How to Choose Wigs for Alopecia
Before we dive into our guide on how to choose wigs for alopecia, let's first recap what alopecia is for the uninitiated: alopecia is a Latin word that means “baldness”. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair to come out, usually in clumps and/or patches.
While hair naturally falls out from age and everyday activities, people who suffer from alopecia areata experience hair loss at much faster rates that vary depending on the severity of the disorder. Wigs for alopecia patients come in all different sizes because alopecia can manifest in people of all age ranges, at any time.
Alopecia areata (or simply “alopecia” for short) is typically used as a general term that encompasses different versions of alopecia. These versions can vary between total hair loss on your head (alopecia areata totalis), total hair loss on your entire body (alopecia areata universalis), rapid thinning of hair (diffuse alopecia areata), hair loss in a band shape around your head (ophiasis alopecia areata), and the most common pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia).
According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, over 6.8 million people in the United States suffer from some form of alopecia. In the past, people with alopecia would often use headwear such as hats, scarves, or a combination of the two to hide their hair loss. Today, with so many patients experiencing this disorder, some wigs for alopecia patients are actually covered by insurance!
While your specific alopecia will guide your choices on what wigs for alopecia best suit your needs, there are still some universal things that can help you find your perfect fit. Whether you’re new to wigs or an expert on hairpieces, let's take a look at some things to consider when looking for the best wigs for alopecia!
Buying Online Versus Buying In-Store
To find the best wigs for alopecia, you’ll have to decide where you’re going to source them. Are you planning to buy your wig online or in-store?
In the past (we’re talking pre-internet times around the 1980s), if you were looking for wigs for alopecia patients and you needed a custom wig, you would be in for an arduous journey. You would have to go into a wig store or a salon and have a hair specialist size you up. They would wrap your head up in cellophane wrap, then tape a cast of your head to build the wig. At some point, she (or he) would have to find a color that matches your skin tone, if it existed. Then you could pick a hair color. After choosing the attributes you’re looking for, the wig would be built over the course of several weeks. Once complete, the specialist would style the wig because wigs from the 1980s didn’t fit right out of the box, even if it was measured to your head. Long story short: if you were looking for the best wigs for alopecia in the past, you’d be more or less out of luck. Especially since wigs were in short supply and required specialty maintenance.
Luckily for us, it's definitely not the 1980s anymore! We have the luxury of buying custom-fit wigs online without the need to go to a wig specialist. The easiest way to find your perfect fit wigs for alopecia is to order through a high-quality hairpiece provider that uses AI technology. Aside from being cheaper to use than a hair specialist from the 1980s, using AI technology can perfectly measure your head for capsize and match your skin tone for a seamless look. AI technology also allows you to pick your hair color online and send it for manufacturing all from the comfort of your home. Between the two options, we think buying online is the way to go!
Choosing Wig Styles
Assuming you’ve made the smart choice in buying online, your next step is to determine what type of wigs/what wig construction you’ll wear. There are a ton of different opinions online about which wig types are “best”, but the best is really up to the user. Unhelpful, we know. But like everyone else in the world, hairstyles can vary widely between different people so it makes sense to keep an open mind about what wig style is “best”.
If you’re not satisfied with that answer, then we can briefly cover the most popular wig type constructions:
Open Cap, Capless, Wefted, Etc
Open cap wig construction goes by many names and is typically made of synthetic hair. Wefted wig caps are the most basic construction types. Wefted wigs are typically recommended for people with existing hair due to their limitations in their ability to be styled. Wefted wigs for alopecia are not usually a great choice, these wig types are popularized by cosplayers and the occasional wig wearer.
Lace front wigs are exceptionally natural-looking. As the name suggests, the front of the wig is made of lace. This lace makes blending the natural hairline easy in the front but the back of the wig is wefted so it remains lightweight and breathable. This is considered by many to be one of the best wigs for alopecia that patients can get!
In full lace wigs, the entire wig cap base is made of lace (hence, the “full lace” part). Full lace wigs can be very expensive due to the construction and how much work is required to hand sew each hair into the lace. But the biggest perk of this wig construction is that it can be styled in almost any fashion you want, making these top-picked wigs for alopecia patients.
Silk top wigs are considered the most natural-looking of all wig construction types. Again, as the name suggests, silk top wigs come with a silk closure at the crown (you know, the top). These ultra-natural wigs come with knots that are hidden by a layer of lace. The hair is then injected through the silk top for a truly natural look. These silk top wigs are usually the most expensive types of wig construction.
Between these four different types of wig construction, we recommend going with the tried and tested choice: the lace front wig. Lace front wigs are common but are also great wigs for alopecia.
Modern Solutions for a Common Problem
Alopecia doesn’t have to be a hindrance to your life, Parfait makes ordering wigs for alopecia easy and efficient using AI technology. At Parfait, you can custom order a tailored wig using AI technology from your smartphone and have it shipped to your home in less than two weeks! Compared to traditional methods of a salon visit, casting ahead with cellophane and tape, and then getting the wig a month later… we’re glad that it's not the 1980s anymore.