THE WORLD OF HAIR SYSTEMS CAN BE FULL OF CONFLICTING AND CONFUSING INFORMATION, SO LET’S TRY TO GET SOME FACTS STRAIGHT
When it comes to actually wearing hair, or using a hair system, you may have some very good questions as to how it all works, starting with what the term “hair system” really means.
Q. What’s the difference between a hair system and a hair replacement?
Both terms mean the same thing. Hair replacement includes any type of non-surgical solution for hair loss that uses additional hair. A hairpiece, wig, extension or hair system refers to the actual portion of hair made to take the place of any missing hair on your head.
Q. How many hair systems do I need?
You may have heard a lot of conflicting information about how many hair systems people need. Some may say that you need two to start out with so you can rotate them and wear a fresh one while another is being repaired and/or maintained. But it depends on your hair system and your hair loss situation. Nowadays hair systems are made using such lightweight materials (the heavier the hair and cap, the less natural a hair system will look) that they are sometimes disposable, requiring a new one every time, about every eight weeks or so. These lighter hair systems may cost a little less for each one, but you will need a new one each time for best results.
Q. Why throw one away when it looks perfectly fine?
You replace a hair system before it shows any wear. Otherwise outsiders might be able to see a hair system’s hair loss or cap fraying — and you wouldn’t want that!
Q. Does it always have to be the same style of hair system over and over?
That’s your choice. If you’re adventurous and want to switch styles or colors, you can certainly work with the stylist to create different hair systems, or you can stick with one that represents “your look” time and time again.
Q. Will my hair system change as I age over the years?
You want your hair system to be as realistic and natural as possible, and if that includes shortening your style or showing some graying, your stylist will strive to make your hair system as age appropriate as you desire, matching it to your facial shape and skin tone. For men, lessening the amount of hair to match any overall thinning or pattern baldness around the system may also be appropriate as you age.
Q. Are hair systems for men different from those for women?
All hair systems contain a base material, hair and a means of attachment. Each is created and styled depending on a person’s specific hair loss situation, lifestyle needs and budget considerations.
Q. I have long, thinning hair. Do I have to cut it all off to wear a hair system?
No, your stylist can work with your long hair, even combining it with your new hair system. When wearing a full hair replacement, or wig, you may find it cleaner, easier to care for and more comfortable to keep your remaining hair cut short. But if you’re uneasy about it, your stylist can work with you and your hair to find which way makes you feel best.
Q. Are there any considerations I should be aware of if I wear a hair system?
Aside from your lifestyle loosening your hair system, keeping up with maintenance and following all directions, you need to keep track of any medications your are taking, since some can cause adverse reactions to certain adhesives. If you experience irritation or a reaction to your adhesive, alert your hair replacement professional, who can suggest an alternative means of attachment. Another consideration is not to neglect a scalp check for any changes to moles or other signs of skin cancer. If you spend a lot of time outdoors or in the sun, cover your head and hair system with a hat to protect against sunburn and overexposure to the sun, which can lead to skin cancer and also an eventual discoloring or fading of your hair system.
Q. Can I have the kind of hair system that is removed at night, or does it have to be attached for a month or more at a time?
It is totally your choice as to how you want your hair system to be attached and also how much care you want to take with attaching it yourself. Your hair replacement specialist will work with your lifestyle considerations to determine the best method of attachment and a schedule for removal.
Q. What is the difference between a custom-made hair system and an “off-the-shelf” hair system?
A custom-made hair system is made by molding and measuring your head or hair loss area and is created strand by strand to match your exact hair density and hairline; these are usually the most expensive types. A ready-made hair system can be bought off the shelf but will still be cut, colored and styled based on your skin tone and facial shape by working with your hair replacement specialist stylist.