Ahhh, permatease. You either love it, or you hate it. Wig wearers around the world have very different opinions about this invention, and in the end, it’s up to you to decide whether it’s right for you or not.
First, though, we need to talk about wig density.
Wigs have different levels of hair density. Some have more hair than others, and this can vary depending on the brand and the style. Belle Madame wigs, for example, are known for their low density styles, whereas an open capped style in the Estetica range will probably have a higher density.
Within brands, too, some have more density than others. This can be the case, for example, with curly wigs, which often feel fuller simply because of their curls. If you’re not used to a full head of thick, bouncy curls then you’d probably want to steer clear of something like this until you are more comfortable with fuller choices.
The thing to remember is that the first time you put on a wig, every wig will feel like too much hair! The secret is to persevere, and to try and push past that feeling. After a while, you don’t feel that way at all, and gradually you can try thicker and fuller styles that change your look completely (and you look gorgeous in them, too!)
Low density wigs will sometimes need a little lift to look more natural, and this is one place where permatease comes in.
So what is Permatease?
Permatease is a shortening into one word of two separate words – ‘permanent’ and ‘teasing’. Sometimes it is called ‘artificial body’ or ‘built in lift’. Basically, it is a teased effect in the top or sides of a wig, and sometimes as the nape of the neck, for particular purposes. The most common reason for permatease is to create volume in a wig and give it some body, making it look more natural, but it can also be there to help hide machine made wefting in open capped wigs.
These two examples by Estetica (picured) both have open caps and permatease, and both look natural and beautiful with its additional body and lift. These two styles will keep that gorgeous shape through wash after wash, because of the permatease.
What does it look like?
Permatease usually comes in two forms – either as an area of slightly ‘matted’ hair at the base of the hair shafts, usually right at the top or crown of the wig, or as a grouping of shorter hairs, again often at the top or the crown. The purpose is so that the longer hairs basically sit over the top of these shorter hairs to give artificial lift to the style. If you like big hair, then you’re going to love permatease!
Do you love full, 'big' hair?
Fans of big hair love permatease, because it allows you to get that big hair look with a minimum of fuss. Think of those high, curly styles where you may have spent hours in front of the mirror teasing up your hair for that perfect look (like Becky by Estetica at left). Permatease allows you to achieve that look without those hours of work, as it’s all been done for you!
Also, those who either from necessity or choice buy open capped styles will need to become friends with permatease, as almost all open caps feature at least a little to give them lift and hide the wefting underneath.
Do you like low density, sleeker styles?
If you’re a low density hair lover, the added volume of permatease may be a deal breaker for you. If you’re not a fan of big hair, and like your hair with a lower natural profile, permatease is probably not for you.
How do I find it? Where do I look?
When shopping online, open capped wigs will be the ones with the most permatease, followed by mono crown and mono part wigs. Monofilament top wigs do not generally have much at all (perhaps some at the nape), and in particular have none on the top, as the monofilament will not allow for it. Generally, where you find monofilament on a wig, you will not find permatease in that area.
Also fully hand tied wigs have no permatease as they don’t need it. They are generally lower profile and have less fullness, so if you’re looking for big hair, you may want to steer clear of the hand tied options.