Hair Systems Consumer Guide
Hair Replacement consumer guide to non surgical hair replacement procedures using ultra fine lace materials for hair piece and hair systems. Hair replacement is also commonly referred to as hair system, hair replacement unit, hairpiece or toupee. The industry tries very hard to differentiate itself from wigs but in reality, it is a highly customized form of wigs to a certain extent.
The Insider Story - everything you need to know...
Hair replacement or hair replacement system is the non-surgical solution that works for all types of men & women hair loss, and even children hair loss. No drug, no surgery, no regular salon visits, You have the option to use 100% human hair. Any hair type, any hair color, any texture, any length. It works for people with moderate hair loss or total hair loss, hair transplant repair victims and even alopecia areata or alopecia universalis patients.
Sounds good? It's advantages are very obvious when compared to other treatments currently available on the market. However, there are a lot more you need to know before making a decision. Below we examine some of the aspects you need to know when choosing this option as a hair loss treatment.
Hair Replacement vs Hair Transplants
The initial cost for hair transplants can easily cost upward of $10,000 or even higher depending on what technique you choose and how many grafts you need. On the other hand, most high end full service hair replacement systems usually cost about $5000 or less regardless of the extent of your hair loss. The price is more or less the same even for people who are completely bald, but such is not the case for hair transplant surgery. For surgical procedures, the pricing scheme can be very confusing. The more extensive the baldness, the more costly is the treatment for hair surgery. Hair transplant pricing can vary greatly even within the same clinic, it can be affected by a lot of factors such as the technique you choose, the number of grafts you need, the type of procedure etc. Hair replacement pricing scheme does not vary much, depending on which vendor you choose, it is almost like a one price fits all protocol, less confusing and a lot easier to understand how this option fits your budget.
Hair Replacement vs Hair Transplants
Unlike hair transplant surgery, hair replacement is a non surgical procedure that requires no knife, no scalpel, no stitches and no downtime for recovery. With hair transplants, you will require anaesthesia in order to numb the areas where donor follicles are removed. A knife, scalpel or needle is required during the process in both the recipient and the donor sites. There will be bleeding, scabs, and fairly extensive post surgical care and down time for recovery. Recovery time for hair transplants can be up to a month or longer in some cases before some patients can resume all their daily routines. All these are non issues for hair replacement systems. If your unit is ready, you can have the procedure all done in 1 day. No recovery time necessary and definitely no bleeding to worry about.
The process of installing a hair replacement system, quite often referred to as hair system or a unit, is very straight forward. The hair system is actually a wig, but highly customized and light weight in order to suit the customer's individual needs. Installation of the unit normally requires the use of glue and/or double sided tape. The industry tries to glorifies the process by calling it a bonding process but in essence it is just a kind of glue applied to your scalp. Many call the glue or bonding material medical grade adhesives in order to alleviate concerns about safety issues due to long term use of the glue. Over the years, we are not aware of any long term safety studies performed for these bonding adhesives. Remember, the glue or adhesives are applied directly onto your scalp, so it is not unreasonable for some to raise concerns about potential safety issues due to systemic absorption of the adhesive chemicals into the body. That a glue is labeled as medical grade does not mean that it has been tested for long term use or application.
In order for the liquid adhesives or glue to work effectively, the wearer must shave all or a good portion of his scalp. If you keep your existing hair intact, the adhesives will not work and the hair unit will become loose. That is the last thing you want. Very often, liquid adhesives alone are not sufficient in order to hold the unit in place. Many wearers also use double sided tape to secure the unit. When done correctly, the unit is actually very secure and can withstand wind, rain and even rigorous exercises or activities.
If you do not feel comfortable with the idea of liquid adhesive chemicals on your scalp, you can choose to adhere the unit to your scalp using clips or weaving technique. Please see below for further discussion.
As previously mentioned, the hair unit is in essence a customized light weight wig. In order for the unit to fit perfectly, the customer must visit the hair replacement salon for measurement in advance. This way the consultant can create a mold that matches the shape of your scalp and the balding areas. The mold is sometimes called the template.
Once a mold or the template has been created, the consultant will send the mold to the hair factory in order to create a customized unit in accordance to the measurement of the mold or template. It will take anywhere from a week to a month or longer for the final customized unit to be ready.
When the unit is ready, the customer will then be called to come in to the salon for the official cut-in. This is the time when the customized unit will be installed on the customer's scalp. This process should take half a day to 1 day at most. The customer can then walk out of the salon with a full head of hair.
Hair Replacement vs Hair Transplants
As you can tell by now, while non surgical hair replacement has many advantages over hair transplants, it does NOT give you your real natural growing hair. It is nonetheless a light weight customized wig that you are wearing on your hat. And because of that, one of the biggest downside or disadvantages to this type of hair restoration is that your can be somewhat limited in your activities.
Since the unit is attached to your scalp by means of liquid adhesives or some other means, security of the unit is always a concern. As a matter of fact, this can be a number 1 priority for everyone who is wearing hair and it can be an overwhelming concern. While the adhesives are generally very secure in most instances, the unit can also become loose quite easily under some circumstances. For example, when your own hair starts to grow long underneath the unit, it will push the unit away and make it more difficult for the unit to bond or adhere to your scalp, this will cause the unit to become loose and less secure. Also, perspiration will cause the adhesives to become less effective in holding the unit in place. So if you are to engage in rigorous activities, activities or swimming, sometimes it may not be a good idea as the possibility for the unit to become loose will increase. Similarly, if you are to wear the hair system in hot climates with high humidity, your perspiration will increase and thus also increase the chance the the unit becoming loose while you are wearing it. These are some aspects of hair replacement system that you must be aware of before making a purchase decision.
As a matter of fact, if someone forcefully pull your hair system away from your scalp, it will come off. So never believe that the unit is permanently secure once it is installed. It is not your real natural growing hair.
Hair Replacement vs Hair Transplants
Yes, hair replacement systems allow you to have hair with no drugs, no pills, no lotions or potions, and definitely no surgery required. Any style, any color, any texture, any density, any length. It works for virtually any type of hair loss you can imagine. It does sound too good to be true. Well, there is indeed one catch - MAINTENANCE.
As mentioned earlier, hair replacement system does not give you natural growing hair. In order for the unit to look natural and feel secure on your scalp, you must follow the maintenance routine religiously. First off, you must keep the unit clean. You can shower, shampoo like you normally do while wearing hair, but keep in mind that grease and dirt can accumulate underneath the unit with each passing minute, and especially when you are perspiring a lot. Personal hygiene for your scalp becomes ever more important when you have the hair system attached to your scalp. If possible, you should remove the unit from your scalp at least once every 2 days in order to maintain the best possible hygiene for your scalp. To remove the unit from your scalp, you will need to use some kind of solvent in order to loosen the strength of the adhesives. If you keep the unit on for too many days without cleaning, the bond will become very loose and you will constantly feel conscious that your unit may come off any time. Besides, your scalp as well as your hair system may produce unpleasant odor without regular cleansing.
Part of the maintenance routine will also involve shaving your existing hair. If your own hair continues to grow, it will compromise the strength of the adhesives. So regular shaving of your own hair is mandatory if you want to feel secure about the unit. Of course, once your scalp has received a fresh clean shave, you will have to go through the same process of re-attaching the unit back to your scalp, until it is time to do the next cleansing.
Another time consuming and costly maintenance is the hair system unit itself. The unit you purchase is not a permanent piece. It is subject to wear and tear over time plus the hair texture and hair color may deteriorate over prolong use. It will cost you money to keep the existing unit in satisfactory working condition, for example you will have to spend money adding more hair density and restoring color to the unit from time to time. Typically, a brand new hair system can last anywhere from a few months to up to a few years depending on the quality of the unit and usage. In other words, your initial purchase is not a one time investment but you must keep spending in order to maintain your hair replacement unit in a satisfactory condition. Don't be surprised that every 2-3 years or even sooner, you will have to purchase a brand new unit to replace your old worn out piece.
Full Service vs Do It Yourself
Since maintenance is such an important aspect of proper hair replacement routine, many companies actually derive the bulk of the revenues by servicing existing hair replacement clients rather than from the sale of hair system units. Very often, some full service salons will persuade their customers to sign up for a long term maintenance service contract. This way the salons will have a steady stream of revenues even after the sale of the hair replacement unit. The maintenance service is very lucrative, depending on where you live and the type of service you require, each maintenance session can cost $50 or more. Consider the fact that most people will require some type of service once every 2 weeks or so, it is a very lucrative business indeed.
Because maintenance at a full service salon can be quite costly and you need to make an appointment, there are companies that sell hair replacement accessories to the end users so that they can perform the maintenance in the comfort of their own home and at a fraction of the cost. While this is an attractive option, it does require some practice before someone is skillful and experienced enough to perform his or her maintenance routine at home. There is no right answer when it comes to full service vs do it yourself. You simply have to ask yourself what you feel most comfortable with.