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Tips on Choosing Hairpieces

Aug 17, 2007
Hairpieces, or wigs, have been around from as far back as the time of the pharoahs in Ancient Egypt. People in this era shaved their heads to avoid vermin infestation and various materials were used as hair replacements according to one's stature in society. But it is only during the 16th century that people began using wigs as adornments and also to cover hair loss. Today, wigs come in a variety of styles, colors and material. People dealing with the problem of hair loss by using wigs often need advice on selecting and caring for the hairpiece that will suit them best.

When selecting hairpieces, one must consider the shape of the head and the face and the wearer's skin color. Modern wigs have evolved from the unattractive and easily detectable toupees of the past to natural-looking hair that blends naturally with a person's appearance. The pieces available today fit better, are more comfortable to wear and look and feel natural. Custom-made wigs are usually the best, though they tend to be more expensive than their ready-made counterparts. High quality custom-made wigs are made of human hair. Manufacturers of custom-made wigs match the texture and density to the wearer's hair, ensuring that the wig is completely undetectable in the scalp.

The wig's base or foundation is made with a netting or silicone. These materials can be shaped around the balding area and can be attached with adhesives or clips. Customers prefer the silicone foundation because it looks more natural. The materials used to attach wigs each have their own advantages and limitations. Double sided adhesives make for easy fastening and removal; however, they leave a sticky residue on the scalp. Adhesives can't be used by people who perspire heavily because the tape can come off with the moisture. It can't be used while swimming either for the same reason.

Metal clips are fastened to the natural hair; they are secure and can easily be removed. The concern with metal clips is the possibility of the wig falling out of place when the wearer engages in rigorous activity. Another option is using snaps which are tied or sewn to the natural hair by a hair expert. Since these cannot be removed easily, they can cause hygiene problems.

The costs of hairpieces are determined by the quality of the hair used, by whether the piece is custom-made or ready made and by the type of fastening used. Ready made wigs in the United States can cost as little as $40, while custom-made pieces can go as high as $4,000. Caring for the wigs is just the same as caring for natural hair. Wigs made with high quality human hair require closer attention and care and should be washed with shampoo and conditioner and blow dried. On the other hand, synthetic wigs need weekly washing in cool water then left on a towel to dry.
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