Alopecia is a broad term used to refer to different types of hair loss. Experiencing hair loss can be incredibly stressful as hair is a major part of a person's visual identity and a way to express themselves. However, experiencing alopecia doesn't mean that this creativity has to be sacrificed. Thanks to wigs, it's now easer than ever for people with alopecia to express themselves through hair. Here are the best wigs for alopecia.
Does The Type Of Alopecia You Have Affect The Type Of Wig You Should Get?
Yes, and no. Anyone can wear any type of wig they like, but the type of alopecia you have can have an impact on the type of wig most suitable for you.
For instance, hair loss caused by alopecia areata leads to bald patches in specific areas–most commonly towards the crown of the head. This might mean that while the rest of your hair looks as it usually does, only one part of the head is affected by the hair loss. If this part is towards the crown or middle of the head, and it's something you wish to address with a wig, a wig topper might be enough.
Unlike full wigs, wig toppers quite literally are used on only the top of the head. They're quick to apply and still allow you to show off your natural hair, if you like. And if you find a good match between the topper and your natural hair type and colour, they can look incredibly realistic.
Human vs Synthetic Hair Wigs For Alopecia
Whether you decide to go for a human hair or synthetic option for your alopecia wig will depend on you. If you know you'll be wearing wigs long-term as a result of your alopecia, a human hair option is more cost-effective and could last you years with correct care.
If you only wear wigs occasionally, a synthetic wig is affordable but still as transformative in power as one made from human hair.
Image | Latched And Hooked
Wig Toppers and Half Wigs For Alopecia Areata
Toppers and half wigs are great if you're living with alopecia areata. If the hair loss is localised to only the top parts of the scalp, you can use toppers as opposed to full wigs. Like the name suggests, they only cover the top of the head.
Image | Headcovers
Full Wigs For Alopecia Totalis
Alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis are more severe forms of alopecia that lead to complete hair loss on the scalp and over the entire body respectively. If you're experiencing either of these forms of alopecia and want to experiment with wigs, full wigs are the most suitable option as they cover the entire head.
If you're looking for the best wigs for alopecia and are interested in full wigs, read our blog on beginner wigs for some of the best places to purchase full wigs online.
Image | Ali Lumina via Amazon
Be wary when purchasing full wigs that a lot of them come with combs or clips attached. These are designed to be clipped to existing bio hair (hair that grows from your head) to keep the wig in place but with any form of alopecia–totals and universalis especially–this is not suitable. Instead, look for wigs described that don't include these. Alternatively, you can also remove them at home through a bit of DIY.
Top Tips For Finding A Wig That Suits You
Aside from the types of wigs mentioned above, these are some tips you can keep in mind if you're looking for the best wigs for alopecia:
Choose a wig that suits your lifestyle – different types of wigs require different levels of care and commitment. If you lead a busy life or are new to wigs, a closure wig will be easier to take care of than a wig.
Know the look you're going for – having an idea of what you want to look like with your new wig will help you in your wig search. Also keep in mind how much of a change you want to make and whether you want to discuss your wig with others.
There are many ways to make a wig look more realistic but if your natural hair is long and red, if you switch to a wig that's short and dark, people around you may ask questions (whether you want them to or not). If you know such questions might make you uncomfortable, try sticking to a wig that resembles your natural hair first until you gain the confidence to try something different.
Experiment with different wigs – if you're able to visit a wig salon or stylist to try on different wigs, then do it! This will help you find which type of wig you're most comfortable with and also lets you experiment with lengths, cuts and colours.
However, with the coronavirus pandemic and if buying online, this can be difficult. Instead, try out wigs virtually. If you have simple editing skills, you could find images of wigs you like and edit them on to a picture of yourself. If you're not so digitally gifted, sites like The Hairstyler and L'Oréal's Style My Hair can help you get a gist of your ideal wig look.
Best Way To Attach Wigs When You Have Alopecia
If you live with alopecia and want to wear wigs, the last thing you want to do is cause trauma to your natural hair or skin through harsh attachment methods. Combs, clips and glues are common wig attachment methods, but that doesn't mean they're the best, especially not for people with alopecia. They can cause breakage, thinning and even hair loss–something beauty Influencer Mariam Musa unfortunately experienced.
Instead, go for an alopecia-friendly wig attachment method like the Wig Fix. This hair gripper is made from 100% skin-soft silicone designed to keep wigs in place. Worn under your wig (and over your wig cap if you wear one), it harnesses the natural gripping abilities of silicone to keep wigs in place without causing further damage to hair and skin. It's also a must-have for alopecia Influencers like Gabriela Soares and Natalie Lahr!
Have you experienced alopecia and love wearing wigs? Share your experience with us in the comments!