Hair Systems for Hair Loss (Wigs, Hair Pieces & Toupees)

Due to the rising trend in synthetic hair manufacturing, there have developed many names for man-made hair: wigs, hair pieces, hair systems, toupees, etc. While ‘hair system’ may sound like a gimmick to make you believe you’re not just buying a tacky toupee, it is actually a popular umbrella term to denote any type of synthetic hair, regardless of its material or intended purpose, and even stretches to include hair extensions or weaves.

Living with a hair system can be a lot of hassle, but it can also be a saving grace if medicinal treatments are ineffectual; you have temporarily lost your hair due to stress or chemotherapy, you do not have enough donor hair for a transplant, or you simply are not ready to attempt cosmetic surgery, and you would not be the first to wear synthetically created hair. In fact, for centuries hair loss has been kept under wraps using artificially-crafted hair. Until recently, however, craftsmen have not had a great deal of success convincing onlookers of the authenticity of their patrons’ wigs. Modern techniques can appear flawless and natural, if you’re willing to spend the time and money constructing the right look for you.

Ideally, you should have three systems, one to wear, one to be repaired, and one to have for emergencies. This can be a costly project as hair systems wear out quickly and must be replaced or maintained often. There are many considerations when deciding to get artificial hair. You must decide which type of base you want on your hair system, what material you want the hair made from, how you want to attach it to your head, and where to go to have your hair system crafted. This guide will give you the basics, but much of this process is trial and error until you find the right style and system for you.

Hair System Bases

There are two common materials to make your hair system’s base: mesh fabrics and polymers. Mesh fabrics are generally created out of polyester, nylon, or mix of both. They are comfortable and often give your hairline and authentic appearance. Due to their lightweight structure and natural looking hairline, this type of base can be much more expensive than polymer bases. Mesh fabric bases are also very delicate making them less durable which means they must be replaced more often than polymer-based hair-pieces.

Polymers are made of silicone, polyurethane, or a blend of the two. Instead of making a natural looking hairline like the mesh bases, the polymers are made to imitate the scalp and stick onto the skin directly. They are much less expensive and far more lasting than mesh fabric bases, but they tend to be uncomfortable, hot, and unnatural looking if the colour scheme doesn’t match your own skin tone.


Guide to Hair Systems