Trichotillomania - TTM or "Trich" is currently defined as an impulse control disorder that causes people to pull out the hair from their scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, or other parts of the body which results in patchiness and bald spots. Whether you call it a habit, a tic, or an obsessive compulsive disorder for some clients it just takes a little awareness and the problem resolves its self. For others it can be an irresistible urge that is overwhelming. It is impossible to predict the duration of trichotillomania for any individual person. Without treatment, trichotillomania tends to be a chronic condition, that may wax and wane in severity throughout a lifetime.
Common ways of coping with Trich:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Alternative Therapy
- Support Groups
Most importantly know that you are not alone. Until your symptoms subside there are ways to cope with the loss and control your appearance in a very authentic, low maintenance manner.
Will a wig be comfortable? Will people know?
There have been great advancements in wig
making in recent years. The caps that the hair is attached to are engineered with several different materials to give you a secure, soft fit. A qualified wig salon should be able to alter and tailor any pre-manufactured piece so that you will feel confident in almost any activity. Custom pieces offer even more options. While human hair is undoubtedly realistic and perfect for longer lengths, advancements in synthetic hair have created durable, natural feeling strands that are perfect for shorter more active styles.
Is human hair better than synthetic?
Both have their benefits. Shorter styles may be easy to maintain with a low maintenance synthetic wig. Longer styles may benefit from the durability of human hair as it weathers friction much better. A short synthetic wig can easily last a year while one below the shoulder will show wear with in a few weeks. A human hair wig of any length can easily last 1-3 years with proper care. For someone wearing a wig every day, year after year, a human hair wig is an excellent investment.
Both synthetic and human hair wigs should be washed every 30 wears. Synthetics hold their style while human hair wigs can and need to be styled much like your own hair. You may do this at home or choose to have them cleaned and styled by your wig salon.
Custom pieces are design by Brenda
and are usually made with human hair. There are many different kinds of human hair. Brenda will work with both Indian and Virgin European. Indian hair has been processed so it comes in a wide range of colors and has good movement. Because it has been processed additional processing is limited. It is often readily available in stock or can be ordered with in one week.
Virgin European hair has not been treated so it is exceptionally strong and silky. It can be styled into any look and is excellent for those who are wearing their piece for a year or more. Custom European hair wigs are made to order and do take longer to make.
The wig cap which has the individual hairs tied to it is designed to fit the client using either precise measurements or by taking a mold of the head. If there is a chance you will be wearing your piece long term it is very important to get a great fit by a professional. You may need more than a party wig or fashion wig to create a realistic, comfortable solution which well help you feel confident in day to day wear.
What about gluing your wig down or extended wear "systems"?
Wig tape or pressure clips can be effective reinforcement for attaching a wig but if you have an excellent fit you may not need to rely on them to much. As for gluing, it does allow you to keep your hair on round the clock for up to a month. Many places will require you to make monthly appointments for the wig specialist to glue your piece down. It will require you to shave any existing hair in the area of attachment, usually the crown. Over time, if there is some hair growth, it is trapped under the piece and can become uncomfortable especially since there is no access to the scalp for effective cleaning. I prefer to give my clients a more independent and clean way of managing their hair. I also like to preserve the investment you have made in your hair by reducing the wear and tear. Nothing creates more friction and tangling than sleeping on your hair. It will require daily styling instead of styling once or twice a month. Sleeping in your piece greatly reduces the life of the wig as well as the aesthetic.