Traditional Methods

Traditional Methods for Hair Loss – Wigs

The use of wigs is one of the oldest and best known traditional methods of disguising hair loss. Historically, their use was to convey social status/power by the representations of European royalty and also British judges and lawyers, who continue to use wigs today.

Hair loss is commonly interpreted as a sign of weakness or immorality in many cultures around the world, therefore the use of wigs can instantly disguise ones baldness. In Great Britain alone, approximately one and a half million wigs are sold each year, indicating a huge demand for this traditional method of concealing baldness.

The main differences between the wigs produced 300 years ago and the wigs of today are their size, styles and some of the ways in which they manufactured and attached to the scalp. The best examples are usually very expensive and extremely fragile, requiring a great deal of attention to keep them in perfect condition.

An expensive well fitted wig can almost pass undetected. Noticeable wigs are usually of poorer construction and not custom made or colour matched to the individual. As time passes the wearer’s hair colour can alter, allowing the wig to become more apparent. This problem is further increased by the natural bleaching effects of the sun.

The most common form of attachment is to attach a wig to the scalp with tape or glue. This method is far from bulletproof with many wigs becoming detached at inconvenient moments causing huge embarrassment in public. Many wearers are restricted from engaging in many sports and activities in case the wig dislodges, which would be humiliating.

Unless your budget can afford a perfectly custom made wig, then a wig rarely looks totally natural so it is often best to avoid them.


Toupees are very similar to wigs but generally cover a much smaller area. The main problems associated are fitting and cleanliness.

You can actually swim and shower with a wig on, but these activities will quickly cause permanent damage to the toupee, as water affects the colour and styling. Soap, sea water and chlorine in swimming pools will quickly shorten the life span of a wig or a toupee.

New toupees can be expensive to purchase and to maintain. It is often advised to have three wigs/toupees; one to wear while one is being cleaned and a spare for emergencies.

You can learn more about toupees at


Hair Weaving

A technique used to knot hair to an artificial base which is then woven into whatever hair remains on the scalp of the wearer.

The frequent adjustment or tightening of the wig can produce additional permanent hair loss, because as hair grows the weave will need to be re-tightened about once a month.

After around six months of wearing the wig permanent hair loss around the attachment point is evident, known as traction alopecia.

The purchase cost of the weave may be less than other types of wig, although the continued re-tightening costs must be taken in to account.

Hair Bonding-Fusion

A similar procedure to the above, although slightly more advanced in the sense new hair, artificial or real, is bonded with surgical glue rather than woven.

The initial cost may be comparatively low again; however the wig still has to adjusted on a regular basis adding extra cost to this treatment.

Artificial Hair Implants

Hair implants are synthetic (acrylic) strands of filament with hooks on the end, which are inserted into anesthetised scalp tissue one by one with a needle, at a rate up to 500 implants per hour. The immediate results are evident, although a sustained thatch is extremely unlikely.

This procedure is extremely painful and can cause serious infections and permanent scarring to the scalp.

Around 25 % of all implants are rejected by the scalp tissue so require replacement. Furthermore, within a year the implants can often snap near the base leaving tufts which are extremely unsightly. The broken strands can only be removed surgically but this inevitably scars the scalp.

Artificial hair implants have been banned in America; however this expensive, short-lived remedy is still practiced in the United Kingdom.

Hair Extensions

Hair extensions are woven into you own hair and are often favoured by women more so than men.

Extensions can produce excellent results but are only really suitable for people with a great deal of existing hair. Some retightening on a regular basis is also recommended.

Artificial Hair Concealers

Hair thickeners or concealers are suitable for thinning or fine hair in alopecia sufferers, a patient with a hair transplant or men with male pattern baldness. After an application the hair can be combed or styled in the normal way and the thickener can be removed by shampooing.

Solid Concealers: These products are coloured powders that coat and thicken the hair without clogging the pores or affecting natural hair growth. It allows the skin to breathe freely and is safe to wear all day long.

Spray Thickeners: Effective and advanced aerosolized polymer for thickening hair, which covers bald spots or thinning hair. These products are sprayed onto the hair, but do require practice to get the desired result. A large range of colours mean almost everyone would be able to find a match.
Hair thickener are not suitable for large areas of baldness and certainly should not be applied directly to the scalp, they should be sprayed onto existing hairs to be effective.

Particle Application: A method to eliminate the appearance of baldness and thinning hair by sprinkling thousands of tiny colour matched hair fibers on to the scalp. The fibres bond with the existing hair by static electricity and will remain in place even in strong winds or torrential rain.

Real Hair Transplants

Of all the male cosmetic applications in this section, real hair transplants are growing in popularity. The surgery can produce some of the most dramatic results, although that depends on your bank balance, as this procedure is immensely expensive.

Hair from the patients scalp is removed from around the sides of the head- as this area is unaffected by male pattern baldness- and implanted or micro grafted on to affected areas. The use of smaller plug grafts due to advancements in microsurgery, allow a more realistic solution to loss of hair compared to the clumsy procedures from 10-15 years ago.

And Finally….

Of all available options the cheapest would be to do nothing.

For many people the thought of losing their hair destroys self esteem, confidence and this can affect many faculties of your life, including sexual drive. For some people a different outlook from the norm can help towards losing your hair with dignity.

A different hair style could make all the difference to thinning hair. Ask your hairdresser for advice on what particular styles would make your hair appear thicker.

As long as you feel good about yourself, that is perhaps the most important thing to consider with hair. It’s all about personal preference. If you feel confident you can accept hair loss for what it is and go bald gracefully.


There are a variety of ways that the scalp can be covered up to disguise the effects of hair loss.

It is important to mention these solutions may not be suitable for everyone. What works for one individual may not work for another. These concealing traditional methods will help with baldness, although will not prevent it.

For advice and support on wigs and toupees go to

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