Hair Transplant or Hair System/Wig? An Honest Review
Hair loss can happen for various reasons and it is a common problem, particularly for men. However, these days there are also different solutions for those who want their full head of hair back. To restore their confidence and beauty, many try hair transplants or hair systems and wigs (hair replacement). But the question is, which one is better?
To answer this question, we need to go over each solution separately, and discuss their procedures, maintenance, costs, considerations, and pros and cons, to help you make an informed decision based on your own preferences. So, there is no right or wrong answer here.
Read on to learn more about the hair transplant vs hair replacement system debate.
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Which Is Better? Hair Transplant or Hair System and Wig?
Hair loss can happen because of genetics, hormonal changes, medical conditions, medications and treatments, stress, lack of nutrition, excessive hair styling, and more. Some experience severe hair loss, such as alopecia patients and chemo patients, while others just go through mild hair thinning. In any case, it can be distressing.
However, there are different hair restoration ways and other solutions that may be useful. For example,
- taking medications and nutritional supplements (necessary minerals and vitamins) that help hair growth, like minoxidil or biotin,
- scalp massage with essential oils, like rosemary oil,
- laser therapy to stimulate the hair follicles,
- Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) therapy during which the individual’s own platelet-rich plasma is injected into his/her scalp to stimulate hair growth,
- hair replacement systems, like hair wigs and toupees,
- and hair transplant or hair plantation.
Of course, whether any of these medical or surgical procedures will be effective for you or not depends on a variety of factors, such as the reason for your hair loss and how advanced it is.
These days, there is a debate on which one of the two most effective and popular options, hair transplant or hair system, is better. So, we are going to discuss both sides.
Everything You Should Know About Hair Transplant or Hair Implants
Hair transplant, also called hair implant and hair plantation, is a surgical procedure to solve the baldness and hair loss problem. During this invasive method, small pieces of tissue, called hair grafts, that contain hair follicles are taken from the back or sides (donor area) of the head and planted in the bald areas.
This kind of hair operation can be done in two different ways.
- Follicular unit transplantation (FUT): In this technique, a strip of scalp from the donor area is removed and then dissected into separate individual follicular units to be transplanted in areas affected by hair loss and hair thinning.
- Follicular unit extraction (FUE): In this method, with some specialized tools, follicular units are extracted directly from the donor area and then implanted in the bald areas.
Hair transplant is a natural and permanent solution. The implanted follicular hair grows like the rest of the hair and can be styled and treated like your own natural hair.
And, those who are experiencing hair receding can go with a hairline implant or hairline restoration. In this hair growth surgery, only the hairline is recreated.
Besides, the techniques and results of hair transplants for women and men are basically the same. But there are some considerations, such as the shape of the hairline is usually different for men and women.
How Long Does It Take to Recover After Hair Transplant Surgery?
After the surgery, there is a healing period during which you can experience
- and temporary hair shedding (the implanted area).
This can take between a few months to a year. During this time, the follicles settle and start normal growth. After this, there will be no special maintenance or treatment required.
However, to go through this time successfully, the surgeon provides you with the necessary instructions you should follow after the surgery.
How Natural Does Hair Plantation Look?
As it is your own hair growing out of your scalp, like the rest of the hair, the recipient area looks as natural as your own hair before hair loss. It also blends with the rest of the hair seamlessly.
The surgeons try their best to follow natural hair growth patterns when they transplant the hair plugs. However, the hair density in the transplanted area depends on the available donor hair and other scalp conditions in the recipient area.
How Much Does Hair Transplant Cost?
The cost can vary based on the region and the extent of the transplant. For example, hairline transplant cost is typically less than an extended area. But, all in all, it is an expensive procedure compared to other hair restoration solutions.
In the United States, in 2023, the hair loss surgery cost can fall anywhere between $4000 to $15000.
Are There Any Potential Risks Associated with Hair Transplants?
Hair transplant surgery is a safe procedure that rarely leads to complications, especially if you follow the pre- and post-operative care instructions and hygiene. However, there are some potential risks, like any other invasive methods. Some of them include
- folliculitis and/or infection at the donor and/or recipient areas,
- scars (especially with the FUT technique but they fade over time),
- unnatural appearance and/or poor hair growth (particularly if the quality of the donor area hair is not good or the surgeon is unskilled),
- temporary numbness in both donor and recipient areas,
- and temporary pain and discomfort.
Can Hair Transplant Surgery Cause Any Long-Term Side Effects?
In very rare cases, one might experience
- ongoing hair loss (this can be treated by additional transplant sessions or other treatments),
- unnatural hairline design, density, etc.,
- prolonged swelling (edema),
- and prolonged loss or changes in sensation in the scalp.
Overall, it is essential to consult with experienced and skilled surgeons before making up your mind. The success rate of hair implants is very high and for the majority of patients, the results have been satisfactory. However, patients with unrealistic expectations may be disappointed.
What You Should Know About Hair Replacement Systems
Hair replacement systems include men’s hair pieces (toupees), women’s wigs, hair extensions, and hair integrations. These are non-surgical and instant solutions to hair loss or hair thinning.
Hair pieces and hair systems for men and women can be fixed on the scalp with some adhesive, tape, bands, and clips. While adhesive and tape provide a longer and more secure attachment, clips can be used to fix wigs more simply but they provide security for shorter periods.
Wigs and hair pieces are versatile. They come in any color, length, style, texture, and density. It is also possible to customize them to match your own hair and scalp size better for a more natural-looking and comfortable result. In addition, it is possible to order a custom wig that is exclusively made for you. You can even get wigs made from your own hair.
Those who prefer more natural results can opt for human hair wigs. These wigs are made of real human hair from various hair donors, for example, European hair, Indian hair, and other types of natural hair.
Moreover, cranial prostheses or medical wigs are specially made for individuals with sensitive scalps, such as chemo patients. These are wigs that are designed to protect the patient’s scalp as well as enhance their appearance and morale.
There are also synthetic wigs that are made of artificial materials. Their colors and styles are more varied than human hair wigs. Plus, they have style memory, so after washing them you will not need to style them. However, they do not look as natural as human hair wigs.
How Much Does a Hair Replacement System Cost?
The cost depends on a few factors. For example, human hair wigs are more expensive than synthetic wigs. Additionally, a full wig costs more than extensions or toppers.
But based on quality, the price range for a real hair wig in the United States in 2023 has been $600 to $2000.
Besides, premium quality synthetic wigs can cost up to $600.
How Long Do Hair Systems Last?
High-quality natural hair wigs are durable and can last for more than a year for frequent users if maintained properly. But synthetic wigs last for a few months.
Is It Easy to Maintain a Wig?
Regardless of the type, wigs need regular and proper maintenance to remain in good condition. The construction of a wig is very delicate, so wig wearers should treat the wigs with care when putting on or removing them.
They should also follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing, storing, and styling their specific kind of wig.
Additionally, you might need to see a wig expert to make adjustments or style your wig.
Are There Any Potential Risks Associated with Wearing Hair Systems?
Hair replacement is not an invasive method and the result is not permanent. Therefore, there is usually nothing to worry about.
However, there is a chance for some people to be allergic to the wig materials or the adhesives which can result in skin irritation. So, it is recommended to test the adhesive for allergic reactions before using it on your scalp.
In addition, poor hygiene might give rise to the risk of scalp infection. There is also a possibility of damaging your own hair if the wig is too tight or not secured well.
Overall, wig wearers have the option to experiment with different styles and colors very easily and immediately. Hair systems look natural, particularly lace front real hair wigs, and can be tailored to your size and preferences. However, they do not look as good as successfully transplanted hair.
Let’s Sum Up: Hair Transplant or Hair System?
We can summarize all the points in the table below.
|Hair Replacement Systems
Takes up to a year to heal
|Result and longevity
|Temporary (a few months to over a year for frequent users based on quality)
Quality human hair wigs can look natural and blend well with your existing hair
Can be replaced immediately
Looks like your own hair when done skillfully
|Regular maintenance required
|Does not need any special maintenance
|In rare cases can cause allergic reactions and damage the hair under the wig
|In rare cases can lead to infection, unnatural results, scarring, and ongoing hair loss
|Wigs can be found for any budget range but premium wigs cost more than $1000.
|It is an expensive operation.
All in all, choosing hair transplant or hair system as a solution depends on your personal preferences. If you prefer easier and instant methods, hair systems seem like a desirable option. But for those who like a permanent and more natural appearance, a hair transplant operation can meet their wishes.
Come to Try on the Best European Hair Wigs to See How They Look on You
We tried to help you make an informed decision about whether to choose hair transplant or hair system as a solution to your hair loss or hair thinning.
Also, you can always visit our centers in Los Angeles (310-991-0087), Orange (949-322-9555), and San Diego (949-640-4247) to try different hair systems and make a more suitable decision. Call any of our offices to schedule your free 30-minute consultation session.