Q: I am getting older, and over the past year my hair has begun to fall out. My hair is extremely fine and thin, so it’s quite noticeable. I have purchased a few wigs, which I now use frequently, but I would like to get some suggestions for some other hairstyles or hairpieces. I want to look young and attractive – not bald. Help! – Maggie – Atlanta
A: Losing your hair is a part of the aging process. Unfortunately, for some, it may be quite apparent and cause a great deal of embarrassment. There are many things you can do, however, to make your hair appear thicker and fuller, especially by using hairpieces and wigs. You can create a variety of hairstyles using hairpieces, fashioning them for both daytime or evening wear. Hairpieces come in various forms to help you create different looks, such as chignon, wiglet or bandeau. A chignon is a knot or coil of hair created from synthetic or real hair that is worn at the nape of the neck or crown of the head. It is mostly used to create an up-do. A wiglet is a hairpiece with a flat base that is blended with natural hair to extend the range of hair on a particular section of the head. Wiglets can be worked into the top of your hair, into curls or underneath the base of your hair to give extra height and body. Bandeaus are hairpieces that are sewn to a headband and placed into your hair for added fullness. The headband, which is replaceable and comes in different colors, serves as an excellent disguise for the hairline. It is usually worn over your natural hair and is for the casually dressed.
Q: I recently read your recommendations to a woman who had been wearing hair extensions for two years. It made me realize that extensions might be a possible solution for me, and I wondered about the approximate cost. I am going through the “growing out” phase of a very shaggy haircut. My hair is thin and fine, and medium, warm blonde. Am I a possible candidate for this treatment while my hair grows out? – Genevieve – Atlanta
A: You are a possible candidate for hair extensions. First, I would recommend that you grow out the shaggy haircut to a length that best suits you. Personally, I think hair extensions work and look better when your natural hair is longer, ideally past your chin. There are two types of hair extensions, which you must consider before getting extensions: real hair and synthetic hair. Real hair extensions give you the most versatility in terms of styling. You can use curling irons, hot rollers and blow dryers and achieve any style you desire. With synthetic hair, you are somewhat limited with styling tools. You can use hot rollers and blow dryers effectively, but curling irons are not recommended. The concentrated heat from the iron can cause synthetic hair strands to stick together, making it difficult to achieve a desirable look. Synthetic fibers are also non-absorbent, so they do not accept hair products very well. They also do not attract dirt or dust, so they don’t have to be washed often. The cost of hair extensions will vary. Real hair extensions can cost $250 or more. Synthetic hair will be a little less, beginning at $150. Please keep in mind that the more natural you want the extensions to look, the more it will cost you.