The hair bundles are in your online shopping cart. Party season is in full swing, and you're ready to throw on that Acne Studios coat over that blazing red Zara jumper and swing that 22” body wave back and forth with all of the fabulousness and joy you can summon.
Only one thing remains: Are you going to choose a hair closure to go with those bundles, or are you going to swing with a frontal? People who have been wearing extensions for a long time already know what they want. They're used to it, and know exactly what their go-to look will need.
If you're new to extensions or if you are new to wearing closures and frontals, you may need a little help with this critically important decision. If you’re deciding between frontals vs closures, the following info may help you finally get to press the “place order” button.
What are hair frontals and hair closures?
Hair frontals and hair closures are literally partial wigs that are worn paired with extensions to create flawless, seamless hairstyles that seem to grow straight from the scalp.
Extensions have always been popular, but the hair that was left out in the middle of the head- “the leaveout” - drove people crazy. The leaveout was the extension wearer’s own hair that was left out in the middle of the head and used to cover the extension tracks. Leaveout was still subject to styling and damage.
The braided, protected hair underneath the extensions grew out healthy and strong, while the leaveout was broken and damaged. Need a visual? You ever see the classic cartoon, “Hey, Arnold!”? Too young? Google It.
Enter frontals and closures. These hair units are placed over the center of the hair - the old leaveout area - so that all of the wearer’s hair is safely tucked away. In addition to protecting the hair at the top of the head, frontals and closures provide an extra bonus by giving the hairstyle a flawless, finished look since there aren’t any demarcation lines between your natural hair and the extension hair.
How are closures and frontals made?
Closures and frontals are made in pretty much the same way.
Human hair is sewn onto a lace or silk base, similar to the way that hair is sewn onto a base when being made into a wig. When you hear someone mention the size of a closure or frontal, they’re referring to the measurements of the base that the hair is sewn onto. The standard closure size is 4” x 4”, meaning it’s four inches across by four inches back, while the standard frontal size is 13” x 4”.
Closures and frontals are sewn onto a silk or lace base.
Lace Base: Hair strands are attached to a mesh lace base through tiny holes and tied with knots. Lace bases are popular because they’re thin and look more natural, especially along the hairline. Unless you buy a pre-bleached unit, you have to bleach the knots so that the base looks like your own scalp.
Silk base: A silk-based unit has a foundation made out of silk material. They hair is looped into a skin-like silk base that’s reinforced with lace. They last longer than lace units, but they don’t look as flawless as lace closures. Silk-based units also don’t lay as flat on the head as lace-based units.
What does a hair closure look like?
A hair closure is a partial wig/hairpiece that’s sewn to the top middle of your head from temple to temple by being sewn onto a cornrowed base.
The most common closure size 4” x 4” wide, but these units are getting bigger, with the largest ones clocking in at 8” x 8”.
- They’re cheaper than frontals
- Relatively easy to style, perfect for people who love the casual center-part or side-part look
- Provide coverage for the front and center of the head, allowing that area of the natural hair to grow
- There are larger closures in sizes 5” x 5” up to 7” x 7” that provide more scalp coverage and allow for more versatile styling. Think of them as faux frontals!
- They last longer than frontals. It usually takes about four weeks before you need to get maintenance.
- They tend to do a slow roll back towards the middle of your head as your hair grows out, spoiling the illusion if not retouched quickly enough.
- The standard size (4 x 4) provides limited styling options.
What does a hair frontal look like?
Frontals are essentially extra-large closures.
Frontals stretch all the way across the front of the head from ear to ear. They’re sewn down behind the ears so the result is the illusion of a full head of hair growing straight from the scalp. The front portion of the frontal is held down with glue, tape or thread. Glueless frontals are secured with a strap and secured to the forehead with Got2B Glued gel or nothing at all.
Due to their size, frontals provide the wearer with a lot more styling options since they can be pulled back into ponytails and other styles. There are also 360 frontals which are basically frontals that wrap all around the head. This type of unit allows the wearer to pull their hair up into a ponytail.
- Properly installed, frontals allow the wearer to have fun trying out a wide range of different styles.
- They can be parted many different ways.
- They provide protective styling.
- They can be pulled up into ponytails.
- 360-degree frontals wrap around the entire head, allowing the wearer to pull the hair all the way up and create styles like top ponytails.
- Hair frontals require a looooo-ooooooooot of work to look flawless. And this is just to get them onto the head.
- Maintenance can be brutal. Depending on the installation method used, you may have to re-visit your stylist anywhere from a few days to a few weeks after the install to get it re-applied. If you can do the install yourself, this shouldn’t be an issue for you.
- They can be pretty expensive if you can’t find a vendor offering high-quality, affordable options.
Deciding whether to where a frontal or a closure is a personal choice. Speak to your stylist about which option would work best for you and your lifestyle.