If you’re researching hair systems, you’ll find every vendor has a different name for the base materials used in hair systems. Monofilament mesh fabric, multifilament mesh fabric, and solid surface polyurethane are the most common materials used. They are often referred to as monofilament, lace, and skin, respectively.
Conflicting labels cause confusion
That said, in each category of material, there are multiple variations based on the thickness or weight of the material or the size of the knit or weave. These variations are given different names by different companies, making comparison much more confusing.
For example, “lace” is a common material used in hair replacement systems. Fundamentally, this is a knitted multifilament netting to which hairs are tied to create a hair system. However, depending on the size of the holes in the netting, it can be referred to as Swiss lace, French lace, German lace, or other things. One company’s Swiss lace is another company’s French lace. Using these labels so inconsistently can be very confusing and negate the meaning of any name.
Polyurethane systems are referred to as “skin” systems, and are sometimes categorized by the thickness of the polyurethane in millimeters, such as .05 or .03 millimeters. Some are referred to as skin, thin skin, or ultra thin skin. But again, depending on the retailer or production facility, these labels are inconsistent and arbitrary, as one company’s “thin skin” is another company’s “ultra thin skin.”
To further confuse things, the polyurethane perimeter commonly used on lace and monofilament bases for adhering hairpiece tape to can be called anything from “skin edge” or “skin perimeter” to “poly edge” or “poly perimeter.” These all mean the same thing.
In addition, some companies use proprietary brand names that don’t describe the base material at all. LaVivid Hair actually used to call monofilament systems “conventional” systems, but have since retired that terminology to avoid confusion.
And for the record, the base material widely known as “silk” in women’s systems is actually a fine weave monofilament nylon or polyester.
Making it easier
At LaVivid Hair, our bases are categorized by lace, skin, or combo (meaning a combination of materials, such as lace and polyurethane or monofilament and polyurethane). Our laces are very fine; one of them is so fine it is considered disposable. Our skin systems are very thin, and disposable as well. Our combo systems are meant to be a little more durable for applications that require it.
We have no intention of being evasive about what types of lace or skin we use; it’s just that point of references vary widely. For this reason, we use the generic terms lace, skin, and monofilament when referring to the categories of materials.
We can assure you we use the highest quality materials that provide the best, most natural look for your hair system.