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Adhesive Hair Grafts Another Option For Hiding Hair Loss

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CARY — When it comes to men losing their hair, bald can be beautiful. When it happens to women, they do not always feel so pretty.

Several medical conditions can cause hair loss for women. A new development in wigs is making it easier for women to wear them without anyone knowing.

"Well, I have polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS, and one of the unfortunate side effects is that your hair falls out," says Sharon Spyrison.

Spyrison hides her hair problem under wigs. She is not bald, but her hair is gradually thinning on the top of her head.

"I have a hard time pulling it back because it gets very thin and you can see a lot of scalp. It can be very upsetting," she says.

Until recently, Spyrison thought full wigs were her only option. Now she is considering a hair graft.

"Basically what we'd do is lie a piece of translucent material with hair stitched into it," says wig designer Tony McCauley.

A hair graft is a hair piece attached to the scalp with an adhesive. It is applied to look as if the hair is growing out of the scalp.

"It would just be where the problem areas is. It's the only area that he would need to adjust and it would completely blend with everything else," says Spyrison.

McCauley says what is new about it is how long the adhesive can stay on the scalp. It used to be good for only a few hours.

"Now we've got that from up to two weeks to up to six weeks," says McCauley.

Now, McCauley's clients would only have to visit his shop periodically to have their hair pieces cleaned and reapplied.

"That is just the same as going to the hair salon to get a hair cut. It's something you do anyway," says Spyrison, who believes the hair grafts are more acceptable than surgery or even wigs that look like wigs.

Some insurance companies offer reimbursement for wigs to help people experiencing hair loss due to illness, but not in all cases.

Many insurers consider wigs to be a cosmetic issue, not a medical one.