A wig is a bunch of hair artificially designed to be worn on a bald head, which should mimic natural hair. The hair used for this purpose may however be severed natural human hair, but synthetic filaments are cheaper and hence more commonly employed. It is probably the oldest of all camouflage technique for improving cosmetic appearance in hair loss.
An appropriately made and worn wig can be no less than a wonder, but the highest quality wigs can cost you a fortune. They may be very delicate in addition requiring a lot of care for adequate maintenance . The more commonly used cheaper wigs provide not only a poorer camouflage but may offer additional problems in maintenance. Majority of the people who have been wearing a wig would love to do away with it, and the name “Wig” has come to be rated more as a stigma than an effective remedy. The manufacturers have started hence to produce variations of the classical wig. These newer versions are being name differently as well e.g. toupees, Hair extensions, hair weaving, Hair Bonding-Fusion etc.
Wigs are used mainly to disguise hair loss, and they should hence be unnoticeable. A wig that can be noticed, defeats its purpose.
The issues related to wigs can be divided in two distinct groups, namely the adequacy of camouflage and the problems of holding the wig into place.
Adequacy of Camouflage
A wig should not be noticeable to be adequate. Most people wearing wigs have some residual hair of their own and the hair in the wig should not look different from this native hair. It should match in color, texture and style. This is usually hard to achieve with synthetic fibers. But a well matched wig employing human hair may also need to be replaced often. The native hair may change in color (e.g. graying due to aging) or the wig may discolor with the passage of time due to effects of sun exposure. The wig shall become noticeable in either case. Hair in the wig start looking different from the native hair and the situation may necessitate a change of wig. It is obvious hence that an adequate and effective wig is an expensive preposition to start with, and equally expensive to maintain.
The advertisers of wig and toupees generally claim that you can swim with them and take part in similar sports, but that is a half truth. Soap, water salt and chlorine can permanently damage the color and styling of wigs and toupees both.
Holding the Wig into Place
Traditionally the wigs are attached to the scalp with a tape or glue, but they come off relatively easy with embarrassment in public. Many newer methods of wig attachment have gradually emerged as a consequence. Some wigs are attached using Wire Loops which are surgically stitched into the scalp. Serious infections are common and uncleanliness is inevitable resulting in offensive smell. In Tunnel Grafting , skin tunnels are created surgically which can hold the plastic fasteners of the wig.
The moral of the story is that if you cannot afford a perfect custom made wig, it is unlikely to be useful as a camouflage.
Toupees are not very different from wigs except that they are meant to cover a much smaller area. But keeping them in place and cleanliness are not easy to achieve.
Other Camouflage Possibilities
In Hair Weaving , the hair is knotted to an artificial base and this base is then woven into the residual native hair. They become loose with growth of the native hair and need to be retied and tightened repeatedly. That cause additional permanent hair loss due to repeated tying and tightening of the wig (traction alopecia).
The cost of hair weaving may be fairly attractive, but the recurrent cost tightening and retying will add to it, and it may turn out to be far more expensive than expected.
Hair Bonding-Fusion differs from hair weaving only on that the new hair are bonded with surgical glue rather than woven. It needs tightening similarly with the growth of native hair, and the cumulative cost of its maintenance is also comparable.
Hair Extensions are woven into the existing native hair and very popular in women who want long flowing tresses of hair. There has to be a lot of native hair far practicable hair extensions. They need also to be tightened and readjusted repeatedly. This method is not considered suitable for men.
Artificial Hair Thickeners are fine powders of matching colors that are sprayed onto the thinning hair mixed in glue. The thickness of the hair is hence increased temporarily, which lasts till the hair is shampooed next time. The hair can however be combed and styled meanwhile. This method is very suitable for thin hair as well as covering up small areas of hair loss like alopecia areata. They are available in a wide variety of colors and you can easily fine one to match your hair. It must however be viewed as a temporary method of camouflage.