What are Half Wigs?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Half wigs can be defined in several different ways. For instance, standard wigs meant to cover all the hair can be a combination of half human and half synthetic hair. These can sometimes be referred to as half wigs because of the half and half combination. More frequently, half wigs are synonymous with hair weaves or hair extensions.

Hair wigs may be particularly beneficial to individuals experiencing hair loss due to chemotherapy.
Hair wigs may be particularly beneficial to individuals experiencing hair loss due to chemotherapy.

The simplest extension types can be purchased at most local drug stores and many beauty supply and wig stores. These, like a large ponytail, can be clipped onto the head and easily removed. These types of half wigs look convincingly like real hair when you have a good color match between your own hair color and the color of the half wig. Many people prefer them because they can placed on at home, removed at the end of the day, and tend to be the least expensive way to produce the look of longer or thicker hair.

Alternately, half wigs that are true extensions may require several hours at a beauty salon to apply, and there are several methods of application. One temporary measure is called bonding, where extensions are applied to the roots of your own hair with glue. This is often used in the fashion industry because glues used are short lasting and remove easily. A shorthaired model can suddenly have long silken tresses for a photo shoot or fashion show.

Alternately, hair may be braided into cornrows and then have half wigs applied with stronger glue, or by sewing the hair into the rows. The hair still appears to be natural, since it appears as though you still have hair roots, which you do. Whether hair is glued or sewn, this method is very pricey, and can cost several hundred dollars. It’s also not a recommended procedure for home use, since it is time consuming. Some women do not respond well to hair weaves and may begin to lose their natural hair because of the tight weaving of cornrow braids.

When hair is bonded or sewn to braids, it usually is done so in pieces called tracks. Cheaper methods involved taking a wide half wig instead of numerous tracks, and sewing it into weaves underneath the top layer of the hair. You essentially get a whole section, often going around the back of the head, sewn or glued to produce thicker or longer looking hair. Weaves of most types are cared for just as you would care for any of your regular hair. They may dry out more quickly and typically need replacement every few months.

Other types of half wigs are called the false fronts or front lace wigs. This type is designed to make the front of the hair look beautiful and perfect, and is normally sewn or glued from ear to ear, with the wig hair falling forward. Full lace wigs are standard wigs, not half wigs, and are attached with a variety of different adhesives or tape. False fronts, and wigs in general aren’t exactly new. In earlier days some women wore hats that provided a false front, adding bangs or curls that didn’t need to be attached to the head, but were merely worn when the hat was in place. The look was natural enough as long as the hat stayed on.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


Being in the wig business for many years, a wig which has half synthetic and half human hair is referred to as a half and half, or 50/50.

A half wig is also referred to as a hairpiece.


A half wig is something that you can purchase at a hair store. It has combs embedded into the literal half wig which is attached to one's head and gives the illusion of a weave that has been sewn or bonded via glue.

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