A hairpiece, is a hairpiece, is a hairpiece regardless of what they may be
called. Hair systems, toupees, strand-by-strand insertion systems, hairpieces,
etc., are all terms used to market the same product. These are all hair
prostheses constructed in a similar fashion using similar materials, many of
which come from the same few manufacturers.
Hairpieces are the most popular method of hair replacement, but the cost and
appearance of any given hairpiece varies widely based on the materials used and
the level of craftsmanship in their creation.
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The base of the hair system is simply the foundation of the prostheses in
which the hair is either tied or injected.
Today's hair systems use primarily two materials to construct the bases,
either meshes, polymers, or a combination of the two.
Mesh fabric: Mesh fabrics are typically made of polyester or nylon and are
usually used to create the fine hairline of a good product. In some cases, they
are used throughout the entire system, which provides a natural, life-like
appearance, but is impractical for long-term use.
Provides natural and undetectable hairline
Very light weight, cool, and comfortable to wear
More delicate and less durable
Reacts with body acids leading to early degradation and other damage
Must be replaced more frequently
Polymers: Polymers are made of either silicone or polyurethane and are used
to create a material that mimics the appearance of skin or scalp. The more
durable systems use this material. Many use it in areas where the hairpiece is
to be attached to protect the unit for long-time wear.
Can be considerably less expensive than meshes.
Easy to attach (look for polyurethane)
Can be extremely hot and uncomfortable to wear
Unless the hairline is made of lace, provides a less natural or even
The Hair Used in a Hairpiece
The best hairpieces are custom-made of quality human hair matched to the
hair of the client. This matching includes the color, texture, natural curl or
wave (straightness), as well as hair density (thickness). The hairs of less
expensive hairpieces may be made either of a moderate quality human hair,
animal hair, or artificial fibers.
The most expensive and mid-priced hairpieces are made from European hair
that once grew naturally in a wide variety of colors, textures, densities, and
levels of curl, wave, or straightness. The least expensive hairpieces are made
from dark, straight Asian hair that has been dyed or bleached. Although Asian
hair is very strong, the coloring processes make it brittle and dry, so it
breaks easily. These hairpieces can begin to look fuzzy very quickly and need
to be replaced often.
Human hair is fragile, so even the most expensive and expertly made
hairpiece needs regular maintenance and needs to be replaced after time.