What’s a Hair System, Anyway?


Hair system, hair piece, quiff, non-surgical hair replacement, wig?

When I speak with customers over the phone, I am occasionally asked whether a wig and a hair replacement system are the same thing. And whilst I answer with a lengthy explanation as to why hair systems are most certainly not wigs, lately, I’ve been thinking about the terminology we hair replacement providers use to explain what is essentially a device to conceal baldness.

The origins of the term ‘hair replacement system’ can be found in the traditional hair studios/clubs who, decades ago, offered a ‘revolutionary’ hair loss solution to rival the traditional moppy wig. The ‘system’ was a process of several steps incorporating: scalp preparation, hair system fitting, styling and maintaining. It was a system of maintaining the appearance of a head of hair. And the term has remained in the lexicon of hair loss solutions ever since.

Many companies promote these products using a variety of different names, some pseudo-scientific, some with highly technical and bamboozling descriptions, but essentially, the products used are the same (with varying quality, of course).

So, What Exactly is a Hair Replacement System?

Simply – and it really is simple, despite the prevalence of so much 1990s’ marketing waffle – a hair system is constructed using human or synthetic hair hand-woven onto a particular base of material, be it lace, monofilament or the ultra-thin ‘skin’ membrane This base is then adhered to an individual’s head with their preferred method of attachment (tape or skin-friendly adhesive) and cut and blended to render it entirely undetectable. At least, that’s the objective. As with any hand-crafted product, some will be poorly made, some so-so and some outstanding.

The key to sourcing the outstanding example is to take the following steps:

  1. Order the correct size to fit your head; order the correct colour to guarantee a perfect match with any existing hair.
  2. Select a density which is suitable for your age, i.e. ordering a hair system which is too thick is one of the biggest mistakes customers can make.
  3. Do not position the hair system too high on the forehead – it must always sit exactly where your hairline used to be.
  4. Order a graduated/transitional hairline – no one’s front hairline is a perfect straight line. Natural hairlines are irregular, so ensure your hair replacement provider does not make you a hair line suitable for a Playmobil character.

lace front hair system

Should you not follow these basics, your new hair replacement system will look like a wig and not the modern, evolved equivalent.

The traditional wig is an off-the-shelf one size fits all hair piece. Often, to conceal the heavy base material and visible knots, wigs can appear bulky. This differs from the hair replacement system which uses fully breathable, featherweight materials, barely visible to the naked eye, constructed using a template of your actual head. Furthermore, the knots used should be invisible, and please note, at Hair Hub we use singular knotting i.e. each individual hair strand is woven onto the base material which differs from the standard procedure of multi-knotting i.e. weaving three or more hair strands at a time which creates a larger, visible knot – see picture above.

So, is a hair replacement system just a wig? No. Whilst they both serve the same purpose, i.e. to cover up baldness, wigs and hair systems should be miles apart.

To learn more about the basics of hair replacement systems, please read The ABCs of Ordering a Hair Replacement System.

Confused? Drop us a line on 0800 014 8085.