By: Naomi Mannino
Just like fashion and technology, hair systems have become so sophisticated that each can be perfectly tailored to your look, lifestyles and hair loss needs. So the real decision becomes: which hair system is right for me? There are choices for men and women with predictable, diagnosed hair loss, hair loss in patches where follicles are dead and those that still have certain amounts of hair, as in the case of Alopecia Areata. The biggest advantage to hair systems is that they deliver fullness and density immediately without having to wait long.
Are hair systems for me?
___ I still have hair around my hairline
___ I have male pattern baldness
___ I’m missing hair in patches that have remained constant
___ I’m missing hair only on the top of my head
___ What is my budget?
High-end Hair Systems
A hair system is just another word for a portion of hair made to take the place of missing hair. On men it can be at the crown, as in male pattern baldness and in women it can be on the top of the head at a thinning part or wherever you are missing hair like in the case of Alopecia Areata where patches may be missing. No matter what your hair loss situation, there are many ways available to find as natural-looking a solution as possible to cover the missing spots. The quality depends on the type of hair, base chosen and how it will be attached and you’ll want to consult with a professional in person to make the choice that’s right for you. Typically, the method of adhesion is your biggest decision and depends on your lifestyle, whether or not you want to take the hair system off every day and your time constraints.
Double sided tape
Pros: Removable every one-three days.
Cons: Comes off too easily for active types/sports.
Medical grade adhesive
Pros: A soft-bond type lasts two weeks and a hard-bond type lasts up to a month. You can wet, wash, swim and partake in normal activities.
Cons: Soft bond can be time-consuming and a DIY option but hard-bond should be professionally applied because you do run the risk of developing fungus if it is placed improperly.
Pros: Fastened to a hair system and attached to hair you have existing around perimeter of your loss.
Cons: should be professionally applied the first time, can cause traction alopecia on your healthy hair where it is pulling on the clips, and be tricky to clip and unclip by yourself every day.
Pros: Virtually undetectable, tiny cylinders made from aluminum or copper, lined with silicon to protect hair that clamp on to existing hair. Stay on for about month and a half.
Cons: need to be applied, re-applied and maintained professionally.
Pros: The most natural-looking, customized solution, good results for Alopecia Areata sufferers, can last many years.
Cons: The most expensive, time-consuming, must be professionally maintained regularly.
“Volumizer” Hair Systems
These hair integration hair systems, as they can be called, are great if you still have existing hair and don’t want to shave it or wear a stocking to cover your hair loss. “It’s an excellent choice if you have diffused hair loss which means your hair is thinning and even if you have chunks or patches missing,” says Shelly Beatty, owner of StyleMakers Salon in Fort Worth, Texas. A ‘Reprieve’ is another term for this sort of non-surgical, glue-less hair system where your existing hair is pulled through the holes and permanently attached so it provides for very natural looking scalp. And you can sleep in it, wash it and partake in normal activities without anyone knowing about your hair loss, says Beatty. “We will usually choose this route if hair follicles are already dead and would not respond to Propecia, Minoxodil or laser light therapy treatments.” These units must be professionally applied and maintained at least monthly by a hair loss professional.
Mail order Hair Systems
Mail order services exist for you if you’re looking to reduce expenses associated with your hair replacement systems or you want the privacy of doing everything yourself. These work best if you have already had your hair loss diagnosed by a professional and have already previously visited a hair replacement/hair loss specialist and had a custom hair system designed. This way you are a knowledgeable consumer. But even if you aren’t, choose a website/service that has live customer service and technicians to answer all your questions and that will accept a photo of you for the most natural-looking hair replacement. Ask the following questions of any mail-order service you are considering:
___ Will they provide color swatches/color ring?
___ Will they answer your questions live?
___ Can you send pictures?
___ What is their return policy?
___ What are the specific care instructions?
The Bottom line
Every hair replacement option has its own pros and cons that can be best answered by a hair replacement or hair loss professional because all the options depend or your own personal needs and desires. Once you’ve developed your plan, then you can proceed to do-it-yourself options if you desire.
Find a skilled nonsurgical hair replacement practitioner:
___ Ask for before & after photos of clients
___ Ask for testimonials
___ Ask how long practitioner has been providing hair systems
___ Ask about methods
___ Ask about the practitioner’s experience with hair loss
Naomi Mannino is a freelance writer who writes about health, beauty
, and fashion, with a specialty in writing about hair, hair loss and Alopecia. She is a contributing writer for HairLoss.Com who writes about hair loss condition and hair loss solutions.