Each week our Recover with Confidence Salon sees several women seeking options to camouflage medically related hair loss. The reasons for their loss include chemotherapy, radiation, alopecia, thyroid issues, medications, hormonal imbalances, vitamin deficiencies, stress and trichotillomania a hair pulling disorder.
Many of these women are young, others... young at heart. Although there are several options for short, trendy styles, they want to continue wearing long hair in a style they’re accustomed to.
Here we’ll consider pros and cons of human hair vs. synthetic wigs for shoulder length or longer styles.
Synthetic wigs are easily cared for, generally less expensive and come in an array of colors. They won’t kink or lose their style in the humidity like human hair may, but they do have a down side. Long synthetic wigs that rub the shoulders will eventually get frizzy ends from the friction.
A knowledgeable wig stylist can smooth this frizz a few times but eventually they may require trimming. There is now a heat-friendly synthetic fiber that gets friction damage but is easier smoothed with a flat iron or curling iron.
A Synthetic/Human hair blend is a good option for hair that touches the shoulders. It offers versatile styling with low heat and won’t damage as quickly as synthetic fiber alone. However, friction damage will affect blended hair eventually.
Human Hair is the third option for a long wig. It is my personal favorite for shoulder length and longer hair due to its versatility and it isn’t damaged from rubbing the shoulders. These wigs may be custom colored to match your original hair color. They are typically more expensive but last longer synthetic wigs.
Different grades of Human hair are reflected in the price. Some human hair is processed in a way that removes the cuticle layer resulting in a wig that will not tangle. This hair is the least expensive of the human hair options, may be colored or low lighted, but bleaching or lightening is not recommended.
Remy Human hair is hair collected from a single donor with its cuticle going in the same direction to prevent tangling. Remy hair retains more shine and looks good longer because more cuticle remains after processing. Remy hair can be colored, permed or highlighted.
Virgin Eastern European hair is the best. It is collected from a single donor whose beautiful silky, shiny hair was never chemically treated. It is made into a wig leaving the cuticle layer, without treating with dye.
Human hair wigs come with various amounts of curl. For a smooth, straight look, buy a straight wig or one with a loose body wave. For curl, be sure the wig is not pin straight.
Human hair wigs can be set on rollers, styled with a curling or flat iron. The fact human hair wigs require styling is a down-side for some, an advantage for others depending on whether you enjoy and have a talent for styling hair. You can always bring your wig to us for professional styling.
The secret to wearing a wig and having it look natural is to do the same things with the wig you would do with your own hair:
- Pin it up, leaving a few strands out at the nape and in front of the ears.
- Put it into a ponytail or loose braid.
- Pull it away from your face with a barrette.
- Tuck it behind your ear, leaving just a few strands out in front to hide the edge of the wig.
- Have a qualified wig stylist customize the perimeter of the wig so it looks like your own “baby hairs” are softly falling around the edges.
Check with your health insurance policy, does it provide for a “cranial prosthesis” (wig) for your medical condition? A cranial prosthesis is considered “durable medical equipment” like a wheelchair or a prosthetic limb and is often covered for conditions such as cancer or Alopecia. A prescription is required.
The choice is yours. Human, synthetic or both, you can have beautiful long hair that looks completely natural.
We provide a private, caring, compassionate environment. We’re sensitive to your situation and your unique needs. You have our word we will do everything we possibly can to help you “Recover with Confidence”.
Please, free to call us any time to ask questions, or schedule a discrete, confidential consultation with one of our certified professionals.
Recover with Confidence, a nationwide group of dedicated hair loss professionals, provides products and services to women who have been afflicted with hair loss due to cancer. LaDonna Roye Hairstylist & Hair Loss Solutions is proud to be its local partner and provider in offering patients individualized products and support to aid in their recovery process