Hair Replacement System vs. Hair Transplant: which is better?

How does hair replacement work
  1. What is a hair replacement system?
  2. How does it work?
  3. What are the advantages and disadvantages?
  4. How does hair transplantation work?
  5. What are the pros and cons?
  6. What are the differences?
  7. Which technique is better?

Looking for a way to fix your hair loss?

You can choose from multiple solutions today — including hair replacement systems and hair transplantation.

But how are they different? And which is better?

If you’re considering either option, this in-depth post will help you make an informed decision.

What is a hair replacement system?

These systems offer a non-surgical way to cover various types of hair loss. They typically feature synthetic hair made from a fine material resembling your existing hair, though real human strands may be used instead.

How does hair replacement work?

Synthetic or human hairs are attached to a thin base, which are then applied to the scalp.

It’s easy to assume these systems are the same as wigs, but that’s not the case: the base is applied to the balding area of the scalp only.

A safe, dermatologically tested adhesive secures the system in place. This reduces the risk of it falling away or shifting out of place.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of hair replacement?

Advantages

The main advantage of this technique is that it creates a fuller head of hair without surgery. Some people affected by hair loss may be reluctant to undergo a surgical procedure for various reasons, such as the fear of discomfort or potential expense.

A replacement system cultivates a more youthful look with hair that either resembles, or is made of, real strands. The best systems are a perfect match for your hair colour, texture, and growth pattern.

Disadvantages

Unfortunately, this kind of treatment is not a permanent solution: it only creates the illusion of fuller hair without actually restoring growth. Patients may still feel self-conscious about their balding when they remove the system, or find it uncomfortable to wear.

They might also worry about the base losing its grip, especially during wet or windy weather.

Maintenance is another issue to consider: these systems need to be cleaned on a regular basis to keep the hair looking at its best. That’s a bigger, more time-consuming commitment than simply washing your own hair after a transplant.

And poor-quality hair replacement systems can stand out from existing hair if the colour and texture is a bad match.

How does hair transplantation work?

advantages of hair transplantation

This technique involves using your own hair to restore growth in thinning/bald areas. The surgeon extracts donor hair follicles from one or more areas of the scalp, prepares them for transplantation, then inserts them via shallow incisions.

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) are two of the most popular techniques. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of hair transplantation?

hair transplant result

Advantages

This method addresses hair loss by restoring growth — not just covering it up. A surgeon implants donor follicles strategically across the scalp to ensure new hairs blend seamlessly with the rest. You can rest assured that the results will look natural.

Transplants also offer a low-maintenance solution: you can wash and style your hair as usual once you leave the recovery stage and your new hairs have fully grown. There’s no need to worry about the hair falling away or becoming detached, unlike with hair replacement systems.

This treatment also provides you with a wide range of packages to suit your unique requirements. For example, male pattern baldness is one of the most common causes of hair loss, affecting around 50% of men over 50 years old. This triggers hair loss on the entire scalp or isolated areas.

As a result, some men with pattern baldness may need 2000 hairs implanted into their scalp while others might opt for 5000 or more if their hair loss is more advanced.

The transplant model’s flexibility enables clinics to meet each patient’s needs and goals with personalized treatment plans. And the cost of a hair transplant is also more affordable than ever at reputable clinics outside the UK.

Disadvantages

Transplantation is a surgical procedure. You may feel nervous and worry about potential discomfort during the treatment, though it tends to be minimal.

This method also requires you to wait between 12 and 18 months after the procedure to see full growth. However, progress will be monitored closely to ensure your results develop as expected.

The FUT technique also leaves a visible scar on the back of the head that may limit your styling options.

What are the main differences between hair replacement and hair transplantation?

Let’s review the main differences between both options:

Hair replacement systems

  • Feature a set of human or artificial hairs attached to a base, which is applied to the scalp
  • Covers hair loss without the need for surgery
  • Applied to the scalp with a dermatologically tested adhesive to avoid skin irritation
  • Hairs must be cleaned and cared for to maintain their aesthetic appeal and authenticity
  • Texture, colour, and growth pattern must align with existing hair to create a natural look
  • Provides an illusion of hair growth rather than real restoration

Hair transplantation

  • Surgeons use your hair follicles hair to create new growth in one or more areas of the scalp (e.g., the hairline or crown)
  • Provides lasting growth that blends seamlessly with existing hair
  • Various techniques available
  • Hair follicles taken from the back and/or sides of the head to match texture and colour
  • Various packages available based on your unique needs, whether you have severe hair loss at the hairline, around the temples, or the entire top of the scalp
  • Affordable pricing available at certain clinics

Which technique is better?

Hair replacement may be an effective temporary solution if you’re preparing for a transplant or you’re unable to undergo surgery on your scalp.

But transplantation is the better option if you want to fully restore growth with your own natural hairs. There’s no need to apply a replacement system to your scalp to cover baldness — transplantation addresses hair loss directly instead of disguising it.

If you want to book a consultation with one of our experts, contact our team today to get started!