Hair replacement review: Andrew Bucklow tries viral makeover with Transitions Hair and the results are wild

When most people hear the term ‘toupee’, they tend to think of old men wearing dodgy hair pieces that resemble dead possums.

But that stereotype is now outdated, and toupees, or ‘hair systems’ as they’re now known, are suddenly all the rage, particularly among follicly challenged men in their 20s, 30s and 40s.

“The popularity of hair systems has grown significantly over the last few years,” Andrew Wilson told news.com.au.

Mr Wilson runs an Australian business called Transitions Hair which specialises in hair systems, and he says social media is to thank for the explosion in interest.

“There’s been a lot more people happy to post about it (getting a hair system),” Mr Wilson said.

“Previously, people were shy … and they didn’t want anyone to notice. Now, with social media, people feel free to share their experiences.”

On TikTok, videos of men getting hair systems installed have been viewed tens of millions of times, with many blown away by the difference a system can make to a fella’s appearance.

While interviewing Mr Wilson for this article, he noticed I was sporting a rather sizeable bald spot on the back of my head and offered to fit me with a system to demonstrate just how simple and effective they really are.

I accepted, and the result was MIND BLOWING (you can watch my makeover in the video player at the top of this article and an extended cut below).

My experience

I honestly could not believe my eyes when I saw the hair system on my head for the first time.

I was staring at myself in the mirror, but it didn’t look like me.

In the space of two hours, my hair had gone from current Larry Emdur to … well … vintage Larry Emdur.

For the first couple of days, I’ll admit that I was rather self-conscious about it.

I felt like people could tell that I was wearing a hair system, and I felt the need to tell them all about it before they had the chance to raise it with me.

It turned out that was all in my head though (pardon the pun).

The majority of my friends and family said the same two things: “If I didn’t know you, there’s no way I’d be able to tell that wasn’t your actual hair”, and, “it makes you look way younger”. I’m 39, by the way.

It took a few days for me to get used to my new hair, but after a while I stopped doing double-takes every time I walked past a mirror, and my mates got used to it pretty quickly as well, telling me: “I can barely remember what you looked like without hair”.

I’d definitely recommend anyone who’s paranoid about their hairline to give a hair system a go. It’s a non-permanent solution that you can use for a long time or even just for a special occasion, and if it makes you look years younger, well why wouldn’t you?

Here’s all your questions about hair systems answered:

What is a hair system?

“A hair system is essentially a non-surgical way of replacing or restoring your hair,” Mr Wilson from Transitions Hair explained.

“Essentially what we do is we create a prosthetic skin, it’s about a 1/10th millimetre thick, it’s transparent, and that’s overlaid on the scalp. And then what we do is implant (real human) hairs into that prosthetic skin and that replicates and duplicates what the hair and the scalp look like.”

That hair system is then attached to a client’s scalp.

How is a hair system attached to the scalp?

“We use a range of medical grade adhesives,” Mr Wilson told news.com.au. “They hold really well, they’re very secure.

“Some people also prefer to use a medical tape to attach their hair system,” he said.

Who are the best candidates for hair systems?

“I would generally say that if you’ve exhausted other cosmetic options to make your hair look thicker, then you’re probably a good person to try a hair system,” Mr Wilson said.

“Alternatively, if you can see your hair is thinning quickly and rapidly, then certainly a hair system is a good way to prevent it looking worse over time, because it’s an instantaneous change that we can make.”

What’s the process of getting a hair system installed?

“First, we’ll have a chat to determine what’s going on with your hair and find out what you want,” Mr Wilson explained.

“From there we’ll take some measurements, check the contour of the scalp and colour match your hair as well to make sure it matches up perfectly with the hair system we choose.

“We’ll then get you back in for an appointment, which usually lasts about two to three hours, to get the hair system installed.

“The hair system comes with long hair initially and then we’ll cut it short for you.

“And finally, we’ll educate you about how to look after your hair moving forward.”

Is there anything you can’t do when you have a hair system, like go swimming or do vigorous exercise?

“There’s no limitations as to what you can do with a hair system,” Mr Wilson told news.com.au. “You can sleep in it, shower in it.

“We’ve got clients at Transitions Hair who’ve done big wave surfing, skydived, things like that, all while wearing hair systems.”

How much does a hair system cost?

“The initial cost can vary,” Mr Wilson said. “If you want a high quality one, like what we do at Transitions Hair, you’re looking at an investment of about $1400 to $1500.”

What’s the upkeep once you have a hair system?

“Most of our clients like to have their hair professionally managed by us,” Mr Wilson told news.com.au. “So most guys will come back in roughly every three weeks.”

During each appointment, the Transitions Hair team remove the hair system, clean the scalp, give you a haircut and then reapply the hair system.

How long does each hair system last?

“It really does depend on the type of system and the type of person you are,” Mr Wilson said. “But each hair system could last from two months all the way through to six months.”

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