Things to Consider With Heat-Friendly Fiber
Wigs are categorized into three primary hair-type classifications: Human hair, synthetic hair, and heat-friendly hair. Having experienced all three types of fibers, I have come to learn their unique merits and drawbacks. Heat-friendly fiber is a particularly interesting type. It has styling flexibly, along with assumed ease and convenience. In this article we will cover the pros and cons of this unique fiber.
What is a heat-friendly wig? Heat-friendly hair fibers are synthetic materials that are specifically designed to withstand the heat of hot tools such as curling irons and flat irons. This concept emerged as a response to the desire for greater versatility amongst synthetic wigs. Traditional synthetic wig wearers know that synthetic means no heat. The most devastating thing that can happen to a synthetic wig is the damage that comes from getting a little too close to the oven door.
Wig manufacturers have developed innovative fibers that not only feel more reassuring to wear near an oven, but can be manipulated with hot tools. Another benefit to heat-friendly wigs is the price point. These wigs are comparable in cost to a traditional synthetic wig, which is assuredly lower than a human hair wig.
This sounds like the greatest innovation of all time right? My experience with this fiber makes me uncertain.
This idea is truly amazing. As we have discussed, it has a strong appeal to many wig wearers. However, how this fiber wears over time raises concern. Due to the susceptibility of heat, this fiber is prone to frizz with wear. This frizzing is mostly noticeable where the hair meets the shoulders, and in places the hair is frequently touched such as the front. This happens quickly, many wearers experience the beginnings of frizz after just a few wears. If left untreated, this can become out of control and ultimately cost you the whole wig.
Following the trend of benefits to downfalls, frizz is treatable. I have used many methods to control unruly ends such as flat ironing, steaming, and using heated combs. These methods are successful and do help maintain the ends, it just takes time. I recommend treating heat-friendly wigs for frizz after the wig has been worn approximately 7 times. This is the same time in which you should wash your wig, translating to washing and maintaining your wig once a week if worn every day.
Heat-friendly wigs are advertised to be as convenient as traditional synthetic wigs, however, I find this to be false. Heat-friendly wigs do require time and attention if you want it to look good over time.
Because frizzing typically occurs on the ends of longer wigs, I have found success with styles in this fiber that are shorter than the shoulder. Shorter lengths that avoid constant brushing against the shoulder tend to last longer. I have even found straight, lob-length styles to last longer due to the ease of maintenance. It is much easier to run a heated comb through a straight wig as opposed to a curly style. De-frizzing a curly style would require an additional step of re-curling the hair, which may not turn out the same as the manufactured style.
I do believe that with time this innovation will get better. The first heat-friendly wig was released only about 20 years ago. Seeing how far this fiber has come in those 20 years, I can predict it will continue to improve during the next 20 years.
Join the Conversation
What has been your experience with heat-friendly fiber? Do you like it? What things have you found to help the fiber last longer?