MISSING YOUR HAIR? LOOK BEYOND THE WIG SHOP TO GET YOUR HAIR BACK JUST THE WAY IT WAS — NO MATTER WHY YOU ARE LOSING IT — WITH A HIGH-QUALITY HAIR REPLACEMENT.
A lot has changed from the days of small wig shops for women and toupees, or hair rugs, for men. “We are so excited about the technology available today for people who have lost any part of their hair and want it back,” says Lew Hutchinson, owner of Invisions of Connecticut, a full-service hair replacement studio in Middlebury. “If you have perceptions of hair replacement and hair loss treatment from the past, you are in for a pleasant surprise.”
Women’s hair replacement options explode in the past 40 years
“Back in the 1970s, the business of hair loss treatment and hair replacement wasn’t geared toward women, who traditionally went to a wig shop, but now the new clientele for non-surgical hair replacement and hair loss treatment is about 70 percent women,” says Lisa Zimmerman of National Hair Centers in Phoenix, Arizona. Zimmerman explains that while women are not experiencing more hair loss now, they are openly talking about it more and looking for education and alternatives. “We see a large portion of women looking for medically necessary wigs, for women going through chemo or those suffering from alopecia areata or alopecia universalis. Women are also realizing they can correct female pattern baldness and diffuse thinning with hair replacements of all kinds,” she adds. With today’s technology and artistry, there’s a solution for any degree or type of hair loss, more than ever before, agree hair replacement specialists.
More service than a wig shop for medically necessary wigs … when women need it most
A large and important need that’s being filled by more education for women and higher-quality hair replacements is for medically necessary wigs for hair loss from cancer. Several hair replacement studios and salons banded together to form Recover with Confidence when they realized what a hard time women were having getting information and getting fitted for a medically necessary wig (called a cranial prosthesis) before (or while) suffering hair loss from chemo. These hair replacement studios aimed to bring a higher level of hair loss information, care and support to chemotherapy patients when they need it most. “We realized chemo patients couldn’t get wig information from their doctors and couldn’t rely on suitable wigs or wig fitting or styling from a regular wig shop, so we decided we had the skills and desire to help them. We cater to patients’ sensitive scalps and their need for gentle care, both emotionally and physically, as well as their need for a properly fitted, beautifully natural, medically necessary wig. We even guide women in overcoming logistical issues such as getting insurance to pay for their wig,” explains Bob Rider, owner of HRC in Dayton, Ohio.
How to get the hair replacement you need
Look in the phone book or online under “hair replacement” or “hair loss treatment” to find a local hair replacement studio that specializes in finding just the right hair replacement solution for your particular hair loss problem. Some replacements might be integrated with your own hair, and some may provide for total coverage and full hair replacement, but a qualified hair replacement specialist can show you many options in ready-made and custom-made hair replacements in addition to expert tailoring and styling. Some considerations:
- Look for privacy: Private rooms and private entrances can help you feel less self-conscious.
- Ask about experience: Stylist training and continuing education in the newest techniques and products give you more solutions.
- Explore options: If a hair replacement professional is not showing you many options, go someplace else, agree experts.
- Get help: If they’re not knowledgeable about insurance for medically necessary hair replacements or if they don’t offer to finance or you don’t like their payment plans, look elsewhere.
- Call up referrals: Look at before-and-after photos of their clients to ascertain styling skill and ask for referrals you can call and speak to.
- Ask for aftercare: Get written instructions on how to best care for your hair replacement, how to handle hairpiece emergencies and when to call for help or come in for maintenance.
“There’s no substitute for seeing the joy on a woman’s face because I gave her back her hair the way she wants it to look. I gave her back her hair and her self-esteem. And that’s why I am in this business!” says Rider, a 48-year veteran of the hair loss treatment industry.