Got a stock system installed at a salon, is this good/the best I can expect?

Alsh

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I'm currently experimenting with my first hair system. I'm in Sydney and to my surprise, there aren't many places that do hair system installs.

I'm 29, NW4 and am trying a hair system while still on dutasteride - preemptively checking to see if I a hair system is a good path for me.

I ordered a stock unit (S22, .03 v-looped poly) from Lordhair and called around, finding two places that specialize in installing hair systems. One place wouldn't install the hair system because I didn't buy it from them and the other one wasn't very professional but took my booking anyway, charging $175 for a cut and fit.

Ultimately, my hope was that the stylist would give me a result that I could aspire to replicate myself, but honestly I am left feeling embarrassed and regretful.

The whole process took maybe 30 minutes with 10 minutes of that being bond drying, didn't feel like they spent a lot of time considering the style or putting in effort to achieve the best result possible and honestly I feel silly and embarrassed wearing it.

Pre System

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Results

From the salon, my hair took on a puffy, boy band, kind of aesthetic. I don't really like this style as I prefer my hair shorter. The hair tends to sit funny and I need to have to make sure it's sweeped/brushed a certain way to cover the corners.

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I am trying a couple different styles. Here I am trying to wear it Curits style, slicked back. Given my natural temple recession, I feel like it doesn't sit well on the sides as the hair system comes into the sides at a right angle (and it's not joined to my sides due to the way the base was cut which exacerbates this).

I am pretty sure the photo looks better than the result does

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Close up

It looks like they cut hairs along the hairline when they were cutting the system to size. I asked for a copy of my template but they refused - saying I would need to book in to buy a custom unit from their salon for $800.

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It also looks like the sides of the hair system base were cut ahead of the hairline. I am no expert so I'm not sure it it's possible to get the unit's base closer to the biohair line but this really limits my styling options. The corner of the base is revealed when I sweep the hair back and I imagine it would be obvious with a shorter hair style.

I'm limited to having the fringe come down on either side, circling my face (like in the first photos) to cover that boundary.

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It's the third day now and the bond is starting to lift. I have tape and glue at home and will try my hand at reapplying it myself but yeah. The hair is also slightly lighter than mine. I have a colour wheel now and ordered a unit that matches my bio hair colour, but the transition between the brown and black is noticeable.

How I feel

Honestly I feel like I look silly. I feel a bit disheartened. I hold a lot of hope in hair systems as a viable option but the results make me feel pretty unhappy. I wonder if the salon was just bad or if this is a normal expectation of a result.

Is there anything I can do to improve on this? Given the lack of salons in Sydney, can I achieve a good result myself by going to non hair system hair dressers?
Can I salvage this unit? I am thinking about taking it off, dying it with a semi permanent dye (along with my bio hair) and trying to get a better fit - maybe going to a hairdresser to get another haircut.
 

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mroizo

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I was in a similar situation as you when I started with hair systems about six months ago. The first salon that I went to sold me a french lace unit with poly rim. They didn't cut the unit shape at all but shaved much of my own hair to make the stock unit fit. They also used glue on the whole lace. For the cut-in they barely cut the unit and told me that it would thin out by itself over time. They also sold me some Walker sport glue to touch up the front if it lifts.

The front wasn't glued properly and was easy to lift right after my first shower on the next day. I had a lot of issues reattaching the unit front with the Walker sports glue and q-tips. The hair density was still almost stock and way too high. So I went back to the salon for a second cut-in where they had the hairdresser remove some hair volume. The unit was still dense but now at least manageable and had a faded cut on the sides and back. I had then some weeks where I got used to spending 10-15min gluing the front of the hair piece after every shower.

I did some more research and found two other salons in my city for hair systems. So I called a different salon for a servicing appointment and have stayed with them ever since. Three weeks ago they installed a new unit that I bought online and it's a big difference from what the first salon did six months ago. I bought a full lace unit and the hair dresser there cut it into shape so it would fit and blend nicely with my own remaining bio hair. Glue is only used in the front third of the unit and tapes on the perimeter for the sides and back. This holds up really well and does not damage the lace as easily as using only glue. I think the glue they use for the front is also better, I don't have the hair lifting issue after shower anymore at all.

I think your unit colour matches your own hair ok well. Have the hair dresser reduce the density a bit, it should be better to style and not so puffy anymore after that. Also, I think they cut too much of the base at the temples.

If I were in your situation, I'd get a good hairdresser to reduce the volume and blend the system better on the sides and back. Then order a new unit and go to the good hairdresser to have it cut-in properly.
 

hair4meTomorrow

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Looks OK.

But my criticisms are:

Too dense. Not so bad with darker hair at your age, but all the same.

You have some recession at the temples. That's incredibly common, but you just need a slightly more contoured hairline as a result (read: recessed).

The colour match. It looks a bit more red?

Overall I'd say its not so bad, but with a good custom system you could get an amazing result.

Where are you located?
 

jimlad

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It looks ok to me, but it has the new system bounce - that will go down very soon.

Take some time to get used to it. It's not the best job, and to answer your question, you can expect better. But you don't look silly.

The small hairs at the front can be plucked out. Wait for when you remove the system, then use a safety pin to isolate the individual hair (make sure you don't pierce the base), then carefully pull it out. You may then want to trim the base down slightly so that there is no lip, but ensure you don't cut through any more hairs.
 

Alsh

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Thanks for the support guys. It's been an interesting journey so far - I am surprised how strange it's been to accept my new hair.

I have ordered another unit from Lordhair, arriving tomorrow and I am taking it to a place in the city called Transitions hair on friday to get cut in and styled. Same unit, S22 but darker to match my hair colour. They intent to cut recession into it.

Their results look alright on YouTube:

I have been experimenting a whole bunch with this unit, reattaching it, styling it and I actually attempted to dye it.

The full glue bond was a bastard to get off the base and I am now trying to see how little tape I can get away with (recipe for disaster, I know)

I used a semi-permanent colour and it took it down a little making it closer to my hair colour. I tried my best not to get it on the base but whoa, what a process. The hairline wasn't explicitly touched by the dye but it did darken a little so it's more noticeable now :rolleyes:

Overall, with some product and a darker shade, I think it looks alright. I actually use a little glue on the temple gaps and glue my hair there to make them less noticeable. The photo below is a good angle because this side joins up well


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The other side is less flattering
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I think with a good haircut and a better base template, I hope I can get a better result. I am not sure how to make a template for a custom unit, but I'll ask Transitions for that (though I have a feeling they might hesitate seeing as they sell custom systems too).

I'll update on friday with the new unit
 
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hair4meTomorrow

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I'm glad you're rolling with it. Honestly I don't even say it's so bad.


Look at this. You don't need much of a contour there, it can be very very mild and subtle. But a straight hairline really doesn't suit basically anybody who has to wear a piece, because it draws too much attention being so perfect and for almost everyone it will simply not match their temples. (mine is needing a slight more of a contour, and it would if it wasn't for the supply issues right now)
 

BaldBearded

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This is the problem when you order a system online without really knowing what you need. That is why I always suggest starting with either a salon that you trust, or a company that can support you, and links you with a stylist that they work with.

The best thing, in your situation, because you have shaved your head (I am assuming) is to wear a brushed forward style, and wait to get a system that is both the correct color and shape for your hairline.
 

AxC123

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This is the problem when you order a system online without really knowing what you need. That is why I always suggest starting with either a salon that you trust, or a company that can support you, and links you with a stylist that they work with.

The best thing, in your situation, because you have shaved your head (I am assuming) is to wear a brushed forward style, and wait to get a system that is both the correct color and shape for your hairline.
Hi BB, i believe he did go to a salon, and not tgat satisfied...he is experiencing some minot issues and seems to get on the right track
 

AxC123

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Very clear post and pics. Don't dispear, we are our own worst judges, but you are addressing your issues well. I like the last set of photos. (Color and style) you will soon find what glue, tape works best for you. Skin prep is important and so is scalp protector.
 

BaldBearded

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Hi BB, i believe he did go to a salon, and not tgat satisfied...he is experiencing some minot issues and seems to get on the right track
No, he bought the unit first and then found a salon to fit it.
 

Alsh

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No, he bought the unit first and then found a salon to fit it.
Correct. Bought the unit as a stock unit from Lordhair and got it fitted at a salon. I hadn't considered that the base might not be wide enough to reach my temples. My next unit arrives some time tomorrow so I will inspect the base to see if it's possible to reach that far.
 

Jbalding

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The "poof" settles after a shower or two. As for the hairline.. i hate thin skins. V loops look like sh*t imo.
 

Fanjeera

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In the beginning of my wearing I was raped by my local salon twice. 2nd time not that horribly though. Yours looks very good.
 

JaneyElizabeth

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I really admire your bravery in posting pics as that really helps others in terms of making their own decision about systems.

One thing that I recommend systems for is to allow for more aggressive treatment related to hair regrowth. Many fail at this because as soon as they start to shed, they freak out and stop treatment. But with a hair system, or a wig in my cases from my NW7 shed, you can ride it out without the frustration of sometimes waiting a year to get back to the length that one wants.

Having said, that, I still think that you look better with your own hair if you can at least maintain it. I also think that your hair is still quite treatable. I am disappointed in the hairline that you showed because it looked pluggy sort of like transplants in the olden days and another tip that no one wants to follow is that if deniability is important to you, then you want only moderate improvement from a system and it is often advised to leave some recession in the corners to make it look more real.

People like Paul Reiser have sported the ultra-low hairline look as have many cable anchormen and I just think that it is spottable immediately. Ted Koppel had a piece that was way too low and bushy. I don't particularly worry if my wig is spottable because there is less stigma admittedly and with wigs, you don't want/need the option of maintaining some recession and they don't make wigs like that for females anyway.
 

Hair2019

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But with a hair system, or a wig in my cases from my NW7 shed, you can ride it out without the frustration of sometimes waiting a year to get back to the length that one wants.

The only problem with that is that when you wear a bonded hair system, you have to shave the hair underneath before attaching it. It might work with a wig attached with clips etc, though, where you still allow the bio hair underneath to grow.

Having said, that, I still think that you look better with your own hair if you can at least maintain it.

Some younger guys might look better by regrowing their bio hair. In many cases, though, the quality of hair on a hair system is actually better than a person's bio hair. This is the case with me. I have long hair, and the quality of the hair on my system is much better than the bio hair I have on the back and sides. As we get older, hair tends to lose its quality and often becomes wispy, wiry, frizzy and just older looking in general.

The hair on the top of my head was thinning and receding, so after a few years of using hair loss concealers I decided to shave the hair on top and get a hair system, then blend it with the bio hair on the back and sides of my head. It looks great, and so much better than using hair concealers. I did consider trying to regrow the bio hair that was thinning/receding, but even if that DID work, it still would not look as good as a hair system, especially with long hair. There's nothing than worse than seeing a person, especially a guy, with a full head of long bio hair which just looks really old and wispy. I think the smart thing to do is go the hair system route if that's the case, then you can have that glossy, high quality rock star hair you've always dreamed of.

I am so glad I decided to start wearing a hair system, and I have the best looking hair I've ever had in my life. I think hair systems can look amazing, totally real and totally undetectable if done right. I think the original poster just needs a bit more experience and trial and error to get his hair system looking natural and undetectable.
 
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JaneyElizabeth

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The only problem with that is that when you wear a bonded hair system, you have to shave the hair underneath before attaching it. It might work with a wig attached with clips etc, though where you still allow the bio hair underneath to grow.



Some younger guys might look better by regrowing their bio hair. In many cases, though, the quality of hair on a hair system is actually better than a person's bio hair. This is the case with me. I have long hair, and the quality of the hair on my system is much better than the bio hair I have on the back and sides. As we get older, hair tends to lose its quality and often becomes wispy, wiry, frizzy and just older looking in general.
Well, with point two, that seems undeniable. With point one, shaved hair can still be treated with min/finasteride/selsun blue/nizoral and oral min is working for more and more guys. Ultimately, the freedom of one's own hair is something that to me, is very powerful but again, I think that wigs tend to look better on females than systems on males. I don't quite get it but wigs seem to perch in a way that is unrecognizable while systems seem to jut upwards from the scalp in a way that is a bit obtrusive like the hair is pointed forward.

I am obviously for wigs since systems are just a type of wig but some things don't change. Bing Crosby wore an abbreviated hair piece where only the crown was covered while leaving his moderate recession alone in front and it was a good natural look but he balded a bit later in life. Less is usually more with hair pieces and wigs in my opinion but on the other hand, many people are actually oblivious to hair systems and toupees so in a sense, it's a question as to how important making the hair look natural is versus have complete coverage of every cm of scalp.

Goddess bless.
 
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