The differences between hair transplants and hair replacement systems
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The differences between hair transplants and hair replacement systems

 

Nowadays, more and more people are suffering from hair loss and the nature of their hair loss is becoming more and more serious. Being in the wig industry, it is inevitable that you will have new customers who have just discovered hair systems for the first time and may ask you: What is the difference between hair transplants and hair replacement systems and which option is better? In this article, we are going to give an overview of hair transplants and hair replacement systems so that you will have all the knowledge to share with your customers to help them make an informed decision about the best hair loss solution for them.

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Hair Transplants

First of all, we need to understand what a hair transplant is and what the procedure involves. Research has shown that regardless of the cause for hair loss, the area where hair typically falls out is the front part of the head, while the hair from the back and sides almost always stays intact. So, the healthy hair follicles are moved to the part where the hair has fallen out, then the hair can grow once the normal blood circulation is established. This is the basic principle of a hair transplant. You could say it is kind of like robbing Peter to pay Paul. Hair transplants do not increase the overall amount of hair, but simply move healthy hair follicles in your body to where they are most needed.

Depending on the size of the transplant area, the surgical procedure will take about four to eight hours. It is usually performed in the surgeon's own consulting room. First, the surgeon cleans the patient's scalp and gives the patient an injection to numb the back of the head where the follicle extraction will take place. There are two ways of doing a transplant: follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE).

With FUT, the surgeon removes a 6- to 10-inch strip of skin from the back of the head. They will then stitch up the scalp and the stitching lines will be hidden by the hair around it. Next, the surgeon divides the strips of removed scalp into 500 to 2,000 tiny grafts – each with an individual hair or just a few hairs. If it is FUE, the surgeon will shave the hair back of the patient's scalp and then they will remove hair follicles from there one by one. The area heals with small dots which the existing hair will cover. After that, both procedures are the same. Once the grafts are ready, the surgeon cleans and numbs the area where the hair will go, creates holes or slits with a scalpel or needle, and finally, delicately places each graft in one of the holes.

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New hair developed by hair transplant surgery has the same biological characteristics as normal hair, so new hair can be scraped, blown, burnt, dyed, and it will grow and fall out normally. Since the hair follicles of the posterior occipital region (the back of the head) are not affected by the male receptors, the hair follicles still retain the characteristics of the original hair follicles after a successful transplant, and will not die and fall out. So, in theory, the results of a hair follicle transplant can last a lifetime. But can hair transplants fundamentally solve the problem of hair loss? This problem is relatively complicated. The final answer depends on the individual, the quality of the transplanted follicles, the doctor's skill level, and the final survival rate of hair follicles.

In addition, it should be noted that there are three groups of people who are not suitable for hair transplantation.

1.People who are experiencing a lot of hair loss:

It is essential to correctly understand the nature of the person's hair loss. Some hair loss symptoms are severe but are only short-term, although the effects can last for several months or even up to two years. However, most patients can make a full recovery so a hair transplant would be unnecessary. It is best to wait until the hair loss is stable before making any decision.

2.Severely bald patients:

Hair transplant surgery only redistributes autologous hair follicles. That is to say, hair follicles cannot be taken from another person. However, a person with severe baldness could not provide enough donor hair follicles, so a hair transplant could not be performed.

3. People who have burns and scalds that have just healed:

Since the subcutaneous tissue (the innermost layer) of this group of people is weak, the blood supply is seriously damaged, and it is unable to provide the correct environment and nutrition for the healthy growth of hair follicles. The survival rate of hair follicles will also be greatly reduced.

If you are in the hair replacement industry then undoubtedly, these are the people you should be positioning yourself towards. But what are hair replacement systems?

Hair replacement systems

When people first hear about hair systems, they mistakenly associate them with old-fashioned wigs that are rough on the skin, never look good and are always easy to spot. However, the hair replacement systems that we are talking about today are very delicate, hand-woven, and are as natural as real hair. There is actually a good chance someone around your new customers has been wearing hair systems without them realizing.

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A hair system consists of two parts: the base and the hair. The base will be in direct contact with the customer's scalp. It is usually made of two kinds of materials: lace and poly (or skin). Lace is more durable and breathable. Poly, on the other hand, is less detectable and more natural. Customers can choose the right material according to their needs. In the vast majority of cases, the material of hair is real human hair and hair types include: Indian hair, Chinese hair, Brazilian hair, European hair, etc. Occasionally synthetic hair is used too. Factory workers manually attach the hair, one or a few strands at a time, to the base using special hair ventilating techniques. After attachment, the finished hairpiece will blend perfectly with the customer's own hair and the overall effect is very realistic.

What are the differences between hair transplants and hair replacement systems?

Perhaps, the most obvious difference is that one is a surgical solution and the other is non-surgical.

First of all, we should be aware that any kind of surgery has risks. Hair transplants are no exception. Aside from bleeding and infection, there will be scars and unnatural growth of new hair. Due to infection, the patient may also suffer loss or even sudden loss of the newly transplanted hair (known as shock loss), but new hair  will  regrow  over time.

Secondly, when the operation is over, the appearance of the entire scalp is very unsightly and bloody. People are faced with a long recovery period of about six months or more whilst the new hair grows. A hair transplant, therefore, is not an immediate solution.

Furthermore, the result and final look of a hair transplant is uncontrollable. There is no way to give the patient a 'simulation test'. They must wait until the end of the process to see the result. The success of a hair transplantation, to a large extent, depends on the quality of the donor hair. If the hair is of poor quality, it may never reach the desired appearance. And as we all know,the cost of hair transplant surgery is very expensive and some people may not be able to afford such a high cost at one time.

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Unlike hair transplants, people can get immediate results by using hair replacement systems and they are assured of the final result. Whether they have hereditary alopecia, male/female pattern baldness, chemical hair loss or any other condition, wearing a hair system can solve them all. Hairpieces have no restrictions when it comes to matching the customer's own hair: customers can choose any color, style, density, texture or length according to their own situation or preferences. After receiving their hairpiece, the customer can attach it by themselves or go to a hair clinic or salon to get that perfect look. Attachment tools include hair replacement adhesive and tape, clips or hairbands but the whole process has almost no risk. (A tiny percentage of customers may be allergic to certain components of hair glue but this is not a big issue as anti-allergy glues exist.)

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The only drawbacks of hair systems are that they are not permanent and different base materials and hair ventilation methods have different lifespans. When a hairpiece is severely damaged, your customers will need to replace it with a new one but because of this you get the benefits of a new-looking hair system. Moreover, hair replacement systems are much cheaper than hair transplants and people will not be limited by only one hairstyle – they can change their hairstyle whenever they want.

So, owing to their versatility and economical prices, hair replacement systems are becoming a more and more attractive alternative to hair transplants.


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