E: hair@holistique.co.uk

Why choose a Hair Replacement System?

Image of a beautiful blonde woman removing her hair replacement system

YOU CAN have the hair of your dreams!

If you wake up every day to a ‘bad hair day’, if you look in the mirror and despair at the sight of your thinning hair, if you spend your days worrying about what people think when they look at your hair loss – then we can help. We understand the pain and stress that living every day with hair loss or thinning hair causes to tens of thousands of men and women across the UK – we know because we have suffered too.

We have tried every hair loss solution on the market and spent a lot of money along the way, but we finally found the solution that changed our lives: hair replacement. We want to bring that knowledge to you so that you too can look in the mirror and say “I LOVE MY HAIR!”

Why choose a hair replacement system?

A hair replacement system is a non-surgical hair restoration procedure where human or synthetic hair is added to a thin base or foundation, which in turn is attached to the scalp by a variety of methods. There are subtle differences between a hair system and a wig, for example, a wig is usually larger in size and covers the entire scalp – they usually have an elastic perimeter so that the entire unit can fit snugly on the head. Hair replacement systems are similar to wigs except that they are smaller in size and are only attached to the thinning or bald areas and not the entire scalp.

In general, hair systems are preferable to hair transplants because it is a non-surgical option for hair loss. Nowadays, hair systems can look very natural and virtually undetectable by sight. Hair replacement systems are versatile and can work very well for almost anyone with hair loss. If done properly, you can have a gorgeous and naturally looking head of hair in relatively little time. You can style it in any way you prefer. It is no longer true that hair systems make people look like they are wearing “helmet” hair or a “rug” on the head.

At holistique hair we understand the unique problems that arise when a woman starts to lose her hair – we are here to help women understand what is involved and to decide whether hair replacement is a solution that will be the right one for you.

We understand that there are many hair systems and hair loss solutions on the market. We also understand that for many women, holding on to their own hair at all costs will be a high priority and as such we know hair replacement will not be for everyone.

We have tried and tested many hair replacement systems over the years and we are here to offer you help, advice and support – and to provide you with the products you need that will help you wear, attach, clean and maintain your hair system so you look your best from morning to night, every day.

Please note: We do not offer hair replacement ourselves, nor do we align ourselves with any particular company or hair replacement specialist. We are here to offer you impartial and experienced advice on choosing, wearing, and maintaining a hair replacement system with no obligation to purchase.

A few pointers to consider when choosing a hair replacement system

No doubt you will excited at the prospect of having a full head of wonderful hair again but also be concerned that people are going to notice you look different. In our experience, the key to overcoming this concern is to try and ensure your new hair is as close as possible to your natural hair, both in colour and density. It is also vital that your hair system fits snugly to your scalp. The more natural your hair choices the more natural your hair system will look and feel.

Many custom made hair systems fits perfectly to your own scalp. You can choose from fine lace base systems or injected poly skin base systems which provides an undetectable parting area, giving the appearance of hair growing straight from your scalp – the choice is yours.

Base design: You can choose from either a lace base or injected poly skin base. Either one of these bases comes with or without a PU perimeter – a 1” wide strip of polyurethane which runs around the back and sides of the base unit. The purpose of the PU perimeter is to allow for easier fitting and clean up of the system itself, however some prefer not to have the perimeter because they like the base to fit as closely to their scalp as possible for a snug fit.

Hair density: As tempting as it may be to choose thick lustrous locks that fall in waves half way down your back – unless that is how your natural hair looks (or used to look) then our advice is to go down the “less is more” route and ease yourself gradually into wearing your system – you can always choose thicker density hair at a later stage. We recommend light (80%) density for the front of your hair system graduating to light medium (100%) density over the top scalp and parting area and (if you want to go thicker at the back and sides) medium (130%) density for that area.

Hair colour: The best colour match will be your own hair. Most hair systems can be matched exactly to your natural hair colour so don’t be afraid to send a sample to your supplier – a small hair sample of say 3” long and a pencil width wide is sufficient to enable a colour match to your hair perfectly. However if you want to choose a completely different colour, and ring in the changes, then by all means choose a colour that you have always wanted.

Hair length: The choice is yours! The hair length is measured in inches from the base of your unit so choose the length you feel comfortable with. If you are not sure what length to go for here are some useful guide lines:

  • Short bob style – choose 8”
  • Medium length to the shoulder – choose 10”
  • Longer length – choose 12” – 14”
  • Very long length – choose 16” +

Most good quality hair systems use Indian Remy human hair and is very similar to European hair (which is extremely rare and extremely expensive) in that its basic structure is smooth and soft to the touch. Remy hair is obtained from a single donor, is the full length of the strand from the root to the end, and all the cuticles run in the same direction. This enables the hair to move very naturally and can be washed, styled, cut and treated just like your own hair.

After you receive your hair replacement system: Your new hair will need to be fitted and styled. The beauty of a hair system is that you will be able to manage your new hair in the privacy of your own home. You will never be tied down to costly and unnecessary ‘maintenance’ appointments or have to pay for expensive fitting and styling appointments.

The hair replacement system is fitted very securely to the affected areas of your scalp using specialist invisible tapes and adhesives. You will find everything you need (and more) to enable you to fit your finesse system from our online product shop. We are here to help and advise you every step of the way – we are only a call, email or text away with practical tips and advice.

After your hair system has been fitted, you will need to book an appointment with your own hairdresser to have your new hair cut and styled. If you don’t have a regular hairdresser or would prefer to have your hair cut and styled by a trained replacement hair professional then visit www.mynewhair.co.uk to find a list of hair professionals who have been trained in cutting and styling hair replacement systems by Trevor Sorbie – so you will be in extremely good hands!

Looking after your hair system: Like all good things, your hair system will need to be cared for to make sure it stays looking its best for as long as possible. Your hair system is usually custom made for you using 100% human hair that has been individually hand knotted or injected into your chosen base. Inevitably this means that it is delicate and will not last forever – the realistic life span of a hair system is anything between 12 and 16 weeks.

Over time, the hair in your system will naturally begin to lose some of its moisture – this is common to all types of hair systems because of the lack of natural oils produced by your own hair follicles. To combat this problem we offer you a great range of hair care products that are specifically designed to limit the effects of dryness, and with regular use these products will extend the life of your system as well as giving you soft, manageable hair all day, every day. All these products can be purchased from our online product shop.

We are here to guide, advise and recommend products to help you maintain your hair system to the highest possible standard. We also provide regular practical tips and advice on our blog which is updated regularly or we can answer your questions via our website.

VAT relief on wigs: If you have alopecia, are receiving chemotherapy, chronically sick or have a disabling condition, then you can receive goods or services with VAT zero rated rather than 20%.

If you are in any doubt as to whether you are eligible to receive goods or services zero-rated for VAT you should consult VAT Notice 701/7 VAT relief for disabled people or contact the National Advice Service on 0845 010 9000 before signing the declaration.

Please note that it is an offence under the VAT (Value Added Tax Act 1994 amended 2001) to make a fraudulent application to purchase wigs without VAT at this zero rate. In accordance with the Act, a zero rated VAT form must be completed and signed for every purchase made.

Things to note: Many women ask if it is absolutely necessary to shave their scalp area in order to wear a hair system. The system will certainly fit and feel better if it sits on shaved skin because the unit will be nearer to your scalp giving a more natural appearance; and the tapes and adhesives will have a better contact and so hold faster and last longer.

However, we do understand that many women will feel uncomfortable about shaving their head immediately. It is possible wear a hair system over fine hair but in these circumstances greater attention needs to be paid to the secure fit and feel of the unit. Inevitably people come to realise that once they have worn their hair system for a short period and begin to see themselves every day with a full head of hair, shaving their own thinning hair become less daunting.

Once your hair system is fitted, it should look, move and feel like your own hair – this means that you can be completely confident that your hair is perfectly safe and will not fall off! You can go about your daily life as normal: you can sleep, shower, go to the gym, go swimming, stay out in the sun, rain, wind – there is no limitation at all to your daily life when wearing a hair system.

Causes of hair loss

Hair loss, whether temporary or permanent, can be a very distressing situation to deal with, especially when the sufferer is female.

Although male hair loss is emotionally draining, female hair loss is less socially accepted and less understood. The lack of sexy bald female role models, in comparison to the large numbers of male examples, makes dealing with hair loss in women doubly hard. Because of these social stigmas and situations, coping with hair loss for women can become very distressing and all consuming.

The first step in coping with hair loss for women is accepting the feelings you have about your hair loss are normal and expected. When you first begin to notice hair loss or when you are preparing for it before chemotherapy or other types of treatments, you may feel angry and upset about the emotional and physical consequences, scared of the outcome and at the thought of being bald. All of these feelings are expected, natural and normal.

There are many different approaches that you can take for coping with hair loss. However, for many women, preparation is the key. To begin this preparation you need to learn all of the facts about your hair loss and research ways that you can treat it, hide it or learn to live with it.

Learning about the Condition

Depending on the cause of the hair loss you are facing and whether it will be temporary or permanent, there are many positive things that you can learn about the condition. For example, if your hair loss is caused by chemotherapy or certain medications you can learn ways to deal with and reduce the severity of the hair loss while the condition is present and prepare yourself for the relief and feelings of happiness once your hair returns. If the hair loss is going to be permanent you can learn about ways to slow the progress of the hair loss, ways to replace the hair loss, and ways to make the most of your hair while you still have it.

There are three main ways that you can learn about hair loss. First, check with doctor for any information he or she may have about your condition. You can also ask for a referral to a doctor that specialises in the treatment of hair loss.

Next, go to your local library or bookshop and look up information about your particular condition and the hair loss that it causes. Books, papers and magazines can offer a wealth of information about reducing hair loss or coping with the condition.

Finally, ask your doctor, or check the Internet for local hair loss support groups. In these groups you can find answers to your hair loss questions, support for your feelings, true understanding and great advice for coping.

Dealing with hair loss is very emotionally draining. However, once you move through the process of fear, denial, anger and acceptance you will find that you are better able to cope with your condition.

One of the commonest forms of hair loss in women is a condition called telogen effluvium, in which there is a diffuse (or widely spread out) shedding of hairs around the scalp and elsewhere on the body. This is usually a reaction to intense stress on the body’s physical or hormonal systems, or as a reaction to medication.

The condition, which can occur at any age, generally begins fairly suddenly and gets better on its own within about six months, although for a few people it can become a chronic problem.

Because telogen effluvium develops a while after its trigger, and causes generalised thinning of hair density rather than a bald patch, women with the condition can easily be diagnosed as overanxious or neurotic.

Fortunately, it often gets better with time. Telogen effluvium is a phenomenon related to the growth cycles of hair.

Hair growth cycles alternate between a growth phase (called anagen, it lasts about three years) and a resting phase (telogen, which lasts about three months). During telogen, the hair remains in the follicle until it is pushed out by the growth of a new hair in the anagen phase.

At any one time, up to about 15 per cent of hairs are in telogen, but a sudden stress on the body can trigger large numbers of hairs to enter the telogen phase at the same time. Then, about three months later, this large number of hairs will be shed. As the new hairs start to grow out, so the density of hair may thicken again. Many adults have had an episode of telogen effluvium at some point in their lives, reflecting episodes of illness or stress.

Another common type of hair loss in women is androgenetic alopecia, which is related to hormone levels in the body. Many sufferers of this type of hair loss will have a genetic predisposition, which may be inherited from the father or mother.

Androgenetic alopecia affects roughly 50 per cent of men (this is the main cause of the usual pattern of balding seen as men age) and perhaps as many women over the age of 40. Research shows that up to 13 per cent of women have some degree of this sort of hair loss before the menopause, and afterwards it becomes far more common – one piece of research suggests that over the age of 65 as many as 75 per cent of women are affected.

The cause of hair loss in androgentic alopecia is a chemical called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which is made from androgens (male hormones that all men and women produce) by the action of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. People with a lot of this enzyme make more DHT, which in excess can cause the hair follicles to make thinner and thinner hair, until eventually they pack up completely.

Women’s pattern of hair loss is different to the typical receding hairline and crown loss in men. Instead, androgenetic alopecia causes a general thinning of women’s hair, with loss predominantly over the top and sides of the head.

Another important cause of hair loss in women is a condition called alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that affects more than two per cent of the population. In this, the hair follicles are attacked by white blood cells. The follicles then become very small and hair production slows down dramatically, so there may be no visible hair growth for months and years.

After some time, hair may regrow as before, come back in patchy areas, or not regrow at all. The good news is that in every case the hair follicles remain alive and can be switched on again; the bad news is that we don’t yet know how to do this.

Dealing with hair loss

Some women do find a way to accept their hair loss and live with it but let’s face it, this is a tall order – a lot of men struggle to come to terms with their baldness but at least for them, society equates it with maturity and power, think then, how much harder it is for a woman.

If you feel you cannot accept your hair loss, you can try cosmetic treatments such as wigs or hair systems, hair thickeners, or you can try medical therapies. The last option is hair-replacement surgery.

Hair thickeners: The drug minoxidil was first developed for treating high blood pressure, which was found to have the side effect of thickening hair growth in some people. It is now available as a lotion to apply directly to the scalp. No one really knows how it works however, and it’s not effective for everyone. Studies show that only about 20 per cent of women between 18 and 45 have moderate regrowth using the drug, while another 40 per cent experience minimal regrowth. It works best on younger people with early hair loss. A big disadvantage is that you have to carry on using minoxidil indefinitely or the new hair will fall out.

Surgical techniques: Surgical techniques for restoring hair have improved greatly in the past couple of decades, but this is still an option that requires careful consideration.

There are two main options:
HAIR TRANSPLANTATION – tiny punch-holes of skin containing a few follicles of hair are taken from elsewhere in the body (such as the back of the head, if this is still well covered) and implanted into the thinning areas. Some surgeons use a needle to sew in just one or two hairs. However, as women are more likely to have diffuse loss of hair all over the scalp, this technique may not be possible. There has been little success with implanting artificial fibres.

SCALP REDUCTION – devices are inserted under the skin to stretch areas of scalp that still have hair, then the redundant bald areas are removed. Alternatively, flaps of hairy scalp can be moved around the head.

A hair replacement system – a non-surgical hair restoration procedure where human or synthetic hair is added to a thin base or foundation, which in turn is attached to the scalp by a variety of methods.

There are subtle differences between a hair replacement system and a wig, for example, a wig is usually larger in size and covers the entire scalp – they usually have an elastic perimeter so that the entire unit can fit snugly on the head. Hair replacement systems are similar to wigs except that they are smaller in size and are only attached to the thinning or bald areas and not the entire scalp.

Don’t forget:

  • Many causes of female hair loss are temporary – check your general health and be patient
  • Take a look at your family for an idea of your risk of female pattern baldness.
  • Don’t be taken in by claims for wonder products – there’s no cure for female pattern hair loss
  • Many women cope well by using cosmetic products, hats and wigs, so persevere until you find your own style.