Question: I am a 50+ woman with significant female pattern baldness. For the last 5 years I have been going to “The Hair Club” as this is the only vendor of women’s hairpieces that I have been able to find locally. (In the San Francisco Bay area.)I have experienced all of the frustrations mentioned in your article dealing with hair replacement, including the idea that I am “locked in” to the Hair Club, and have no alternative, even though their service is not very good.Is there a site I can go to find other hair replacement alternatives? My husband is eager for me to try a hair transplant, so that we will not have to continue paying over $6,000 a year for my hair. But it seems from what I read in your article, that I am not a good candidate, because of the overall thinning of the hair.
Are there other alternatives for women like me?
I appreciate any information or guidance you can give me.
First let me say that you are not alone. We receive countless complaints about The Hair Club from both men and women, and this company is NOT recommended by The American Hair Loss Association.
Your husband should know that having a hair transplant is not a one size fits all procedure. Most women with diffuse hair loss do not make good candidates for a hair transplant and usually end up wearing hair anyway. From how you described yourself you are most likely not a good candidate and will possibly be very disappointed with the results of a hair transplant.
Since you have been wearing hair for five years, you understand that it takes a significant amount of maintenance to keep the hair looking natural. This does not have to cost you an arm and a leg, and there is no reason to be locked into a maintenance contract.
It is possible to purchase high quality hair systems online for a fraction of the price you are currently paying. It usually takes a little trial and error, but once you get it right you can continue to purchase your hair and have it shipped directly from the manufacturer to your front door.
There are a couple of ways to get started. Your first option could be to send one of your current hair pieces to an online hair replacement company to have the manufacturer copy it exactly. Unfortunately, since you are dealing with a “club” your spare hair might be held in their facility to ensure that you come back. Another option is to go to a local mom and pop hair replacement salon and have them make a template of your head and then send hair samples along with the template to the manufacturer. Some companies even offer at-home template kits with full instructions and even a DVD to help you and your husband make the perfect template.
Once you receive your hair in the mail you can go to any hair replacement shop to have it cut in. You can either choose to maintain it yourself, or you can go in for weekly or bi-weekly maintenance for a fraction of what you are currently paying. Most women will purchase about six per year and go to their local hair replacement shop and spend about $150 a month including cut ins.
There are several reputable online companies that sell reasonably priced high end hair pieces. Prices range from about $150-$500 per unit.
It is possible to wear hair well on a budget and you never have to join a club.
Hope this helps.
The American Hair loss Association