Does Hair Replacement Look Natural?

Hair loss is a traumatic condition that causes both social and psychological stress. With so much riding on personal appearance livelihoods can be grossly affected by hair loss. In a perfect world, hair loss would not be an issue, but in today’s image conscious world, hair loss is stigmatized. Those who suffer hair loss may be subject to discrimination and even social snubbing. Many who suffer hair loss are left mulling over the decision on which hair replacement procedure to invest in. Each option available has its benefits and drawbacks, the one thing they all have in common is cost. With so much at stake both financially and socially, it begs the question: Does hair replacement look natural?

Currently, there are three basic hair replacement options open to the consumer, hair systems, hair replacement surgery, and hair replacement drugs and topical treatments. Each of these options has a range of benefits and drawbacks. The factor most important to the consumer is how natural the end results look. Most people who are considering hair replacement would like to see results that are completely natural-looking. The first option, a hair system, is a covering much like a wig or toupee. The system is held in place with tape or glue and blends in with the existing hair line. These systems can cost upwards of $2000 and the results are quite natural-looking. There are those who say that detectability can be an issue depending on the type of hair loss experienced. This worry leads to two other options.

Hair replacement surgery is the next step for many when the idea of wearing a hairpiece is not effective. The procedure for hair replacement surgery is straightforward. A strip of donor hair taken from the back of the head is removed. This donor strip is then cut into segments with one to three follicles in each segment. The plugs are then set into the area of hair loss, this procedure is done on an outpatient basis under a local anesthetic. The surgery is effective and natural looking, but can only be performed on certain types of bald patterns. The cost is also something to take into consideration with many procedures in the range of $10,000 to $20,000. These two factors lead many to the third option: medication and topical treatments.

Medication and topical treatments are available for those who do not want to deal with the embarrassment of a hair piece or the expense and recovery time of a surgery. The medication is either taken orally or as a topical treatment. Minoxidil is the active ingredient in most over the counter preparations and is available in formulations for both men and women. The cost is the most manageable between $30 to several hundred depending on dosage requirements. This treatment is most natural looking when dealing with early stage hair loss with limited thinning. The treatment also is dose dependent meaning that any resulting hair growth will last only as long as the patient stays on the medication.

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