Wigs, more respectfully described as toupees, hairpieces, hair systems or hair units, are basically an artificial arrangement used to conceal hair loss and are essentially a head of hair, made from a variety of materials, ranging from horse hair or human hair to wool or synthetic materials. Wigs are often seen as a less expensive or intrusive therapy for hair loss, and provide a solution for millions of men worldwide.

The history of the wig

Wigs have been used for centuries and continue to be used worldwide, in fact hair pieces are the most common solution used to disguise baldness. Initially wigs were made of animal hair treated with special chemicals, which made them usable in wigs. They were artificially coloured and were prized for their cosmetic value. Men and women wanting to try new hair colours and styles were able to do so before they took the plunge and made the change permanent. Women who occupied distinguised positions in society chose to wear wigs to make them look different from the commoner. Since options to enhance appearance were limited, it was a wig that usually helped individuals change their looks. Women sporting long hair were socially accepted; hence women who did not have that particular luxury resorted to wigs to acquire the desired image. As the primative wig evolved, synthetic substances as well as pre-treated human hair became the materials of choice. Synthetic wigs introduced a host of new possibilities and designs. Such flexibility prompted the introduction of various colours, styles, lengths and braids. Wigs are fitted with easy to use elastic bands and tie up arrangements, which help secure them in place for longer durations. People who had been affected by illnesses resulting in hair loss were finally able to use wigs to help maintain their confidence and regular lifestyles while still coping with medical treatment.

Wigs in the modern day

Cosmetic wigs are still used for theatrical applications, helping to re-create a look associated with a bygone era, another culture and so on. Actors often wear wigs when shooting for multiple films at the same time. Performers who are part of a dance troupe, carnival or event are often required to wear wigs that are well matched with their sequences. A judge will wear a wig as a sign of authority, and detectives or Secret Service agents may wear wigs as a disguise to protect their identity or operate undetected. The primary use of the modern way wig however, is for an individual to disguise their hair loss problem by covering their head with a ‘system’ designed to emulate real hair.

Hair systems as a hair loss solution

Whilst wigs have evolved significantly over the last few centuries and even decades, for the purposes of disguising hair loss, there are several factors that should be considered. Wearing a wig is an immediate change to ones appearance, a change that requires careful management. Clients go back to the clinic every 2–4 weeks for a refusion where the company takes the hair “unit”, cleans the scalp, cuts the hair at the side and replaces a second system. Despite technological advances, a wig can still fall off, be blown off or be pulled off, although not as easily as in the past. At HIS Hair Clinics we believe that each individual should make a personal choice, which they believe to be the most suitable for their own circumstances. Hair systems are not without their flaws, however they also offer several significant benefits, not least the fact that they offer an immediate solution to tackle thinning hair.

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By Damien

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