As inferred earlier in this section, the non-surgical hair replacement industry is littered with some of the most unethical individuals and companies that the field of hair replacement has to offer. However, with that said there are some companies, usually the smaller mom and pop salons, that provide excellent service and really have compassion for their clients. It is possible to wear a completely undetectable hairpiece and not get ripped off or tied down by this industry, but you have to know what to look for.
What most companies will not tell you?
If you plan to wear a semi-permanent attached hairpiece (which is the most popular in this country) you will need to purchase two units. The reason for this is while one is being maintained the other is being worn.
Your existing hair on the top of your head cannot be integrated into the typical hair system no matter what they tell you during your consultation. Ideally, the stylist will want to shave off your reaming hair as well as a thin track of hair around the perimeter of your existing hair in order to affix the system properly. This is something the "clubs" rarely ever explain during their sales pitch.
There is no way that a bonded system will stay firmly attached to your head, especially on the hairline for 4 to 6 weeks. You will have to learn to do some of the maintenance yourself for your system to look natural.
In order to look natural your hair system needs constant attention and maintenance. It does NOT act like your own hair and cannot just be forgotten about for weeks. Expect to spend between$60-$300 dollars a month for proper maintenance.
Avoid any companies attempting to sell you a maintenance contract. Once a hairpiece is purchased, the consumer should be free to go elsewhere for regular haircuts and maintenance.
Any company that insists on holding your second hairpiece in their facility, not allowing you to take it home if you wish, should be avoided. This is a very typical tactic of the larger chains insuring that their "client" returns and is locked in.
Once the consumer learns how to navigate through this treacherous industry, wearing hair can prove to be a positive experience. Realistic expectations and having a full understanding of the process will lead to successful hair replacement experience.
Reviewed by Paul J. McAndrews, MD