With so many different options to conceal and cover hair loss, it can be daunting to know which one to choose and what the difference between them is. Is a hairpiece the same as a toupee? Is a wig the same as a hair system? Is a hair system a toupee? It can be so confusing and not to mention stressful, which is the last thing you need to worry about if you’ve just started to lose your hair.
Luckily information on the internet is widely available and you also have the option of contacting wig salons to find out directly what your options are. You might also want some easy-to-understand information on the different types of hair loss solutions before you go making any calls and decisions. In this post we’ve put together a quick guide on the different hair systems, what their purposes are, what types of hair you can have and how much they cost. We hope this gives you some information to start with before you make any decisions on what’s best for you.
What is a hair system?
A hair system also known as a hair replacement system, is another term for a wig, toupee or hairpiece that is used to cover a patch or entire area of the scalp that is balding. Synthetic or human hair is used and some hair systems have what is called a base, you can choose from different materials such as lace, mesh or polymer. These bases range to offer different textures, breathability and densities and some are custom made to fit the exact shape of your head. The base can be attached to the head using tape, bonding or glue and they typically last for a long period of time. Other types of hair systems are known as ready to wear wigs or ready to wear toupees.
What makes the term ‘hair system’ confusing is that it’s just another word for a wig or toupee. Many people think it’s something entirely different but its just a more modern name that’s used in the hair industry.
What is a wig?
The definition of a wig is “a covering for the head made of real or artificial hair, typically worn by judges and barristers in law courts or by people trying to conceal their baldness.”
A wig is used mainly to cover the entire scalp as there may be a large area or entire head of baldness. There are many different types of wigs from fashion ones used for fancy dress to custom made wigs for people who suffer with hair loss. The custom-made wigs are created using synthetic hair fibre or human hair which provides better quality and the hair is stitched carefully to a base which is usually fine lace that is discrete and undetectable to the human eye as the lace front matches the persons hairline and skin tone. The hair looks natural and will have the correct growth direction, density and style of the clients wishes.
What is a toupee?
A toupee is another name for a hairpiece that is used to conceal and cover partial baldness such as a thinning hairline, as posed to a wig which covers the entire scalp. Toupees or hairpieces can be made using either synthetic hair or with natural human hair. They are three ways you can attach a toupee, either glue or tape the toupee to the scalp, which allows a more permanent placement of the hair system, but bear in mind, this method can sometimes damage the hair system and requires regular cleaning and it can leave a sticky residue on the toupee and your scalp. (There are a number of solvents you can buy to remove the sticky residue from the scalp and hair system which will help to maintain it). The other way to apply the toupee is known as bonding using adhesives, which are usually applied to a polymer (type of plastic) foundation. If you’re looking for a custom-made toupee, you’ll usually find the bonding method and polymer foundations are used due to the quality and natural appearance they achieve.
Synthetic Hair VS Human Hair
Human Hair Wig
Synthetic Hair Wig
Once you have decided which hair system option is right for you, whether that be a wig or toupee (aka hairpiece) you’ll want to decide on the type of hair to go with. You initially have two options, synthetic fibre or human hair, however for the synthetic fibre wigs there are different types of fibres and some of which are better quality than others as they’re heat resistant while others aren’t. Thanks to Alopecia.org, they created a wig guide which details the advantages and disadvantages of both synthetic wigs and human hair wigs, this is what they were:
Human Hair Wig
- Looks and feels natural
- They’re heat resistant so they can be styled often using hair dryers, straighteners and curling tongs
- You can incorporate dark and light tones
- Soft and silky texture
- They can last for up to 1 year on average
- They can be custom made to your specifications
- Already styled and will stay in shape even after you wash it
- Looks like natural hair
- Not as expensive as a human hair wig
- They’re colour fast and do not fade in sunlight
- Dry quickly
- Easy to maintain
- Can be worn straight from ‘the box’ – ready to wear wig
Human Hair Wig
- They’re expensive – cost more than a synthetic wig
- As it’s made from human hair they typically dry more slowly
- High maintenance – usually have to style them after washing
- Heavier than synthetic fibre
- Can lose colour faster
- Unless it’s a heat resistant synthetic fibre they are damaged when exposed to heat such as hair dryers, straighteners and curling tongs
- Prone to frizz
- You can’t change the colour of them – they cannot be dyed
- Some of the them leave a false shine, depending on the quality of the fibre
- They don’t last as long as human hair wigs
How much does a synthetic wig cost?
Depending on the quality of the fibre, as you can opt for one that is heat resistance such as cyber hair, a synthetic wig can cost you anywhere from £20-£400 according to Alopecia.org. Here at Baguley’s, we offer high quality synthetic wigs that can be made using cyber hair and our prices start from £250.
We believe in offering a more premium quality synthetic wig as they look more natural and go unnoticed compared to cheaper options that can sometimes look ‘plasticky”.
How much does a human hair wig cost?
As they’re made using human hair they’re more expensive, typically between £400 and £1000. They can range up to this price not only due to the quality of the hair that’s used but also the base that they’re bonded/sown to. When the wig is custom made, the base is made to measure using a mould of your scalp for an exact fit. There are also different types of hair used, Indian, Asian or European and the European although is less durable than the other two is much finer and more likely similar to your own hair if you’re from the UK.
Here at Baguley’s of Cheshire we use high quality human Remy hair, according to bellamihair.co.uk Remy hair is:
Our prices from human hair wigs start at from £595 and if you’re looking for a custom-made human hair wig, they can range from £950. We take the upmost care and detail with our custom-made wigs that are made to measure, crafted and styled to your exact requirements.
How can we help?
If you have any queries regarding our hair system options, give us a call today or email us anytime and we’ll get back to you with as much information as we can. We’re happy to do face to face or Facetime consultations if you’d like a more personal chat and that way, we can also access the condition of your hair loss. The condition will determine what type of hair system you need as you may be suffering from more serve balding which a hairpiece or toupee won’t be able to cover. We’ve created many beautiful and bespoke wigs for women, wigs and toupees for men and children’s wigs across Manchester, Cheshire, the North West and the UK and we’d love to help you with our hair replacement solutions.