What is Non-Surgical Hair Replacement?
The term “non-surgical hair replacement” has been widely used as a marketing term to describe any number of hair loss remedies ranging from topical hair loss treatment products, to scalp micropigmentation, toupees, hair pieces and wigs. More correctly, non-surgical hair replacement is the cosmetic “replacement” of hair lost by men and women to causes such as male or female pattern baldness, alopecia, and other causes. Hair replacement is separate and apart from “hair restoration,” a term more specifically used when describing surgical hair restoration or hair transplants.
While the terms wig, toupee, and hairpiece may be used to describe specific methods of non-surgical hair replacement, the most common form of hair replacement is a modern hair replacement system made from 100% natural human hair. This type of hair replacement system is typically custom fitted for each individual wearer to perfectly match the shape of their head and exactly match the color and texture of their own natural growing hair. It is generally permanently attached by means of surgical adhesive and is designed to be worn 24 hours a day.
While it is possible to purchase stock, off-the-shelf hair replacement systems, most men and women who are looking to do something about their thinning hair are looking for a solution that is virtually undetectable both in terms of how it appears to the eye, as well as how it feels when someone runs their fingers through it. Stock, off-the-shelf hair systems range widely in quality. Many are made with synthetic hair injected in a polyurethane base that is either attached by means of adhesive or clips. The most obvious disadvantages of these types of systems are that synthetic hair cannot be styled or colored and can actually melt under the heat of hair styling tools. While there are some exceptions, they also look remarkably unrealistic.
Today’s modern hair replacement systems are almost exclusively made with 100% natural human hair, and when professionally crafted, color- and density-matched, and applied, are virtually impossible to distinguish from your own natural growing hair even to the most critical eye.
One longtime hair replacement professional once lamented the irony that “no one ever notices our best work.”
Hair Replacement vs. Hair Restoration: Which is Best?
Affordable hair replacement is an ideal solution for men and women who are experiencing thinning hair and hair loss due to genetic or hereditary pattern baldness or other causes of hair loss such as that caused by chemotherapy treatments, medical conditions, or trauma. Hair systems are also appropriate for individuals who wish to do something about their hair loss but have lost too much hair for hair transplants to be a viable solution.
Hair replacement systems also offer the advantage of restoring the fullness, thickness and density of hair that the individual has lost. With hair transplantation, there is no net gain in overall hair density since there is no net gain in the total number of hairs on the person’s scalp. Hair is moved from one area of the scalp to another. With non-surgical hair replacement, there is no time lost to recovery and healing from surgery, since hair replacement is a cosmetic procedure which can usually be accomplished, start to finish, in less than one to two hours.
How Long Does Non-Surgical Hair Replacement Last?
In the case of hair transplant surgery, which is performed by an experienced, skilled cosmetic surgeon, remarkable results can be achieved that will last a lifetime. Non-surgical hair replacement systems require regular service by a trained hair replacement stylist on a typical four-to-six-week schedule, just like going to your current barber or stylist. During your regularly scheduled visit, your hair replacement system is removed and cleaned, your hair is washed and scalp cleaned, your hair is cut, and the hair system is reattached and styled.
Most hair replacement systems, especially those made with 100% natural human hair, are only designed to be used for several weeks at a time, after which they are discarded and replaced with a new system, allowing you to achieve a personalized, comfortable and natural look as you go about your normal professional, social, and athletic activities.