Real Hair Extensions
The first port of call for many females with hair loss is real hair extensions. These can be supplied as either clip-in or bonded i.e. using heated glue to fuse the extensions to existing hair or woven into your own hair. It is important to source an ethical supplier who is able to trace the origin of the hair – look for quality standards markings or label information. Clip-in hair extensions are usually supplied in sets of four strips or ‘wefts’. These vary in size and should be applied from the neck upwards, to the top of the ear. The main benefits of clip-in extensions are that they places less stress on the follicle and can be applied at home or on the move within minutes. Real hair bonded extensions, as you would expect, require the same care as real hair – shampoo and conditioning are imperative – as is ensuring that stress is not placed on the follicle near the bonded area. Contrary to popular belief however, extensions are not effective in concealing bald patches. They are recommended for adding volume or length to hair that is evenly distributed across the scalp and usually applied for fashion enhancement mega hair.
Top Pieces or ‘Toppers’
There are many women who experience thinning in a certain area but do not require a full coverage wig. In those cases, a top piece or topper is a particularly effective way to overcome hair loss. This partial piece is designed to fit on top of the head and hair is blended with your natural hair. Toppers enhance volume on the crown and can conceal thinning patches. Reassuringly, there are enhancement procedures that can cover completely bald patches. See Hair Integration below.
A relatively new phenomenon, this is a non-surgical procedure which involves blending real, colour-matched hair with your own. It works by creating a custom-made hair addition which is fitted to your scalp. Using a fine, mesh gauze material, pre-colour matched hair is hand knotted onto the mesh. This hair-piece is then placed on the individual’s head and existing, natural hair is threaded through and blended with the integration hair. The gauze piece is kept in place by virtually invisible yet secure beads. This custom-made process only takes 10-12 weeks and the result is an instant full head of hair. Maintenance is every 4-6 weeks or so. Integration is revolutionising the hair restoration industry because it is a painless process that restores hair – and can restore confidence – almost immediately.
Full Coverage Hairpieces
Many women experiencing severe loss or thinning find that extensions or integration are not viable hair restoration options. However, do not be discouraged because there are many lightweight, sophisticated full coverage hairpieces or wigs on the market that can enhance hair and look incredibly natural. Clients can now choose from hundreds of styles in highlighted or ‘rooted’ (darker roots) colours, ready-to-wear synthetic wigs, real hair wigs or custom-made human hair wigs. The base materials of wigs vary and offer different benefits: monofilament top wigs offer an extra realistic scalp appearance and more movement of hair; lace front wigs offer a virtually invisible hairline and wig bases containing silicone can offer extra security.