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How to Choose the Hair Replacement System for Patient?

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While many people find them the same type of hair system, medical wigs and fashion wigs are still very different. In this article, we'll provide you with the main differences between them both and explain why fashion wigs are not a good option for cancer patients. 

Base tenderness

The main difference between medical wigs and fashion wigs originates from who wears them. Medical wigs are specially made for people undergoing chemotherapy, which is a procedure that triggers hair loss. Chemotherapy not only forces healthy hair fibers to fall off but also changes the chemistry of the scalp, making it incredibly tender and vulnerable. This is why, medical wigs are made with an extremely fine base that provides comfortable wear and minimizes injury, redness and infection. Most of medical wigs use light materials to prevent the hairpiece from feeling like a burden for the wearer. 

When it comes to fashion wigs, they are more flexible in choosing the base material, as they are mostly worn by people with a healthy scalp that feels ok with both tender materials and comparably rough and heavier ones.


Another huge difference is the purpose of each wig. As mentioned above, medical wigs are made for people suffering from a severe medical condition that causes temporary or permanent hair loss. Their main purpose is to help patients regain their self-confidence and improve their self-esteem after having lost their hair. It's hard even to say that medical wigs aim at making someone beautiful. It's more of a psychological thing that keeps people from getting depressed and restores their peace of mind after experiencing a shock losing their hair in a short time. 

If speaking of fashion wigs, they are exclusively made for fashion purposes. It can be used as a training wig for a hairstylist, or as a part of a mannequin dressing in a clothing store. It is also widely used in television, cinematography, advertising and fashion shooting, giving characters and models the needed look. Sometimes, it can be a conscious choice of people with healthy hair, who just want to change their hairstyle or prepare for a special event.

Who takes the decision

In the case of a medical hairpiece, it is mostly the decision of the doctor to cover the head of the chemo patient with a wig. The doctor can even prescribe a medical wig, also known as a cranial prosthesis, to suffering patients as a way to prevent the psychological shock caused by hair loss. The wearers of fashion wigs come to use the hair system following their own decision.

Who pays

Fashion wigs will be always paid for by the future owner. When it comes to cranial prostheses, they are mostly prescribed by an oncologist and the costs are covered by health insurance being considered expenses for a conditioning treatment.

Size customization

Another important difference between the two types of wigs is the opportunity of customizing the size of the hair system. While being a personal prescription, medical hairpieces are fully tailored to the dimensions of the patient's head. Manufacturing begins after receiving the prescription, unlike fashion wigs that are pre-fab commercial items that are produced in bulk and sold in stores. This fact makes fashion wigs not always fit the head of the wearer perfectly. Sometimes additional adjustment is needed to make the hairpiece stay in place.

Delivery time

There isn't actually a delivery time for fashion wigs, as they are taken from the store shelf and worn right away. This is not how things work with medical hair systems, though. Since they are customized and bespoke products, they need some time for being manufactured and delivered. This is why patients may have to wait some days until they finally can enjoy wearing the wig. 

All in all, medical hair systems and fashion wigs differ in many aspects. Medical pieces are designed with an incredibly tender base for ultra-sensitive scalp while fashion wigs can be rougher on touch. While fashion wigs are made for television, cinematography, modeling and those who want to adjust their hairstyle to fashion trends, medical hairpieces are made as a psychological tool that helps restore self-confidence and peace of mind of people suffering from a medical condition triggering severe hair loss. Another peculiarity of medical pieces is that they are prescribed by a doctor and customized to the patient's head size. 


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