What Is the Difference between a Toupee and a Wig?

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  • Written By: Jodee Redmond
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 September 2019
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A difference between a toupee and a wig has to do with the reason for donning the hairpiece. A toupee is usually worn to disguise a bald spot on the wearer’s head. A wig is fashioned to cover the wearer’s scalp entirely and to cover his or her natural hair. A special glue is used to attach a toupee to the wear’s head, while a wig is designed to be removed from the head by simply lifting it off.

A person who needs to make a choice between a toupee and a wig will first need to consider whether the hairpiece is needed to disguise hair loss in a particular area of the scalp or if the idea is to cover wearer’s scalp entirely. A toupee has traditionally been worn by men who want to achieve the look of a full head of hair even though they may have experienced some hair loss. A wig used to disguise the wearer’s natural hair for aesthetic or theatrical purposes is usually, but not always, associated with a female wearer.


A good quality toupee is made to match the wearer’s natural hair as closely as possible. The best ones are made from human hair, although toupees made from synthetic materials or animal hair are available. A professional stylist who has experience attaching a toupee should be consulted to attach it the user’s scalp and to remove it when it needs to be replaced. Metal clips may be used to attach a toupee, but this is not as secure as using a glue to keep it in place. This is another main difference between a toupee and a wig, since a wig is placed on the wearer’s head and can be removed at will.

Both a toupee and a wig require proper care to keep them looking their best. Consumers who have bought a toupee should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning it. A special shampoo and conditioner may be needed for this purpose. Using the right product will help to keep it looking its best.

Caring for a wig may also require a special shampoo made for this purpose. It should be washed after it has been worn several times to keep it looking its best. The wig can be cut and styled just like natural hair. Both a toupee and a wig can enhance the wearer’s appearance and help to boost his or her confidence.


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