Hair Augmentation: The Art of Faux Locks
By Erika Kimble Dermatology NP
If you’re older than 30, chances are you’ve started to see little trails of aging present as you find strands on your pillow and right after a shower your tub looks like a Chewbacca washing scene. Imagining a bald scalp, sets in mental panic, even more so if you’re female. Although hair loss and thinning can be disturbing for both genders, its societal link with beauty can be more devastating for women.
Thankfully, the beauty industry has perfected ways of thickening and lengthening with faux hair. In Vegas, the popularity of this is even greater due to the entertainment sector. According to Anna Nichols, owner of Bomb Hair, “because this is an image based city most of my clients are in night life whether it be dancing, performing, basically service industry women. Those girls rely on the way they look to make their money. They’ll pay me to do their hair before they pay their rent.” It’s no surprise that women will shell out big bucks to maintain their beauty, which is also a large factor in self-esteem. However, the cost of this physical and mental benefit can range $400 and up, plus maintenance.
Hair extensions are the forte of Bomb Hair which opened its doors about four years ago. At this locale, Anna and her stylists utilize “virgin hair,” non-treated human hair, considered best quality for extensions. Placement methods vary per customer such as; small attachment beads, tape, braiding, clips, or glue.
They last 2-6 months depending on type and care. In order to minimize the risk of hair loss called traction alopecia, or damage, its best to find an extension specialist like Anna. However, it’s prudent to give your hair a break and have periods of time styling natural locks.
Faux hair that doesn’t attach directly to natural hair provides a great breather alternative. With 48 years of experience, Jane Wilson, of Wigs on the Move, offers a variety of such. Jane became interested in wigs in the 60’s while doing research to help her mother-in-law with hair loss. Yet, her expertise in wig fit, placement, styling, and cut became solidified by chance circumstances. “In 2005 I had a salon where I was selling wigs and I was also a volunteer for the American Cancer Society. I saw these women had a need for wigs, but often they were not healthy enough to get out and about, so I started a mobile wig service,” said Jane. Since then, Jane’s services have graced hospitals, senior centers, funeral homes, and salons.
As with extensions, wig prices can range anywhere from $40-$4,000, depending on the type of hair used and the quality of the cap. Synthetic hair pieces will be cheaper, but often fray and tangle, thus lasting only 6-months to a year. Real hair pieces may last 4-5 years and give the versatility of using heat and hair products. Yet, for patients who have medically induced hair loss, wigs may be covered by insurance if a clinician’s note advises of the need for a “prosthetic device.”
Nonetheless, the benefits that hair augmentation provides, often outweighs the cost of the product. According to Anna Nichols, “less time for getting ready and having more confidence in yourself is definitely worth the cost of extensions.” For many women, a healthy head of hair is a priceless part of being feminine.
Erika Kimble, BSN, MA, MS, APRN is a Dermatology Nurse Practitioner at Linda Woodson Dermatology in Las Vegas. She is an award winning author of the Malcolm Finney, Medical Detective, children’s health series, freelance writer, blogger (www.yourbeautelab.com) and reigning beauty queen.