Banana Comb - A large hair comb that attaches by snapping the grooves of the comb together. It is slightly curved to fit along the head, hence the name “banana comb.”
Block - Wooden or canvas head form used to hold wigs and hairpieces. Blocks come in various sizes and are attached to the work surface with a wig clamp. Wooden blocks are most often used in wig making, while canvas blocks are mostly used for setting and dressing hairpieces.
Capless - A type of wig base. This wig cap is similar to the standard cap, except that instead of the solid lace or cloth top, the entire cap is open-wefted on soft stretchable lace strips. Capless wigs are light and comfortable.
Chignon - A small hairpiece worn as a bun on the lower back of the head.
Clamp - A plastic or metal device that attaches to a table. Wig clamps have a small pole that fit inside a wig block or styrofoam head.
Claw Clip - See Jaw Clip.
Color Ring - A manufacturer’s ring of color swatches. Each color is shown on an actual hair sample, not a photo, so you can see what the color really looks like.
Crepe Wool - Sheep’s wool that has been permanently crimped. It is often used in creating beards and eyebrows for stage productions. It comes braided and rolled into a coil.
Cuticle Hair - See Remy Hair.
Double-Sided Tape - Tape with adhesive on both sides. Most often used for attaching men’s hairpieces, but also good for taming uncooperative bits of clothing (i.e., loose button bands, slipping shoulder straps, etc.)
Fall - A hairpiece worn with your own hair to easily and quickly add length, volume, texture, and/or color to your own style. You wear the fall on the back half of your head and style your own hair in the front to blend with it. Some falls are made with a base that attaches to the top of the head with either combs or clips sewn into the base. Others feature a half-cap or 3/4-cap (a bit smaller than a full wig cap). The front is placed on the head just behind the ears and the back fits over the nape. It is secured with combs or clips sewn into the cap.
Hackle - A giant comb used to untangle hair and to blend hair of different colors.
Headband Wig - A half-cap or 3/4-cap wig that attaches with a hard or soft headband at the front. You can wear your own bangs slicked back underneath the headband or worn styled on the outside.
Jaw Clip - A hair clip with two “jaws” on a spring. This type of clip is very easy to put on and take off. Also called a claw clip.
Lace - A very fine mesh used as a base in wigs and hairpieces for a nearly undetectable foundation. When used along the front hairline (lace-front wigs), the lace is covered with makeup. This type of base is most often used for stage and film work.
Monofilament Cap - A type of wig base made of fine mesh. Hair is individually knotted onto the mesh which gives the wearer the ability to style the hair in any direction. The light mesh is airy, comfortable, and nearly undetectable because it blends in with the wearer’s own scalp. Some wigs feature 100% monofilament caps, while others utilize a monofilament area only at the top.
Remy (Remi) Hair - Human hair that has not been weakened by stripping. Unlike most human hair used in wigs and hairpieces, remy hair is created by careful processing which leaves the cuticle in place. The result is stronger, superior hair. To avoid tangling, remy hair strands must all be aligned so the cuticle runs in the same direction. Remy hair is more expensive than cuticle-free human hair, and is also referred to as “cuticle hair.”
Standard Cap - The most common type of wig base. It features machine-sewn wefts (strips) of hair with a lace or cloth top. The sides and back are open-wefted for air circulation. Because the hair is sewn onto the foundation in a certain direction, the basic hairstyle cannot be changed.
Switch - A tail of attached to a thin cord. A switch looks like a long ponytail, and is worn along with your own hair to create the look of longer hair. Switches often attach with a loop that fits around your own ponytail.
T-pin - A large straight pin in the shape of a T. T-pins are used to secure wigs and hairpieces onto a block or styrofoam head. Knitters use them in blocking their finished pieces.
Ventilating - The process of attaching hair to a base.
Ventilating Needle - A knotting hook used for attaching hair to a base. Needles come in various sizes. The lower the number, the smaller the needle.
Weaving Poles - A set of wooden poles about a foot tall that attach to a work surface with clamps. Two strings are tied to across the poles and hair is woven between them to create a weft.
Weft - A strip of hair woven and/or sewn onto a string base.
Wig Block - See Block.
Wig Cap - A thin, stretchy, close-fitting cap that is worn underneath a wig to secure the wearer's own hair. Most wig caps are made of nylon.
Wiglet - A hairpiece with a base that is smaller than a full-cap wig. Wiglets are worn to fill in areas of thinness. They come in many different varieties and sizes. Some have honeycomb bases with room to pull your own hair through, while others attach with clips or combs.
Yak Hair - The long, thick, coarse, nearly-white hair from the asian yak. This is very strong, very expensive hair, most often used in judge and Santa Claus wigs.
Yaky (Yaki) Hair - A hair texture that simulates straightened African-American hair. Yaky hair is straight hair that has a very slight crimp to it. It’s available in both synthetic and human hair.