Hairpiece and mirror

Whether trying to cover a bald spot, or simply adding volume to your tresses, hairpieces can be wonderful to work with. Some think of hair enhancements as synonymous with wigs, while others may think of them as partials and add-ons. Men, women and children can find quality products from reliable retailers online or in stores.

Synthetic or Human Hair

There are three different types of hairpieces available, depending on the materials used to make them:

  1. Human hair is the most realistic but they tend to be expensive, and they can be fragile.
  2. Synthetic pieces are less expensive and easier to maintain but they are not always natural looking.
  3. A blend of synthetic fibers and human hair promise natural results with more durability.

Regardless, the best piece should be selected with the help of a professional so it can be made to look as realistic as possible.

Types of Hairpieces

No matter which material you select, you still have many different options available. A good place to start the decision making process is to consider the reason that you need a hairpiece.


Wigs can cover the entire head. Older styles are notorious for giving themselves away because the natural hairline disappears beneath the synthetic one. However, many wigs promise remarkably natural results that can only be detected by a trained eye. Some women opt for front lace wigs because this type of wig mimics the pattern of a natural hairline. Front lace wigs can be expensive and quite delicate. Wigs come in an array of lengths, styles, textures, and colors. You can choose one that suits your natural hair, or select a wig that transforms your look.

Half and Headband Wigs

A half wig is a hairpiece that is secured into place with doubled combs. The wearer parts her hair from ear to ear between one and two inches away from her hairline. One comb goes along the nape of the hairline and the other secures into the parted line. This type of wig is a great choice if you want to add a lot of hair without covering your natural hairline around your face.

Another wig that adds length and volume without compromising your natural hairline is the headband wig. This hairpiece fits on your head typically and inch or two back from your hairline. The wig is attached to a hair band that has combs to secure it into place. Some headbands are detachable.

Hair Integrations, Wiglets and Add-Ons

Hair integrations and wiglets are designed to add extra volume to hair. You can find wiglets that attach to the crown of your head to cover exposed scalp or thinning hair. The hairpieces blend with your natural hair, and they come in a selection of lengths.

Bun hairpiece
Add volume to an updo.

Other products add to hair, depending on the area of need:

  • Clip-in bangs
  • Claw clip hairpieces
  • Formal buns with comb attachments
  • Hair wraps and scrunchies
  • Drawstring pieces that attached to an existing bun or ponytail
  • Halo hairpieces with detachable fringe that can attach to a hat or scarf

Hair extensions include simple clip in extensions that are easy to put in and to take out as well as involved pieces used for hair weaving and braiding.

Clip-In Hair Color

If you want to add some highlights without using harsh chemicals, clip-in hair colors might be the right choice for you. Choose from products that can add natural looking highlights or lowlights to dramatic pieces in bold colors.

Men's Hairpieces

The toupée has garnered a sorry reputation over time, but many of today's products are quite realistic. A toupée is a partial wig that covers a partially exposed scalp. Women, in some instances, may opt for a toupées though the hairpiece is commonly associated with men's hair replacement.

Where to Find Pieces that Accentuate Hair

Color add-in
Add hints of color.

The first place to look for hairpieces is through a trusted hairstylist who can give you some advice about which products will work best for your hair. The hair expert may have ideas for places to look for hairpieces.

Many online retailers also offer full lines of hair enhancing products.

  • Ultimate Looks has wigs, hairpieces and accessories, including a generous line of clip-in hair color
  • African American has a full line of ethnic hairpieces in a wide range of styles and colors.
  • has a nice collection of formal buns and ponytails.
  • BeautyTrends is a wig company that has been in business since 1988.
  • Paula Young is a retailer that appeals to mature women.

Cranial Prosthesis

A cranial prosthesis is a wig for individuals who have a medical condition that leads to hair loss. Companies that provide help for people with medically related hair loss include Mirage Hair Systems and Hair4All. Most medical insurers cover between 80 and 100 percent of the cost for cranial prosthesis, according to

Locks of Love

While many are looking for ways to add hair, some may be trying to find ways to donate hair. Locks of Love is a wonderful nonprofit organization that encourages visitors to donate their extra tresses.

If you are the parent or caretaker of a child who needs a hairpiece, visit the organization's website and fill out the application form.

Enhancing Your Look

Creating your own personal style sometimes involves making changes. Talk to your hairstylist about the different pieces that can complete your look.

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