Wearing Hair System for the First Time in Public

If you’re new to wearing hair, it’s natural to be self-conscious as you return to normal activities after your first attachment. We encourage people to be open about wearing hair in order to help remove the stigma associated with it in our society, but we know this isn’t something everyone is comfortable with. Below are tips and suggestions for smoothly and discreetly transitioning into wearing hair. We also help you find the right words to share your story with others when you’re ready.

How to make a smooth transition

Be honest

Our recommendation is to be open about wearing hair with those in your inner circle. We understand how difficult this is, and we are not suggesting you announce it publicly on social media, or feel you need to tell everyone you meet. However, if you let a few close friends and/or family members know, you’ll experience less anxiety around those to whom you feel closest. We feel it’s important to erase the stigma that’s often associated with wearing hair; ideally, it would be viewed no differently than getting highlights or extensions.

Create a distraction

With that being said, we don’t want you to do something you aren't comfortable with. Whether you choose to tell a few friends or keep it a secret from everyone, the easiest way to discreetly transition into wearing a hair system is by redirecting focus away from your hair. Here are some ideas that have worked successfully for others.

  • Before making the transition, wear your hair differently for a week or two. Try parting it differently, pulling it back, or wearing hair clips or a scarf for a few weeks before wearing your new hair system.
  • Wear your hair differently for a week or two after making the transition. If you wore it pulled back before, wear it down after attachment, and vice versa.
  • If you normally wear contacts, wear your glasses while you transition into wearing a system, or vice versa.

The trick is to do something different. That way, people will look at you and know that something is different, but they won't be able put their finger on what it is. Also, once you are wearing your new hair in public, don’t touch your head a lot or fuss with your hair in public — that draws attention to it.

Time it right

Timing does make a difference when you’re wearing hair for the first time. If you go into work with thinning hair on Monday and a full head of hair on Tuesday, the transition will be more difficult to hide. If possible, it’s best to make the change over a weekend or vacation.

If you have an event coming up, like a wedding, we strongly recommend you don’t do your first attachment right before the big day. You will put much undue stress on yourself, and won’t have the proper time to adapt emotionally or physically to your new hair. Do your first attachment at least one month prior to your big event, so you have time to acclimate.

Take it slow

If you don’t plan to let people know you’re wearing hair, start with a light density, slightly heavier than your growing hair. Starting with your ideal hair density, or the density you had before your hair started thinning, will raise some red flags. Try a density slightly heavier than your growing hair. With each new system, gradually increase the percentage until you reach your desired density.

Make a big change

Dramatically changing your style is probably the easiest way to throw people off, but it’s not for everyone. But remember, you’re doing this because you want change; go ahead and embrace it!

Typically, women with severe hair loss wear their hair the same way almost every day. This is usually out of necessity, to cover your scalp and minimize the appearance of hair loss. When transitioning into wearing hair, consider that being flexible with your new style allows the hair system to work for you instead of against you. If you’re flexible enough to make a big change, it can be really effective. Here are some examples:

  • Add bangs - If you’ve always worn your hair slicked back into a low ponytail, showing up to work with your hair down with side-swept bangs is a really effective means of public transition. If you were good at concealing your hair loss, most people will think you got a new haircut and let your hair down.
  • Change your color - Another great diversion is changing the color of your hair. If you're already coloring your hair, try a new color or add highlights.
  • Shorten your length - A considerable length change to a shorter hairstyle works well. Going longer isn’t a good idea if you're trying to be discreet. A style that is longer than what you've been wearing makes it obvious you’re wearing hair.

How to respond to questions

Even if you carefully plan your transition into wearing hair, it’s important to be prepared for curiosity from friends and strangers. We don’t want questions to make you anxious! Here are ways to respond that others have found useful.

If you don’t want people to know

When people notice a difference in your hair, but you don’t want to let them in on your secret, it’s best to acknowledge that there’s a difference and then change the subject. Consider the following options when someone asks why your hair looks different:

  • “Yes, I tried a new conditioner. So, how was your weekend?”
  • “Yes, I tried a new color. Thought it was time for a change. Could you pass the ketchup?”
  • “Yes, I’ve been wanting to try something different. What time is that meeting today?”
  • Say you got a new cut or highlights.
  • Say you permed or straightened your hair.
  • Give them a short answer — as if it’s no big deal — and then flip the conversation back to them, because people like talking about themselves.
  • Don’t stammer if someone gives you a compliment. Simply say “thank you” and move on.

If you want to let people know

As we mentioned, we think it’s great when hair wearers feel comfortable sharing their secret. Here are some tips if you want to let people know why your hair looks so wonderful!

  • Speak with confidence and resolve.
  • Don’t be apologetic or condescending towards yourself.
  • Don’t let other people’s shock or surprise shake you.

You can absolutely make this transition effortlessly and with confidence! As always, we are available if you have any questions or are struggling with something.