Closures, for those who are unfamiliar, are special hair units in which individual hair strands are attached (usually hand-tied) to a piece of material, most commonly lace or silk. The base material normally comes in different colors – beige or brown – and some companies offer specialized color matching services in which the material is selected to match the skin color of your forehead exactly.
Closures are sold in various sizes, most commonly three inches wide by four inches deep. The purpose of a closure is to allow the wearer to have a full sew in (or wig) with none of their hair left out but still have the flexibility of being able to wear a part with the appearance of scalp showing. This is the exact same technology as a lace front or lace wig. When the closure is attached to your braided hair (or wig) you are able to part the closure in any direction.
Now that we all understand what a closure is, lets discuss the differences between a Swiss lace versus silk base closure. Both allow the freedom of a full sew in, without leaving any hair out and the ability to part the hair in any direction. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to both.
Swiss lace closures have strands of hair hand-tied to the lace, which looks like a piece of netting or mesh material. It allows your scalp to breathe and gives easier access to your hair beneath to clean, condition and moisturize effectively. The knots created from the hair being tied to the lace often create small black dots along the parted area, which most people believe to be extremely unrealistic. Some ladies bleach these knots to bring them to a light enough color that they appear invisible, while others (like me) simply cover them with concealer that matches their skin. Most often Swiss lace closures are the cheapest option.
Silk base closures use a silk overlay to attach the hair and may be custom ordered to match your skin exactly. There are no visible knots, so the resulting parts give an extremely realistic finish as if the hair is growing out of your scalp directly. Because the material is not netted as in Swiss lace closures, the braided hair beneath is not as accessible. If you sweat excessively or have scalp issues (dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, etc) then this may not be the best option for you.
Skin based closures are an even newer, third option. The polyurethane base simulates your scalp, and it appears as if the hair follicles are actually coming out of the base, similar to the silk base closures. The difference is that silk base closures are often offered in varying colors while most skin based closures simply offer a universal translucent base. However, the polyurethane material may be more durable than silk.
Hopefully this post helped you understand the differences between the various types of closures. They are an investment and meant to be reused over the course of many installations, so think of them as a one time purchase.