If you're female and experiencing hair loss, there are several ways to overcome the problem. Nowadays, there is a wide range of hair restoration or hair enhancement techniques that are both surgical and non-surgical. Hair enhancements and top pieces are increasingly common for women who want to conceal thinning or small areas of hair loss. Unfortunately, and contrary to popular belief, hair extensions are not an effective way to conceal patches of thinning or bald spots. Hair extensions are generally most effective for cosmetic purposes and usually only add volume or length to e.g. fine hair that is healthy otherwise. If your hair loss problem is extensive, or you desire fuller, thicker hair overall, you might have opted to invest in a full coverage wig. So what should you know and what steps should you take before you buy? There are three crucial steps.
1. Seek the advice of an experienced wig fitter
Many people decide to speak to their hairdresser when considering converting to a full ladies wig. This is because, quite often, there is a close and trusted relationship. However, it is recommended that you seek objective, independent advice from an expert familiar with the day-to-day nuances of wearing a wig. An experienced wig fitter will be able to show you different types of wig bases and tops - from fully wefted to a full lace or monofilament wig - and describe the different benefits or merits of each. There are also pros and cons to both fibre and real hair wigs - the common misconception is that real hair is always better but many find that this is not the case. A wig consultant will also help you decide on style and colour which might be further from what you have in mind - for the right reasons!
2. Consider a custom-made wig if your hair loss is long term
As you would expect, different wigs are manufactured to suit different needs and types of hair loss. Ready-to-wear wigs in acrylic fibre tend to be supplied in 'set' styles for those who want to get ready and go. This type of wig is excellent quality and will last for several months with the correct care. Those who benefit most from ready-to-wear acrylic wigs tend to be individuals with short term hair loss e.g. caused by cancer treatment including chemotherapy or radiotherapy. If your hair loss is long term e.g. alopecia totalis or alopecia universalis, you might want to consider having something made to measure to ensure a perfect fit and to look and feel as close to your natural hair as possible. Real hair wigs tend to be supplied uncut so you can choose the length and style you want. In addition, real hair allows for more styling options - so it feels like your own natural hair. A real hair wig, with the correct care and maintenance, can last up to 2 years.
3. Review your lifestyle and how much time you are willing to dedicate to styling a wig
Many people wrongly assume that a real hair wig is better than acrylic fiber and will look better than any hair replacement product on the market. However, a lot of women who lead busy, active lifestyles want a wig that will show them in their best light - and sometimes a real hair wig, which requires a degree of daily styling, is not the best option. Thanks to advances in hair technology, you can now buy an acrylic fiber wig that looks and acts just like natural hair - but is probably shinier, silkier and softer than natural hair! If you want hair that immediately looks terrific, you might want to consider a ready-to-wear wig in fiber hair. There are literally hundreds of styles from which to choose. By Steven McCracken