The roster of treatments for hair loss includes hair weaves and hair transplants. What is the difference? And what are the pros and cons of each hair loss option?
A hair weave involves using your own hair, or combining it with synthetic hair or human hair, to conceal hair loss in both men and women. The hair is painstakingly woven, or hand-knotted, in specific patterns to provide hair coverage.
A hair transplant means that your own hair is transplanted from one part of the scalp to another. During a follicular unit transplant, the scalp is numbed and a strip of scalp containing long-lasting hairs is removed, dissected into small follicular units of 1-5 hairs, and skillfully inserted into the balding areas.
Natural Hair: Hair weaves are attached to your own hair; natural hair can be purchased to be woven in, but often, synthetic hair used because synthetic hair is easier to attach and keeps its curls longer. Hair transplants use 100% natural hair, and this is your own hair, moved from one part of the scalp to fill in the balding areas.
Location: A hair weave can be completed in a hair salon or office while seated. A hair transplant is conducted in a medical hair transplant office while reclining comfortably in a padded chair with head support and arm support.
Expertise: In the United States, a license in cosmetology is required to style hair professionally. Cosmetologists have 1,600 hours of training, however, braiding and weaving skills are not part of these courses. They should take training in braiding and weaving to become competent. Hair transplants can only be conducted by licensed dermatologists or medical doctors with extensive university education, who have received additional training in hair transplantation.
Time: A hair weave takes several hours at a sitting, and may require return visits to complete the job. A person with a hair weave must return to the salon or office a regular basis for maintenance. A hair transplant typically requires an initial consultation, a 4-hour transplant, and a follow-up visit, which can easily fit into a busy schedule.
Frequency: Hair weaves can last between one day and two months. Then, they must be maintained, tightened or repeated because the person’s natural hair grows out. Hair transplants are the permanent solution to hair loss. The transplanted hairs grows naturally and, if they fall out, are replaced by healthy hairs. If balding continues, it is other natural hairs that fall out, not the transplanted hairs. In some case, an additional sitting is needed to fill in a newly balding area or to thicken the transplant.
Damaging Side-Effects: Hair weaves that are conducted without glues or adhesives do not usually damage your hair. Cornrow weaving can cause traction alopecia, making balding worse. Hair transplants, conducted by a skilled hair transplant surgeon, usually have no significant long-term side effects.
Cost: Hair weaves run between $50 and thousands of dollars. To calculate the life-time cost, multiply the monthly costs by 12, then multiply by your expected remaining years of life – you will get a big number. Hair transplants cost several thousand dollars and last a lifetime. Dr. Shapiro, with hair transplant Miami and hair transplant Boca Raton clinics, offers an affordable hair transplant with costs as low at $3/graft and interest-free financing.