Hair Metrics Analysis: Nonsurgical Hair ReplacementRelated terms: Wig, Toupee, Hairpiece, Hair Replacement System
The composition and construction of hair replacement options has changed somewhat over time, but the essence of what constitutes a toupee or wig has remained relatively the same. It is often a last resort for individuals with significant hair loss who did not respond to other forms of treatment. Unfortunately, most people are somewhat dissatisfied with their hair replacement experience according to the American Hair Loss Association.
Hair pieces for men and women come in many different colors, styles, lengths, compositions, textures, and cap sizes. The best (and most expensive) hair pieces are those made of human hair that has never been chemically treated (also known as virgin hair), but many unscrupulous businesses often try to pass off synthetic or animal hair as human hair. Hair extensions are a related option, particularly for women, who simply want to add thickness to their hair and for whom purchasing a full wig is not appropriate (see Hair Metrics Analysis: Hair Extensions).
Hairpieces and wigs are a private matter, so for the uninitiated, there is a lot you would not know. For one, getting a hair replacement system is not just a matter of purchasing a wig that looks good and taking it on and off your head like a hat. These systems must be properly applied and you likely have to have your hair shaved under the hairpiece, and possibly all around it as well, to have it look as close to natural as possible. The hair needs to be maintained at a cost of $100 or more per month, and more than one piece is typically purchased at a time. In short, getting a hairpiece isn’t a turnkey solution to hair loss.
Notwithstanding the above, there still remains a stigma against hairpieces and they’re certainly not something most people advertise. That’s not to say you should not consider a hair replacement system because of stigma, but the stigma derives from a general sense that many hairpieces may not look natural or are a sign of insecurity. If you do have some hair on top, and are looking for nonsurgical options, we recommend taking a look at Hair Building Fibers as an alternative (See Hair Metrics Analysis: Hair Building Fibers). If you do decide to proceed with a complete hair replacement system, make sure you get one or more positive referrals and do lots of research before settling on your preferred provider.