Hair Replacement techniques
This term is common place in the hair industry and is a broad term used to describe the numerous procedures available to replace lost hair. They typically fall into two categories which are:
· Surgical hair replacement
· Non Surgical hair replacement
The following describes Surgical Hair replacement options:
Surgical hair replacement is the replacement of hair by surgical means. It can also be termed as hair restoration surgery. The surgery is suitable for men and women suffering the effects of genetic balding / thinning and is a permanent solution to the problem.
During this procedure, hair follicles are taken from a donor site and then placed individually in the balding area. The region in which the hair is taken from (the donor site) is important as the hairs need to be unreceptive to the effects of the balding process, which is usually an area of hair that exists at the back and sides of the head and is available even in the baldest of scalps. Once established, these implanted hairs will continue to grow permanently and naturally.
The procedure is performed under local anaesthesia. Modern transplantation is called ‘Follicular Hair Transplantation’. With this process a band of skin approximately 1 cm wide containing the permanently growing hair, is surgically removed from the desired area of scalp, this is called the ‘excision’. Precision is required for this procedure as a band of skin too wide can prevent a neatly sutured area, with the possibility of creating a scarred line. Once removed, the band of donor tissue is dissected, and the hair follicles are removed. The hair follicles are then transplanted into tiny surgical sites made in the required areas of the scalp. Once the hair is transplanted, it functions as before and continues to grow naturally. The transplanted hair begins to grow again around 14-16 weeks post surgery but significant growth will take around 6 months.
Many techniques for this procedure have progressed over the years. Early surgeries involved 4mm circular areas of hair bearing scalp being removed and then repositioned in row like deposits. This was often unappealing and was frequently referred to as a ‘dolls head’ effect. Thankfully this type of procedure was being replaced by a better technique using smaller ‘mini’ grafts which were then transplanted into small holes on the scalp. This giving a far less ‘tuft-like’ appearance. Hairline areas were also given a softer more natural line using micro grafting.
Currently what is known as Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is used. With this technique more hair can be transplanted than ever before. Grafts are taken with extremely refined instruments. The follicular units of the scalp is a naturally occurring bundle of up to 5 hair follicles with the associated erector muscles, nervous and vascular systems which surround the units. Ultra Refined Follicular Unit Transplantations (URFUT) is now also performed enabling as many as 40-50 follicular unit grafts or 80-110 hairs per square cm.
An advance on technique, which is now becoming more common place, is the Follicular Unit Extraction method ( FUE). This was developed with the aim to reduce in patients the pain and risks of causing large scars (frequently associated with the FUT/strip technique).
The following describes ‘Non-Surgical’ hair replacement options.
There are numerous types of non surgical hair replacement and as the name implies there is no surgery involved in these types of hair treatments. These procedures may also be referred to (amongst others) as: non surgical hair replacement systems, natural hair replacement solutions, wigs, toupees, hair extensions, and hair weaves.
Hair replacement systems often refer to modern high-end toupees and wigs. These hair systems are bespoke for the clients needs, using the finest quality often European or Asian hair exacting to the clients needs. The hair is made to order using an extremely durable mesh base which can be colour selected to match skin tone. The hair is attached to this mesh base foundation using special hand knotting techniques that fasten the hair to the base. This method also allows for the “knots” to disappear on the base, giving the illusion of hair growing out of the head. Some integrated systems can even add volume to fine hair. The method of attachment varies from weaving to the existing hair or bonding to the scalp. The main difference these hair systems have to conventional wigs, is that in general wigs cover the entire head and are fitted over the scalp or by using a tape. Wigs can be made from synthetic hair, human hair, or even a mixture of both.
Wigs and toupees can be made to order and are called ‘bespoke’ or can be purchased ready made then ordered by size, colour and style required. Wigs generally cover the entire head whereas a toupee is a hair piece that covers a bald area. Price varies enormously from: whether it’s made from human hair or synthetic / artificial hair, the type style and length. Bespoke is made specific to the individual and are the more expensive variety, they are usually styled and fitted for the client.
Hair extensions are lengths of hair which are added to existing hair. The extensions again, can be made from artificial synthetic hair or human hair. Methods of attachment vary from bonding, weaving, braiding, or clip on. The extensions that clip into the hair are easy to apply by the wearer and can be purchased in many different varieties. More permanent hair extensions need to be fitted professionally. The method of attachment differs greatly but the most widely used method is bonding using glue. These extensions can be worn for several months before needing maintenance. The hair extensions can extend existing hair, provide volume, and even add highlights.
Micro Scalp Pigmentation
This is a fairly new treatment which can be an immediate solution to hair loss, particularly for men. The procedure helps recreate the look of hair follicles by placing pigment on bald areas to give a subtle and natural appearance of hair, even extremely close up.
This artistic process is a mixture of micro pigmentation and tattooing techniques. Special mineral pigments are used which are skilfully mixed to match hair colour during the treatment, creating individual hair follicles and blending it with your remaining hair, making this a hassle free solution you can enjoy immediately.
It can be used as a remedy for all types of hair loss from male pattern baldness, camouflaging transplant scars or just to simply shade areas to make hair appear denser. You will regain your hairline with a neat and natural look as well as giving your hair a sharper and more defined appearance.
Micro Scalp Pigmentation is not like a regular tattoo. The stylist will use different techniques to apply the pigment to the scalp. The needle does not penetrate the skin as deep as a tattoo so that the pigment can be placed into the skin to achieve outstanding results. The treatment itself does not have any side effects; however, some clients have suffered from some temporary discomfort. Anaesthetics are available, but most clients manage without it.
The treatment times will differ with the amount of hair loss and will require two, sometimes three treatments, depending on the area needing to be covered.
Certified Full Wig and Volumising Systems
There are so many wigs and hair systems to chose from on the market how do you know which one is right for you? Firstly, if you are considering having a bespoke wig made you should take into consideration that the company you are using is a certified Wig Maker.
To create and complete bespoke Wigs, as an example, the wig maker has to hand craft and knot around 70,000 individual hairs. - Craftsmanship! It takes an enormous amount of intricate skill, technique, know-how and patients to complete.
Specialists certified in Wig Making can create many different styles of wigs such as a Full Lace Wig, Front Lace Wig, custom bespoke hand made wig, wavy or curly wigs, even high-lighted wigs. Choosing the right system should be as hassle free as possible for you. Below, are some of the most commonly used terms and what they mean, as well as all the information you may need to help you.
SYSTEM: This is the technical term for wigs and volumising hair replacement products. These include full wigs, partial wigs and volumising systems.
FULL SYSTEMS: These are full wigs, generally structured from thin translucent, breathable skins and/or very fine lace to give a very comfortable and natural fit.
VOLUMISING (partial) SYSTEMS: These are used to help with partial hair loss and are normally are situated on the top part of the head. They can be constructed from various materials, such as very fine lace and are designed to blend seamlessly with your natural hair.
Volumising system/ Toupee Base Cap
MEN'S SYSTEMS/ TOUPEES: These are just like Ladies' Systems but are specifically designed with men in mind. They are normally structured from a fine breathable material and can be used to cover full hair loss and partial hair loss. Ladies' and Men's Full Systems are made from the same materials and using the same techniques - the main differences being the styling and lengths.
Lace Fronted Full Hair Replacement Systems and Hair Types
It is now possible to have an incredible natural look with lace. Lace can give the complete look of natural, growing hair.
Front lace and Full Lace systems use technology widely used by world renowned film stars and singers for years, their secret it is available to you at very affordable prices. Lace is so fine, it is virtually undetectable. Each individual hair (up to 70,000!) hand-knotted to the lace giving an incredible natural hairline.
Hair can be matched from a very wide selection of human hair varieties.
European Hair - This hair has not been colour processed and as it is in a virgin state, it holds its colour perfectly. It is straight and soft. This hair is the purest but most expensive.
Asian Hair - this hair is as European Hair but is just fractionally coarser than European.
Asian Processed Hair - this hair is the same diameter hair as Asian non-Processed hair but as the hair is coloured, it is just slightly more porous. This hair is the most widely used in systems and has the most wonderful texture together with excellent condition. Perfect for Caucasian hair.
Chinese Processed Hair - this is slightly coarser than Asian hair and is most commonly used for people with thick hair and for Afro - Caribbean hair. This hair will normally have a Yaki texture (similar to the texture of relaxed hair) which makes it ideal for Afro/Caribbean clients.
Often hair is Remy aligned. This means that the cuticles on the hair surface are aligned leading to a more natural flow and less tangling.
So simple to do! For the client with fine or thinning hair, Volumise is a custom made hair piece. Volumise is attached to the hair using variuos technoques and then inter-woven with the client's hair. -the blend is so natural you forget it's not your own hair!
How to Care For Your Wig
DO NOT expose to heat in excess of 160* (example opening an oven door)
DO NOT use any heated appliances on synthetic fibre Wigs.
How do I put on my wig?
Fix your own hair by pinning back or wearing a wig cap. Hold wig by the back for first time use shake it out! Loosen any Velcro straps or hooks in the back of the wig used for adjusting. Hold the wig by the sides and put it on your head. Position the wig until it is comfortable and in a natural position.
Caring for a Wig
1) Place your wig into bowl of warm water.
2) Add 2 tea spoons of Great Looking Hair Moisturising Shampoo.
3) Gently massage hair and rinse in fresh warm water.
4) Pat hair and add a little Great Looking Hair Moisturising Conditioner and combthrough and rinse.
Caring for my Human Hair wig
After following the wash instructions as above it is very important to hold with one hand the root hair together with the wig base and then with the other hand gently brush the hair starting from the ends going up to the roots. Brush very gently at the area of the root and the wig base. It is recommended to have two or three wigs a year so that you can interchange them.
Can I use styling products with my new wig?
You can use styling products such as mousse, serum, sparkle and shine and light hairsprays. Make sure you read the instructions.
Styling a Wig
Use a wire brush, or your fingertips. Whilst your wig has been designed with a basic style, you can achieve many variations of styles, by gently lifting or gentle back combing. To regain the original style just brush thoroughly and when cleaning allow to air dry.
Brush Synthetic fibre Wigs ONLY when dry.
Use products specifically designed for wigs.
What is the difference between Synthetic Fibre Hair and Human Hair?
Synthetic fibre is pre styled and therefore easy to maintain and much cheaper than Human hair wigs. However Human hair wigs need styling but are more natural and will last much longer and can be coloured to some degree.
How long does a synthetic fibre wig last?
You will get up to 6months wear from your wig, if you are a daily wearer, after which it may start to go dry on the ends and loses its shine, where as a human hair wig can last much longer.
The monofilament in the wig is the cap within the wig. This has a special construction which gives great comfort and wearability. The construction is very comfortable because of the weaving technique, which provides excellent ventilation. And will match your own individual scalp colour.
What makes some wigs more expensive than others?
The price of a wig depends on the materials used in the construction of the wig. Synthetic wigs are generally much cheaper than Human hair, and a more durable lightweight wig will raise the price. The expertise of the wigmaker and the beauty and quality of the eventual product will also determine the price, as will the method used in its construction, with a hand-knotted wig being more expensive.
Can a wig colour match my own hair?
You can supply a sample of your hair and a colour can be selected to match it to your exact specifications.