I have never met anyone who finds losing their hair or the medical condition alopecia easy to cope with, particularly at first. Some of my clients experience temporary hair loss because of chemotherapy. Others have long-term hair loss and are seeking a more permanent solution. However, any type of hair loss can reduce confidence and self-esteem.
If you are losing your hair, try to take a positive and proactive approach. Speak to experts about how best to deal with the situation and take action. If you experience total hair loss, we recommend that you look for a good quality wig – one that feels good and looks good. I have met hundreds of people who look fabulous wearing wigs and hair pieces and they are happy with the overall result.
This is a summary of the medical categories of hair loss that people experience, which you might find useful.
Male-pattern baldness. The most usual type of hair loss is male-pattern baldness. It is more common in men, but can also affect women (female-pattern baldness). Baldness starts with a receding hairline, followed by thinning of the hair on the crown and temples. Baldness is also called androgenic alopecia. 'Androgenic' means linked to male hormones. This type of hair loss is linked to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is made from the male hormone testosterone.
Telogen Effluvium. This type of hair loss happens because of a severe reaction to Physical or Physiological Stress. The hair’s growing cycle is interrupted causing the follicles to enter a resting stage and this results in abrupt and diffuse hair loss.
Chemotherapy. During a course of medication to treat cancer, hair loss may result. Chemotherapy often causes hair loss otherwise known as Alopecia. This is because the cells in the hair follicles grow fast and chemotherapy damages fast growing cells. Hair loss is not permanent and it will grow back once your treatment has ended. Not all drugs cause hair loss – Some just cause thinning and others cause dramatic hair loss including the body hair and eye brows. Hair loss can start any time from after the first few days after chemotherapy to within a few weeks. However, your hair will grow back once treatment is complete although to start with your hair will grow back very fine,very like a baby’s hair.
Alopecia Areata.Alopecia Areata is hair loss that causes small circular patches of baldness around the head area. These patches can come and go. It can occur at any age, but mostly affects teenagers and young adults. Six of 10 people who are affected develop their first bald patch before they are 20 years old. Alopecia Areata is thought to be caused linked to autoimmune diseases, which cause the hair to be attacked. In some cases where there is a family history of alopecia. This affects about 2% of the population. There is no known cause for the catalyst of what is a genetic alopecia.
There is no proven effective treatment for Alopecia Areata. In most cases the hair grows back after about a year but can appear thinner. Some people with Alopecia Areata go on to develop a more severe form of hair loss, such as:
Alopecia Totalis. This is where hair loss occurs totally around the head and facial area. In many cases the eyelashes and eyebrows may be affected.
Alopecia Universalis. Means literally universal hair loss from the entire body and it is the most aggressive form of alopecia.
Scarring Alopecia. Scarring alopecia is caused by complications arising from other medical conditions such as such as scleroderma, lichen planus and shingles. In this type of alopecia, the hair follicle (the small hole in your skin that an individual hair grows out of) is completely destroyed.
Traction alopecia is caused by forceful brushing, tight braiding or often by habitual twisting of the scalp hair. Ceasing the cause should result in recovery.
Trichotillomania is a psychological condition where a person has an urge to pull or twist their hair until it comes out.
How common is hair loss?
Male-pattern baldness is more common than female-pattern baldness, affecting around half of all men at some point. Female-pattern baldness becomes more common in women over 40 years old, particularly after the menopause (when a woman's periods stop at around age 52). Alopecia areata will affect one or two people in every 100 over the course of their lifetime. Up to 1 in 5 people with alopecia areata have a family member with the condition. This suggests that it can run in families in some cases. If you are finding it difficult to come to terms with losing your hair, you may benefit from joining a support group or speaking to other people in the same situation - for example, through online forums. www.Alopeciaireland.ie provides these services.
Acrylic wigs are available in three basic constructions:
The fibre is knotted onto a fine stretch mesh, which gives the wig a natural appearance. Hand knotted wigs are very lightweight and are often worn by those with a sensitive scalp. Hand knotted wigs can be very limited in style availability.
The wefted wigs is made up of different length wefts of a fibre sewn together to form the wig. The majority of wigs available are constructed in this way therefore they are available in many variations of styles.
These are the most expensive of the acrylic wigs. The top of the wig is made using a very lightweight monofilament onto which the fibre is very finely knotted. The wearers skin colour shows through this base, giving a very natural appearance. The rest of the wig is usually made up using wefts.
Variations on these constructions include:
Permatease or crimping is the crinkled effect at the root section on some acrylic wigs. This is used to give the wig body and lift without causing extra weight of more hair. It also helps to give good coverage over the base of the wig.
A section of lace is sometimes added to the front of wigs. This piece of lace sits on the wearers forehead and has hair sporadically knotted onto it to give a more natural hairline. These wigs are very popular with celebrities and in films.
Trying on your new wig. Start by holding the wig at the middle of the front hairline and give it a little shake to loosen the curls. Next hold the wig at the back with one hand each side of the sewn label.
Tip your head slightly forward and pull on the wig from front to back, just like a bathing cap. Slide it back until the front hairline just covers your own. When the two little tabs on either side rest against the temples just in front of the ears, the wig is positioned correctly. Then tuck in any of your own hair, which is still showing around the sides and back.
Ensuring a comfortable fit
If your wig seems too loose or too tight, take it off and adjust the two Velcro tabs next to the label at the back of the wig. If your hair is very long, it is best to pin it up before putting on your wig. Make sure to arrange your hair so the bulk is spread as evening as possible.
Styling your wig
Synthetic Hair Wigs are so easy to style as they have been designed to be as easy to look after as possible. Gently start at the root and brush the hair up and out twisting away from the face. Lightly smooth any wisps of hair into place, use a spritz of wig silk to fix into place and you are ready to go.
Real Hair Wigs look and feel just like your own hair and can be styled just like your own hair too. Once you real hair wig has been styled, the style will stay until the wig is washed. To keep your style looking great, use a spray of our specially formulated conditioner which will ensure that the hair is moisturised and add just a touch of hold to keep your style in place.
Washing your wig
Before washing your synthetic or real hair wig, use your specialist wig brush to ensure that your wig is brushed through and free of any tangles. Using cold water, add a teaspoon of either the Acrylic or Real Hair Shampoo, both are designed to work in cold water and to work with the structure of your wig to offer maximum cleaning. Gently dip the wig into the solution until it is saturated. DO NOT RUB THE WIG. Let the wig soak for 3-4 minutes, rinse in clear cold water.
Conditioning your wig
After washing your synthetic wig make sure that you have used a towel to pat out excess moisture, and then spray the wig conditioner sparingly over the damp fibres. Hang the wig up and leave to dry. When the wig is thoroughly dry, use a brush to gently bring back the style and enjoy the healthy shine left by the conditioner.
After washing your real hair wig, make sure that you use a town to pat out excess moisture, and then gently use the repair cream, squeezing it through the hair from root to tip. This treatment will moisturise the cuticle and smooth the hair leaving it soft and shiny, ready for you to style.
Drying your wig
Take a towel and use it to wrap up the wig, gently pressing to remove excess moisture.
NEVER WRING A WIG OUT.
Synthetic wigs should be left to drip dry overnight at room temperature. Do not brush your wig when it is wet. Do not use a hairdryer or other heated appliances on your synthetic wig.
Real Hair wigs can be gently blow-dried using a round brush or they can be left to dry naturally where the hair will dry to a natural body wave, just like your own would do.
Real hair wigs can be styled with heated appliances, taking care not to overheat them otherwise the hair will damage, just like your own hair.
Styling your wig
Synthetic wigs are designed to keep their style even after they have been washed. Wig Silk makes sure that your wig can be personalised to how you like it, as well as making the fibres smooth and silky, this product is a must for keeping your wig looking fantastic.
Real hair wigs need a spritz of the real hair conditioner to keep them soft and manageable. This product protects the hair from becoming dry and tangling and adds a subtle touch of hold to the hair keeping your style looking great for longer.
Synthetic wigs need to be treated with care. Avoid exposure to excessive heat as this may damage the fibres. Be especially careful when opening an oven door, for example.
Never attempt to dye your wig.
The team at David Marshall believe that with quality comes confidence. All of our aftercare products have been specially designed to work with your wigs to keep them looking and feeling great.