Having a healthy head of hair is often taken as a sign of virility, competence, and youth. As a result, those who suffer from hair loss often view themselves as having the opposite characteristics. For that reason, when a person cannot prevent or stop hair loss, he or she might turn to a hair system—a non-surgical hair replacement option such as a wig, a toupee, or a weave, or, to use more derogatory terms, an “appliance” or a “rug.” Because women are expected to alter their appearance with makeup or surgery, a hair system doesn’t carry as much of a stigma with them. In fact, in some circles, a wig can be considered glamorous. On the other hand, men who rely on a hair system may have a doubled sense of anxiety: firstly, about their hair loss, and secondly, about whether or not others will discover that they wear a “rug.” Still, “borrowed hair” is beginning to become more acceptable among men. For many people, a hair system may be not only a practical solution but also a good option. The following describes materials used in different hair systems, the types of hair systems in existence, and the strengths and drawbacks of hair systems in general.
Whether used in a full wig, a toupee, or a weave, two kinds of materials can be used: synthetic hair and real hair. While synthetic hair is the cheaper option, it is also the more disappointing one: currently, the look and feel of real hair cannot be created synthetically. A more realistic option is real hair. However, even with using real hair, there are important choices to consider, such as where the hair comes from. Currently, most donor hair comes from Asia. This hair tends to be coarser, with thicker strands. Used in a full wig, coarser hair is not much of a problem. However, when coarser hair is used in a toupee or a weave, there may be a challenge with matching the donor hair to a person’s existing hair. If a person decides to use a hair system, he or she should be aware of this consideration about donor hair.
Just as hair can be synthetic or real, wigs and toupees can also be mass produced or handmade. Obviously, mass-produced wigs are of lesser quality, and though they tend to be less expensive, they may also need to be replaced more often. At the other end of the quality spectrum are hairpieces handcrafted by fine artisans. Like the best tailored suits, these hairpieces are custom made with multiple fittings to ensure the best look. However, though these hairpieces may last longer than lower qualities ones, even they need regular maintenance, so most clients purchase at least two. Prices from low quality to high quality hairpieces can range from $300 to $5000 or more.
Whether a hairpiece is mass produced or handmade, it is held together with a foundation of fabric, such as a mesh-like or “lace” foundation, or synthetic material, for instance using a polymer base. Characteristics to consider are the foundation’s breathability, how well it attaches to a person’s head, and how skillfully the weaving is done. The highest quality hairpieces pay attention to directionality—the angles at which hair emerges from the scalp—in order to look as natural as possible.
All hair systems, including weaves, need to attach to the head. There are many ways to accomplish this, and practical options will vary depending on the needs of the wearer. Clips are generally the easiest when it comes to putting a hairpiece on and taking it off. However, clips can be an impractical option in situations where a wearer’s hair loss is advanced. Clips can also cause more hair loss (traction alopecia) and should not be used if a wearer wants to stop hair loss from advancing. Another easy, do-it-yourself option is adhesive tape. A benefit of adhesive tape is that it can provide comfortable, site-specific attachment. However, an important disadvantage is that adhesive tape may prematurely age the hairpiece because of the residue left on the foundation and because removal of the hairpiece requires uneven tugging that may alter the shape of the hairpiece.
Other less temporary options include bonded hair systems and weaves. Bonded hair systems, sometimes marketed as “non-surgical hair implantation,” involve bonding a hair system to the scalp. This is most often used with hairpieces that have a polymer foundation. Weaves, a more natural system, use a fabric foundation; the foundation is woven to the wearer’s existing hair. The advantage to both of these options is that they are stable and long-lasting. However, both of these options require re-bonding or re-tightening about every month.
Though these systems may be among the best options for people who have been unable to prevent hair fall, these options may also accelerate the problem, causing users to frequently need to invest in new systems. Additionally, when considering the overall cost of these options, it is important to keep in mind that even lower quality, less expensive wigs, toupees, and weaves eventually cost more than their initial purchase price. For these reasons, it is important for people considering a hair system to look at all their options, including hair transplantation, which may be a more cost-effective solution in the long run. To make the best, most informed decision, people considering these options should consult a hair restoration specialist.
More Articles :