The hair prosthesis is one of the most versatile solutions to problems related to hair loss today. With immediate effect, long-term results and a more affordable cost than the surgical hair transplant, it is a good alternative to hair loss. There are many men and women with hair prostheses that provide very natural aesthetic effects (so much so that many call it a non-surgical hair implantation technique).
We have put together the most frequently asked questions on the subject here to help you understand the method in depth and decide if it is the best solution for you. To facilitate navigation, you can click on the following links and go directly to the questions that interest you.
What is a Hair Prosthesis?
It is a piece made to replace the user's hair, covering the areas of bald or less dense hair. These prosthetic strands are fixed individually or in small groups; with a thin film or fabric that simulates human skin. This base is then attached to the head temporarily or semi-permanently individually.
What is the difference between a wig and a prosthesis?
It is a difficult question, because there is no "official" definition of the terms that allow 100% differentiation. Apparently, in the United States, the term "hair prosthesis" seemed to allow patients who have hair loss as a result of illness, injury, or treatment to be able to classify expenses under these headings as medical expenses, and get them covered. covered by health insurance and tax deductible.
Some people maintain that the piece is only a prosthesis if it is used in the medical context. Others say the difference is that the wig is attached to the head only with rubber bands, clips, or staples, while the prosthesis is placed on the user's head with a special glue or adhesive, which allows the person to exercise, bathing or entering the pool without having to take it off. A third point of view is that the prosthesis can be made to cover smaller areas of the head, according to the needs of the client, while the wig is always a piece that covers the entire head.
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
Complies with all definitive cases of baldness in the medium / long term (such as androgenic alopecia, alopecia areata, scarring alopecia, telogen effluvium, trichotillomania and patients undergoing chemotherapy);
The result is immediate;
The price is much lower than that of a hair implant;
Although it is not permanent, it is a long-lasting solution;
It allows the user to carry out all the activities of their daily life without restrictions (such as playing sports, entering the pool or the sea, bathing, sleeping);
It is not a surgical procedure;
It has no contraindications (except in cases of allergy to any of the materials used, which is rare since most of its components, prosthetic and maintenance products are hypoallergenic);
If the result is not satisfactory, the procedure is completely reversible.
Requires periodic maintenance;
Some models of higher quality and more natural results are usually very expensive.
Does it look natural?
If the prosthesis is of good quality, and the application is done appropriately and carefully, the result is very satisfactory. You will find many images of failed or lost implants on the Internet, but half-baked products are found in some homes. There is no need to be afraid, there are many natural and excellent finish options on the market.
What sizes are available?
You can request the production of a custom piece for you, or buy a prefabricated one. In the first case, the professional who makes the prosthesis will take the measurements of your head (or the specific area that needs coverage) and make it the size you need. In the second, normally the manufacturer will provide the measurements of the models that you will have to compare with your head and choose the ideal part.
Among prefabricated structures, the most common models are those that only cover the upper part of the head (wig), overcoming the predominant pattern of male pattern baldness, and completely cover the scalp (complete hair or head prosthesis). Some can be cut to the desired size, adjusting the template to your needs.
Is the prosthetic hair natural or synthetic?
Currently the natural hair model is preferred, which is more durable and has a more pleasant aesthetic result, but there are also models with synthetic hair, which tend to be cheaper than natural hair.
What material is the base?
Two materials are often used in the manufacture of the base: "screens and microleather".
The screens resemble a very fine fabric, which “camouflage” in contact with the skin of the prosthesis user and, when applied correctly, are almost imperceptible. In addition to the aesthetic result, the screens allow ventilation of the user's scalp, which can even be washed while the prosthesis is attached to the head. Some weaving designs are more open, allowing the user, through openings, to mix their natural hair with the prosthesis, to create an even more natural result.
Transparent or leather colored, the screens are usually nylon (polyamide) or polyester. The hardest material known as monofilament, normally used in the upper part of the apparatus, which allows the hair to be divided into any segment, keeping the visual impression of the scalp fully exposed.
The most delicate are called lace, and their most common use is for finishing the edges of the prostheses, especially the front ones, where some models create a simulation of the smallest and thinnest hairs that grow on the edge - called the unfolding line (known as baby hair).
The best known types are French (more common, it has a good result and durability) and Swiss (which gives an even better result, it is thinner and easier to hide than French, but also more delicate and easily damaged, for which is recommended to experienced users).
Micro-leather (thin skin or leatherette) is a thin and transparent film; usually silicone or polyurethane (PU), which adheres to the scalp of the wearer's skin. It is more resistant than screens, so it usually lasts longer and its adhesion is more secure, but it is also more evident, despite having a good aesthetic result.
Most of the partial dentures use a micro-leather base. Some models are micro-perforated to allow ventilation of the scalp, but some parts must be frequently separated for cleaning the head and the prosthesis.
There are designs made exclusively with screens or microleather, but it is more common to find parts with different combinations of the two materials: normally the micro is used on the circumference of the prosthesis to provide more strength in the area of application, and the screens are applied in the top of the head (to allow ventilation and the distribution of hair with a natural effect) and the front (to give a more natural finish in the transition between the prosthesis and the user's skin, simulating the birth of the hairline ). Some designs use more robust and obvious elastic fabrics on the back of the head, where the skin is not exposed, reducing the cost of the piece.
How long is a prosthesis useful?
In general, a prosthesis lasts from 6 months to 2 years, but this time can be longer or shorter, depending mainly on the quality and resistance of the materials used in the manufacture of the part and the respect for the attention of the user of maintenance and routine.
Do I have to withdraw it daily?
Models that are attached to the scalp with a special adhesive or glue can be used for continuous periods of 20 days (time varies depending on the material used in the base of the denture and the type of glue or adhesive). At the end of each period the part must be removed to remove the old adhesive. Clean the prosthesis and the scalp and apply it again. The procedure can be done in a specialized setting. Many more experienced users can do it at home with no problems.
Recommendations for your care
It is essential to respect the period of continuous use preferred for your prosthesis, doing the necessary maintenance on a regular basis and using only the appropriate products (removers and specific adhesives for hair prostheses).
Generally, it is recommended to wash your hair with neutral shampoos without sulfates or salt, and avoid any product that contains alcohol.
In models where the hairs naturally mix with them, it is good to avoid applying creams and conditioners in the area near the base, to avoid weakening the knots and stimulate the release of the hairs.
Since the hair is not placed in a follicle, it does not receive the sebum that ensures hydration, softness and protection of natural hair. To compensate for this, it is good to apply hair oils regularly at (again, always avoiding the base) hair extension.
It is allowed to play sports and enter the sea or the pool using the prosthesis, but it is recommended that you always wash then.
Handle your hair carefully to prevent it from breaking or loosening, so you must detangle it with a soft brush and without sudden movements. For washing, instead of rubbing their hair, simply massage them gently with the shampoo and keep the movement in one direction (bottom to top).
Although the stickers promote a firm grip of the prosthesis on the scalp, it is always good to avoid exaggerated tensions to protect both the prosthesis and the skin.
Can you dye or iron your hair?
Asian hair prostheses often come with chemical treatments
It depends on the material. The style of synthetic hair (curly, straight, etc.) tends to be definitive: even if it is wet, it will take its original design to the dry. Natural hair dyes don't usually work well on synthetic hair. Generally they do not tolerate much heat, so grain dryers, hot irons and babyliss are used (care must be taken even with other sources of heat, such as when opening the hot oven).
The shine of some types of synthetic hair is much higher than that of natural hair, making the look somewhat artificial (some people apply face powder or baby powder to correct this effect).
Natural hair prostheses accept all kinds of standard treatments, although they require some specific care: as the original hair (mostly from Asia) they have usually already received coloring, progressive or permanent straightening due to the composition of the different types of them that are They are sold in the market, the ideal is to take care of the prosthesis as you would with delicate hair.
What shampoo do you use?
We recommend the use of shampoos, mild neutral conditioners, without alcohol, cold water for washing and creams to detangle the products. It is good to avoid applying conditioners and creams too close to the hair root (in models where the hair is fixed to the base of the prosthesis through a knot, the conditioners can stimulate its fall), and on it the applying dyes, you must be careful not to affect the color of the base of the prosthesis as well.
Partial Prosthesis, will the hair difference be seen?
No. In that case, get a set of prostheses (hair color, texture and density) similar to your natural hair, and slightly longer than what you are going to wear. Then a skilled hairdresser can make the cut. The necessary cuts in the hair of the prosthesis so that it is the same as your real hair without any apparent division between the two.
Do you need to Shave the area?
It depends on the model. If the fixation is done with glue or adhesive, ideally the points where the prosthesis is inserted have the scalp exposed. In the case of a partial denture technique based on, for example, it can grow in the grasping area to be shaved for periodic maintenance. In the case of the Front Adjustment Screen (LACE), for example, the adhesive is applied immediately before the hairline, so there is no need to shave it.
Can it cause injury, infection or others from continuous use?
Usually not. Most of these problems are caused by users who:
They do not respect the model of prosthesis maintenance periods and stay with them longer than recommended, without regular cleaning of the denture and head;
They use inappropriate products to bond the prosthesis to the scalp (which can cause allergies and irritations);
They do not remove the prosthesis in the correct way, with the appropriate adhesive remover (some people do not expect the product to take effect and force the prosthesis to detach, pulling and causing sores on the skin);
Adhering the prosthesis to an area that was already compromised by fungus or infection (which is undoubtedly prohibited and may aggravate the initial problem).
What is the price?
The price of the hair prosthesis varies greatly. In general, good pieces can be found with values between 600 and 2.000 euros, but their prices can fluctuate significantly above or below that range, depending on numerous factors such as the size of the piece, the materials, the manufacturing quality, hair length, finishes, etc.
Does it cost a lot to maintain it?
Prices vary widely, but in general the value of a maintenance professional (labor and products included) is around 50 to 100 dollars. With less than 150 dollars you can buy the necessary products (glue or adhesive, protective lotion for the scalp) on your own; in sufficient quantity to be used multiple times, and then you will only have to hire labor or even do it if you have the skill. In the end, the value should be very close to what a person with natural hair normally spends on regular visits to the hairdresser.
Where I can buy?
You can buy your prosthesis in specialized stores, but most users buy the pieces online, or in virtual stores (national and international). In specialized salons is where you can see and manipulate the product before buying it. Even request a prosthesis adapted to you, but on the Internet the variety of products is greater (and often the prices are lower).