What Is a Monofilament Wig?

Andrew Kirmayer

A monofilament wig is designed to look like a person’s natural hair. The hair strands are typically sewn into a gauze-like material called monofilament that is almost clear, so it is usually difficult to tell the wig apart from the person’s scalp. Each strand of hair is generally added individually, often by knotting. The wig can be styled and ventilation can make wearing it more comfortable; this design can help keep moisture out and heat from building up underneath. Many wigs can be sized, and there are also variations in the design as new production techniques emerge.

A monofilament wig is made to look like natural hair.
A monofilament wig is made to look like natural hair.

The fabric of a monofilament wig is typically clear, often allowing scalp color to show through, so the wig can look like a person’s natural hair. The hair strands are usually added to the fabric one at a time and are typically thinner than other types of wigs. Some wigs can have two layers of monofilament, which often makes them more comfortable than single-layer products. Wearing a monofilament wig is often best for people who have little or no hair, because natural hair can interfere with its appearance. It can also be uncomfortable to wear if the hair of the scalp and wig mix.

There are also different types of wigs that can be produced differently. A full monofilament top wig typically includes the translucent material on top, with the hair fibers added by hand, while the rest of it is made using a machine. Other wigs can have the clear-layered material on just part of the crown, and others integrate it into just a part of the cap. Many variations also include the option to adjust the wig, often as it is being worn, by using tape tabs that are often located in the back.

Cleaning a monofilament wig typically keeps it looking natural, and can be accomplished with a special brush and shampoo. The product is usually immersed in cold water, rinsed gently, blotted with a towel, and exposed to a conditioning spray before being air dried. Caring for a monofilament wig also generally involves not exposing it to excess heat, and avoiding the use of blow dryers or curling irons made for real hair. The wigs can also be cut and styled by professionals for anyone desiring a specific look.

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