Toupees and Their Special Design Features
Toupees and wigs are often used as interchangeable words but their history and purpose have been quite different. Wigs were originally used in ceremonies for such things as religion and other cultural events. They therefore have a long history. They were usually very obvious and may have been strikingly different in style to natural hair. Toupees on the other hand are specifically designed to try and disguise the fact that the wearer has a certain amount of hair loss. These are the methods used in this disguise.
They include hair pieces that are designed to cover up small areas of hair loss and larger ones designed to cover the whole of the head. Wigs have been used by people to cover their baldness but they are often seen as the cheaper alternative.
Toupees therefore have to merge with the person’s natural hair to make a single head of hair so that the natural and replaced hair can not be distinguished. Indeed the big fear of wearers is that they might be identified as wearing a hair piece. There are therefore particular design problems and a great deal of thought that has gone into solving them.
A lot of the original ideas came from Hollywood make up artists who where trying to make realistic hair pieces for actors. The first thing that has to be considered is matching the replacement hair with the original hair of the person. To this end, there are choices between synthetic and real human hair. Clearly human hair comes out on top here and it is possible to match the colors, coarseness and curliness to other people’s donated hair. Obviously it is a matter of cost. Some synthetic hair can look quite realistic and at a far cheaper cost. This area is not so much of a problem if the toupee is to cover the whole of the head as very accurate matching to the original hair is less important.
The next problem involves the scalp view through the hair piece. The wearer doesn’t want the toupee to be spotted on close inspection. The solution for high quality toupee hair pieces for men this is for the base material to be designed of very fine lace which is then also colored to match the scalp. The actual scalp can then be viewed through the fine lace matrix. Only very close examination would reveal the actual lace.
The hair line at the front of the head is the next problem. Getting this to look natural is again quite difficult. The lightest lace is used at the front of the hair piece and very fine hairs are attached to this so that the hairline merges with the rest of the toupee and they get a so called scalloped look.
One of the biggest fears that a toupee wearer has is that the whole thing will come off their head. There are various solutions to this including special sticky tape and glues. Scientists have designed special glues for this task that don’t harm the skin, aren’t visible and of course securely attach the hair piece to the scalp. One of the most secure ways is to weave the hairs on the toupee with the remaining hairs of the person. This will not come loose but, as with other hair weave techniques, it can initially feel a little painful and it can put a strain on the existing hairs possibly making them more likely to be pulled out.