A patch on the real thing

When Sam revealed his bald patch to Carla near the end of the last series of Cheers she was shocked and viewers were horrified. So the rumours about his thinning pate were true. He had, all along, been wearing a 'weave.

Weaves, or hairpieces, are ingenious mini-wigs for men made from real or synthetic hair which are glued, taped or actually weaved with silk thread on to the head. The secret of a good weave is in its colour matching and cutting. If these are done well, a weave can go virtually undetected (specialists assure that you can swim, shower and play most sports). Contrary to popular myth, they do not fly off in the wind, and are a huge improvement on the legendary 'strands-scraped over-the-dome look.

Trenco 229 Kensington Church St W8 (071-221 2646) Mon-Sat 10am-6pm By appointment only

Trenco have been supplying men's wigs and hairpieces to companies for the past 25 years and operating as a specialist salon for men for the past three.

Customers can come in for an initial consultation, view the range and have the size of their bald patch assessed. If they decide to choose a weave it can be fitted the same day, though fittings can take up to three hours.

During a fitting hair will be washed, dried and the weave styled and attached. The replacement patches come on either a skin base or a 'west which are then weaved into the existing hair. These range in price from pounds 175-pounds 400. While they have a wide range in stock for men who are in town from abroad and want something straight away, for a perfect colour match, weaves should be made to order. A selection of wigs are also on sale ranging from pounds 10 to pounds 150.

The Belgravia Centre 2-4 Eccleston Street SW1 (071-730 7188) Mon-Sat 9am-6pm/Tues-Thurs closes 8pm Appointments only

This centre provides the latest technology for male hair loss problems. For young men losing their hair, their trichology clinic offers low-power laser treatment to rejuvenate hair growth. Ten sessions cost pounds 350.

For men who have permanently lost areas of hair, 'hair follicle relocation micro-grafts healthy hair follicles from other parts of the head onto bald patches.

Managing Director Michael Harris says that this does not result in the abhorrent style of strand 'plugs, and looks natural. They will recommend a surgeon to you and prices range from pounds 800-pounds 2,000.

Their single-strand hair replacement patches seem to be the most advanced in weave technology. These are small transparent patches with individually implanted strands of hair which look completely natural, even to a barber. Cost: pounds 4 a square centimetre.

Wig Creations 62 Lancaster Mews W2 (071-402 4488) Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm By appointment only

Wig Creations specialise in film and television work. Recent commissions include Interview With A Vampire, In the Name of the Father, Last of the Mohicans and Much Ado about Nothing. They are also recommended by The Royal Marsden Hospital to chemotherapy patients.

A private service exists to customers, by appointment only, where a consultation, fitting and a piece can be made in three weeks. They can make virtually any kind of hairpiece, from full wigs and toupees to fine, light pieces on lace bases.

Wigs start at pounds 700 and pieces begin at pounds 450. Frenchman Luc Graf runs the business, which was started in 1946. He is charming and helpful - and completely bald.

Media Hair Systems 3 Craven Terrace Lancaster Gate W2 (071-734 3793) Mon-Fri 10am-5pm/Sat 10am-1pm By appointment only

This company sell a top-of-the-range selection of Bergmann hairpieces from Germany. They are light, made from a fine Begalon fibre and are stuck to the scalp with bonding fluid or velcro.

'A hurricane wouldn't blow them off, says Allan Krist, the shop's owner. Consultations are free before pieces are measured, fitted and cut on the head. These pieces can be worn for 6-8 weeks and then need to be brought in for regrooming (pounds 36). Pieces vary in price, but the most expensive goes at pounds 600 plus value-added tax. A selection of toupees are also available. Full wigs can be made to order.

Geoff Wright Hair, Scalp and Skin Consultant, 156 Marylebone Road NW1 (071-486 4871) Mon-Sat 9am-7pm Geoff Wright is a trichologist who offers both French aromatherapy treatments for men who have begun to lose their hair (due to male pattern baldness) and fine hairpieces.

With see-through mono-filament bases, the pieces are attached to the head with either tape or liquid skin. They can be removed daily or worn semi-permanently for six to eight weeks.

While they stock many pieces at the shop, you can have one custom-made to specific requirements with real or synthetic hair. Ready-made pieces cost pounds 240, custom-made about pounds 700.

'We also do skin analysis and skin problems, says Mr Wright. 'Many problems with hair loss start with the skin.

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

    £12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

    Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

    £32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

    Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss