lace Cons: Material must be tailored to contours. Material is fine and easily torn, requires more care to avoid tearing when removing and cleaning. All Lace units can become FLAT over time and lose their shape
We use Lace for the Chairman model with the thin skin material like the President for the tape tab attachment perimeter. The Chairman gives the comfort and appearance that only Lace can give with the PU perimeter that keeps the units shape and we give you just enough lace in the front for a great look without the hassle of a full lace front.
As always, feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions or if there’s something you’d like me to address next time. firstname.lastname@example.org 612-423-7483