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Anna, Teacher, writer, biologist
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I was wanting to know the different synthetics used in making

Resolved Question:

I was wanting to know the different synthetics used in making synthetic wigs aswell as their heat resistant properties/ melting points. I know that nylon hair has a high melting point and can withstand hot desert climate, but are there any others.

Thank you.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Anna replied 6 years ago.
Hello again,

Most synthetic wigs are of one of three types. They are toyokalon, which is primarily used for the cheap wigs sold as Halloween costumes, and also in some synthetic hairs used for weaves and dreadlocks. One of the reasons it is used for dreadlocks is that heat from a hair dryer, steam, or boiling water starts the melting process, sealing the locks. Kanekalon is used mostly in wigs used by performers, and again, in some types of extensions. It has a slightly higher melting point than toyokalon, which means they will stand up to temperatures that occur in hot areas. You would not want to leave any wig in a hot car or let it travel in the cargo hold of a plane. Wigs made of kanekalon look more realistic than toyokalon wigs, and they are sold in wig stores.

The higher quality wigs you'll find in wig shops are made of what are called monofilament fibers. That isn't a scientific term, and different wigs have different combinations of nylon, rayon, acetate, and acrylics. The label on a wig will tell you if it's kanekalon or monofilament. To find out the exact fibers used int he monofilament, you'd most likely need to contact the manufacturer. Nylon, depending on the type used, has a melting point ranging from 500*F to 1000*F. Rayon melts at 118*F, so you'll probably want to avoid that. Some acetate begins to melt at 136*F, but some types have higher melting points. Acrylics generally melt at around 360*F. Probably the best way to find what you're looking for is to go to a wigs hop and check labels. When you find a few wigs you like, call, email, or write the companies for specific information on the fibers used.

The information on melting points came from chemistry web sites. If you have more questions about this, let me know.

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