People with different hairstyles must ponder many factors when determining the size of their base. The following information will help you consider different criteria before settling on the actual dimensions of your base.
If you are relatively happy with the density of your growing hair on the sides and back of your head, you may want to choose a partial system with a base that covers just the thinnest area of hair on the top of your head. In this case, you can match the hair density on the perimeter of the base to the density of your growing hair. This will help ensure even blending between the base and your growing hair.
If you’re lacking the density you would like on the sides and back of your head, there is another option. Consider increasing the size of your base to cover more of your head, as this will help you achieve the fullness and coverage you seek. Since your hair will continue to grow underneath the system, don’t increase your base size by too much, as healthy, dense hair growth under a system can be itchy and cause adhesive bonds to break down more quickly.
Simply increasing your system’s density may not give you the look you would like. For instance, if your hair system is 4 inches by 6 inches, increasing the density will provide fullness and coverage on the top of your head. However, if your growing hair isn’t dense enough to create the illusion of fullness at the transition point (where the system and your growing hair meet), hair on the sides and back of your head will look thin and transparent.
If you’re unsure of the base size you need, we recommend keeping it on the smaller side. Begin by covering the thinnest area of hair. If you feel you need more coverage, you can always go larger on your next system. Keep in mind you may periodically need to increase the size of your base to accommodate the natural thinning of your hair as you age.
If you have a defined thinning area
When you have a defined thinning area that covers a large or fairly large portion of your head, we recommend you trace the area and add a half-inch around the perimeter to ensure that the edge of the base meets the densest part of your growing hair. This method will help achieve a well-blended look.
For a smaller area located at the front of your head, adding a half-inch around the perimeter may not give you the result you want. This is because a small hair system doesn’t allow the hair to fall in a way that would look natural. The best thing to do in a case like this is to extend the back of the base to get more coverage on top of the head.
If the thin area is in more than one location, first decide how you would like to wear your hair. Using the rate and amount of hair loss you are experiencing as a gauge, create a base with a size and shape that best suits your needs. Our hair techs are very experienced in this and are happy to assist with this decision.
For diffuse loss or all-over hair thinning
With diffuse loss, it is perfectly normal to take a few attempts before getting your system just right. Let your desired hairstyle and the coverage you need be your guide when choosing the size of your base. Consider all other options before deciding on a full cap system, because they can be challenging. You may want to start with a partial or three-quarter base and adjust the density of the hair as needed in order to blend with your growing hair. This page can provide more detailed information on sizing your base for diffuse loss.
In order to conceal the transition point on the back of your head and allow the hair to fall naturally when you lean forward, we recommend a base that extends past the point where the crown of your head starts to curve down. However, it is best to keep your base above the occipital bone for partial and three-quarter systems.
The area above the occipital bone — the bone at the lower, back part of the skull — is considered the safe zone. For partial and three-quarter hair systems, it is best to keep your base above the occipital bone in order to have a stronger bond. Because of the curvature on this part of the head, wrapping the system below the occipital bone — the area to avoid — can affect the integrity of the bond. However, if you need a full cap system, you may have to bring your base down below the safe zone.
Consider your preferred hairstyle
Your desired hairstyle is important when determining your base size. For instance, the length of hair required for some hairstyles may affect your decision.
If you like to wear your hair pulled up, take it into consideration when deciding where your base should be on the sides of your head. Depending on the density of your growing hair, it’s possible to create the appearance of a bulky “ridge” at the transition point where your growing hair is pulled up over the hair system. If you lack density in your growing hair, it may be difficult to conceal the transition point or have a natural look when the hair is pulled up. Typically this is not a problem when the hair is pulled straight back or into a low ponytail.
If you prefer to wear your hair down, you also need to consider the density of your growing hair at different points on the base. For example, if you increase the size of your base, you may need to lower the hair density on the sides and back of the system in order to avoid creating too much volume in certain areas.