Synthetic Guide

Mar 8th 2023

Hello, nice to see you here! If you're looking to learn more about alternative hair, you’ve come to the right place. This blog is your go-to guide all about synthetics wigs and hairpieces and will help make your shopping and hair wearing experience much easier. Finding the right hairpiece is the silver lining to hair loss, and it’s even sweeter when the piece is perfectly fitted and fuss-free.

In this complete guide, you’ll learn which alternative hair options fit your needs and preferences, proper synthetic care & maintenance, solutions to common pain-points, and juicy styling tips from our experts.

Alternative human hair often gets all the credit, but there’s so much to love about synthetic fiber—We're all about synthetics and here’s why! Let’s dive in.

In this article, we're going to discuss:

Selecting Your Fiber– Why choose Jon Renau synthetic fiber?

High Quality 

Jon Renau synthetic fibers are made by Kaneka, the number one fiber manufacturer in the world.

Minimal Maintenance

If you’re a busy bee who lives life on the go or styling time just isn’t your priority, synthetic hairpieces are your go-to fiber! The beauty of synthetic fiber compared to its human hair counterpart is that it can be washed and dried with no styling time – these are your “shake-and-go” pieces. Synthetic fiber has style memory, meaning the style is ‘baked in’ and will maintain its original, beautiful shape even when washed. While human hair reacts to moisture, synthetic hairpieces will stay intact in any weather, rain or shine.

Dozens of Styles Available

Did you know that Jon Renau has over 100 synthetic wigs and toppers? From pixies to sleek bobs and wavy mermaid locks, there’s a hairstyle for each unique personality. Plus, there’s a wide variety of cap designs to choose from that support different types and stages of hair loss, individual preferences, and lifestyle needs. 

Selecting Your Cap Design – Features & Benefits

Each cap design plays to different needs and preferences. When selecting a cap design, what are you looking for?

Are you seeking the most realistic hairline because you like to wear your hair pulled back? If hairline realism is important to you, look for a cap with a  SmartLace front. If you prefer to wear bangs or fashionable fringe, SmartLace may not be necessary.

Do you like to change your part often? Make sure the cap design features  monofilament.

Do you have a sensitive scalp and care about the softness of the base materials? Then a  hand tied cap is a great option for you. If breathability and volume is your priority, choose an open wefted cap design.

Let’s explore cap design options further.

Lace Front / Single MonofilamentNatural Comfort, Volume + Versatility

Who this cap is for: Those wanting a natural look and feel, beautiful volume, and breathability.

Features and benefits:

  1. SmartLace Front Mimics a natural hairline, hair is hand tied one by one
  2. Single Monofilament Allows for multi-directional parting while providing the appearance of natural growth
  3. Open Wefted Back For superior ventilation for maximum scalp cooling with machine wefting
  4. Velvet Ear Tabs + Nape Allows smooth customization with bendable wire
  5. Adjustable Tabs Allows you to adjust the circumference

Lace Front / Single Monofilament / Hand tiedUltimate Comfort + Realism

Who this cap is for: Those wanting lower density and natural movement and growth appearance, or who have total hair loss and scalp sensitivity seeking the utmost comfort.

Features and benefits:

  1. SmartLace Front Creates the appearance of natural growth at the hairline
  2. Single Monofilament to change hair parting as desired
  3. 100% Hand Tied Cap Each hair is individually hand tied, giving the hair realistic movement and appearance of natural growth
  4. 100% Hand Tied Stretch Section This soft base material allows customized stretch in all directions and helps avoid scalp irritation
  5. Velvet Ear Tabs + Nape Allows smooth customization with bendable wire
  6. Adjustable Tabs Allows you to adjust the circumference

*Additional Wefts Added to direct fiber for silhouette of style

Open CapCool, Lightweight + Breathable

Who this cap is for: Those who live in an area with warmer temperatures or who experience hot flashes. The open wefted design will help your head stay cool throughout the day. Because this lightweight cap features a velvet front hairline, it is great for those who wear bangs or side-swept fringe. If you prefer to wear hair off the face, we also offer Open Caps that feature our SmartLace front.

Features and benefits:

  1. Open Wefted Top + Back Allows for superior ventilation and maximum scalp cooling.
  2. Open Ear Tabs Allows for customization with bendable wire
  3. Adjustable Tabs to adjust the circumference
  4. Velvet Front Hairline/Nape Increased hairline comfort 

SmartLace Lite - Versatile, Lightweight + Secure

Who this cap is for: Perfect for those with an active lifestyle who want lightweight comfort, extra non-slip security, and hairline realism for off-the-face hairstyles.

Features and benefits:

  1. SmartLace Lite Front Lacefront extends ear to ear to mimic a natural hairline, hair is hand tied one by one
  2. Single Monofilament Allows multi-directional parting while providing the appearance of natural growth
  3. 100% Hand Tied Cap Each hair is individually hand tied, creating the appearance of natural growth
  4. 100% Hand Tied Stretch Section Allows customized stretch from front to back and ear to ear
  5. Polyurethane Ear Tabs For use with or without adhesive
  6. Silicone Nape with bendable wire, allows for non-slip grip
  7. Adjustable Tabs Allows the wearer to adjust the circumference

Choosing Your Color – Best Sellers, Color Codes, & human hair vs. synthetic colors

Best Sellers:

Not sure where to begin when selecting your color? Try starting with our best-selling shades. From black through brunette, blonde, red and grey platinum options—below are some of our wearers' FAVORITES across color families.

Color Codes:

Have you ever felt confused while shopping for wigs and seeing color names such as 12FS12 or FS24/102S12? Learning codes is worthwhile because it will help you to understand a color beyond the swatch image. This way, you can make a more informed choice when choosing a color for your next Jon Renau wig or topper!

For example, ’S’ in the color code 12FS12 stands for ‘shaded at the root’ in color 12—a number in the ‘brown’ color family. This tells you that 12FS12 ‘Malibu Blonde’ is a ROOTED blonde shade. 

Check out our blog  Color Codes 101 for a full breakdown of Jon Renau's color codes.

Human Hair vs. Synthetic Colors (...and what to look out for)

Have you ever wondered why the same color looks so different in human hair versus synthetic fiber? Synthetic fiber will always appear cooler, darker, and with more contrast in the blend than its human counterpart.

WHY? Unlike synthetic fiber, which is true to tone from textile-like dyes that are applied, alternative human hair is an organic material, meaning it has warm-toned underlining pigments ranging from red to yellow, making the tone reflect warmer and lighter throughout (like we see below with Palm Springs Blonde). 

Knowing this, you may want to consider going a shade lighter in synthetic vs. human hair or apply our  Jon Renau In Tone Violet Shampoo to make your human hair piece look cooler in tone like the synthetic version.

Care + Maintenance – The key to supporting wig longevity!

With proper care and maintenance, a synthetic hair system can last up to six to nine months! Below we’ve outlined common pain-points from our wearers and our best recommendations. 

My lace front is fraying and/or base materials are breaking down

This is usually the cause of improper sizing because the delicate lace front gets tugged on when adjusting the wig throughout the day. Carefully apply and adjust your wig using the ear tabs and be mindful when washing. Remember, do not soak your wig when washing—give her a shower, not a bath! When drying, do not use a block head. Use a wig stand to avoid stretching the lace.

Over or under-washing can also play a role in shortening your wig's lifespan. We always recommend washing your hairpiece every six to eight wears to avoid buildup of oils on the cap, which causes a breakdown of its elasticity.

Styling tools that are rigid and/or sharp can also tear the delicate base materials. Use the  Jon Renau Wide Tooth Comb, particularly on any hand tied areas.

I’m experiencing tangling/matting

We cannot stress enough how important it is to wash your synthetic wigs every six to eight wears using or  Fiber Love Shampoo and Fiber Love Conditioning Spray, specifically formulated to detangle and restore the healthy glow of synthetic fiber and to support the life expectancy of your synthetic wig. Another must-have for synthetic hairpieces is our HD Smooth Detangler. Spray it on and comb through to eliminate tangles and frizz and to restore healthy luster.

We recommend combing your synthetic hairpieces with a Jon Renau Wide Tooth Comb several times throughout the day to avoid tangling. It’s helpful to keep a travel size in your purse! Additionally, be mindful of high collared jackets and sweaters, which can cause excessive matting.

I’m experiencing excessive shedding

When applying HD Smooth Detangler during washing, make sure to keep product away from the hand tied knots. This will prevent any loosening of the knots or unnecessary shedding.

My wig is beginning to look dry, brittle, and dull

While traditional synthetic fiber is not heat friendly, it can be steamed to smooth "friction frizz” and rejuvenate your favorite over-worn synthetic. Use Jon Renau HD Detangling Spray to soften fiber and help with tangling while steaming. We recommend using the  Jon Renau Steamer because the narrow nozzle allows you to focus the steam on exact spots, rather than blowing out steam in multiple directions like traditional clothing steamers.

Please be aware—Steaming will permanently change the shape of the fiber until it’s steamed again. Once the curl pattern has been altered, you cannot get it back.

We also recommend using our  Fiber Love Wig Lustre. This protective spray adds natural shine back to synthetic wigs to maintain a healthy and luminous glow.

NOTE: All of Jon Renau’s synthetic care products have been specifically formulated and tested for alternative hair to ensure quality results. Products are formulated without Parabens, Sulfates, Sodium Chloride, and MITs, and are Vegan & Cruelty Free. For a complete guide on how & when to use our synthetic care products, check out our synthetic hair care cheat-sheet.

If you seek additional help, be sure to bring your hair system to your nearest  alternative hair professional for care and servicing.

Styling Tips & Tricks – From our experts to you.

As we’ve discussed, the beauty of synthetic wigs is that they maintain their original, beautiful style without any maintenance. You can have perfect hair in seconds! Yet sometimes you want to shake things up—with an accessory, updo, or just adding more texture or sleekness! Read below for our expert tips.

Creating an Updo:

STEP 1: We recommend using a canvas block head for styling your hairpiece. This way, you’ll have better control than styling while wearing the wig. Use T-pins to secure the wig to the blockhead, being mindful to only insert T-pins along the velvet connections within the cap so that the material doesn’t puncture and damage!

STEP 2: Start by prepping your hair with Jon Renau Pick Me Up dry shampoo to lock in your style while reducing shine.

STEP 3: For the final touches, "piece out" a few baby hairs along the hairline for a soft, natural finish.

STEP 4: Once styled, use Fiber Love Holding Spray to ensure long-lasting hold.

Adding Texture:

We absolutely love Jon Renau’s  Piece Out Fiber Contour Crème for synthetic styling and think you will too! This delicious smelling wig styling paste adds that texture, volume and sculpting without weighing hair down. Apply this product where you’d like to sleek down fiber, add beautiful texture, or hold to your style.

Adding Sleekness:

Like we previously touched on, steaming your synthetic wig can be a great way to change hair parting, reshape curls, or create a sleek straight look. Again, please remember that steaming will permanently change the shape of the fiber until it’s steamed again, and you cannot get the original waves back once they have been straightened!

We hope you’ve learned a thing or two from this all-in-one synthetic guide! By now, you should be ready to find the perfect hairpiece to meet your needs, give her proper love and care, and create fun, unique hairstyles to match your personality.

Ready to find your perfect style?