Closures and frontals are quickly becoming bare necessities of weave-ology. Gone are the days where your only options were to either (a) excessively heat style your leave-out to blend perfectly with your bundles (and risk permanent heat damage), or (b) rock the half-permed poodle/rag doll look. Though they come in a variety of forms, closures and frontals serve a similar fundamental purpose – to seamlessly close off a weave install. Nonetheless, the differences between the two are distinct and need to be understood in order to ensure we’re using the right one and type to achieve our desired look.
The most obvious difference between a closure and a frontal is their respective sizes. Closures are typically 4 x 4 inches and sit either perfectly in the middle of the crown or can be shifted slightly to the side to achieve a side-part look. While being similar in width (+/- 4 inches), frontals on the other hand lay along the hairline across the front of the head, from ear to ear. A new generation of frontals (the 360 frontal), now allows for full hairline coverage around the entire head – with space left in the middle for the bundle install.
The constructional differences between closures and frontals are apparent, but the subtler differences between the materials used within closures and frontals themselves arguably require more attention. Both closures and frontals are typically made with either lace or silk. Some frontals are even made with both – silk in the middle 4x4 section and lace on either side. While silk base closures tend to mimic a scalp more accurately when viewed up close, lace based closures and frontals are preferred as the material lays much flatter against and blends better with the scalp. This allows lace users to achieve not just a natural, but accurate replica of their own scalp.
Regardless of the chosen base material, all closures and frontals look best when they have been well customized (dyed and plucked) to mimic your natural hairline – as opposed to wearing them with the thick, rigid, and doll-like hairline they are usually received in. 10 times out of 10, customization is something we would recommend everyone to do prior to installing a closure or frontal, however, which one of the two you choose to install and how you actually install them will ultimately depend on your desired look, level of convenience, and level of versatility. Both closures and frontals can be sewn in or constructed into a wig which, can then be sewn down around the edges or worn as a removable wig with a band and laid down with some hair gel. Ultimately, a wig with a frontal will provide its wearer with the most styling versatility, but closures remain the most appropriate option for simple everyday looks (like ones with a middle part) and/or for those who wish to maintain an exact style.