A Brief Review of the Existing Hair Systems

A hair system is a name given to any type of borrowed hair in the form of a full wig, hairpiece, weave, hair extension or a toupee, which replaces your own missing hair. Hair systems are, for many hair loss patients, the only remaining hair replacement option to regain the appearance of a full head of hair. The quality and the price of hair systems depend on a variety of factors, such as the type of hair used, the production process used to make the wig, the foundation of the hair system and the method of attaching it to the scalp.

The type of hair is the first thing most prospective buyers will ask about. Both artificial and natural hair is used. The natural hair can be of human or animal origin. Some hair systems blend human hair with animal hair. The human hair can be of Asian origin (the least expensive option), Indian origin or European origin (the most expensive option). Asian and Indian hair must often be bleached, which makes it brittle and less durable. Considering the harvesting methods, virgin hair is the most expensive and hair gained from combs and hairbrushes the least expensive option. Human hair requires more care than artificial hair but it looks more authentic, lasts longer and is more comfortable to wear. Its downside is its higher cost and the fact that it can lose its colour when exposed to direct sun for long hours or break, as normal human hair does.

As far as the wig’s manufacturing technology goes, hair systems can be hand-tied or machine-tied. Hand-tied wigs can also be custom made, which happens to be the most expensive alternative. The foundation of a hair system can be either a polymer or a mesh. The polymer foundation is a more affordable but also a less comfortable option. A mesh structure breathes better than polymer structures and is therefore more comfortable to wear but, besides being more expensive, it is also a less durable alternative and more difficult to maintain. Mesh is suitable for creating authentic-looking hairlines, therefore many wigs combine both technologies, mesh for the hairline and the polymer structure for the inside of the wig.

The method of attaching a wig to your scalp and blending it with your existing hair is an extremely important factor. There are semi-permanently attached hair systems that are either glued to your scalp or woven into your existing hair and these can only be removed in a hair salon once every five or six weeks for maintenance. These systems cling tightly to your scalp but can be unhealthy as well as uncomfortable to wear after a couple of weeks of use. The temporarily-attached hair systems use double-sided sticky tape or clips to fix the hairpiece to your scalp and existing hair. They can be removed and cleaned as often as you like but can also be easily and unexpectedly removed, leading to some embarrassing situations.

The final, determining factor when deciding on buying a suitable hairpiece is the price. Any hair system is temporary in nature, it will not last for ever like hair transplants do. Nevertheless, it can be quite expensive. Hair transplants can cost as much as ten thousand dollars or even more. Although you can get a wig for a few hundred dollars, the more authentic looking pieces cost a few thousand dollars and require regular maintenance costing a couple of hundred dollars a month. Besides that, you have to buy at least two identical pieces, one to wear while the other is being maintained by your hair salon. Though not cheap, hair systems are often the only option to replace the lost hair for many alopecia areata patients, as well as a large percentage of female hair loss sufferers.

Posted in: Surgical and non-medical hair restoration