Hairpieces, wigs and toupees are widely available and probably the most common method of disguising baldness or thinning hair. In the past, hairpieces looked quite obvious because of the way they were producedwith too much hair or an unnatural-looking part, or because the synthetic hair used to fade in the sun. These days, hairpieces are a lot more natural looking and attachment techniques are more advancedbut make sure to use a reputable company and research the pros and cons of the hairpiece before purchasing.
There are several ways of attaching hairpieces, such as with double-sided tape, weaving, bonding or integration.
Hair weaves involve braiding the existing hair along the sides and back of the head and "sewing" the hairpiece to the braids (although tape is still required to secure the front of the hairpiece).
- The hairpiece has to be a certain bulk in order to cover the braids.
- The weaves will need to be reattached every few weeks, as the natural hair grows. This can be expensive.
- The hairpieces themselves can discolour.
- And after about 6 months, the natural hair, which has been braided, can weaken and fall out because of the pressure of the hairpiece.
Bonding involves "gluing" the hairpiece (a small patch or an entire wig) to the scalp with glue, which needs reapplying every few weeks. Although this can look quite natural it can be uncomfortable and the glue can loosen. The glue may also weaken existing hair, making it fall out.
Hair integration involves making a cap with hair attached to it. Existing hair is then pulled through holes in the cap and brushed in with the other hair. This is less likely to get in the way of physical activity and works particularly well for people whose hair is thinning evenly, without a bald spot.
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Last updated: June 18th, 2008