What effects does it have?
- Head hair
Hides hairline or balding, allows flexibility
What is it?
Wearing prosthetic hair to cover and replace part or all of your natural hair.
It's also known as Wigs or Hairpieces.
How long does it last?
The lifetime will vary depending on the type of hair used and the amount of care taken. Lifetime can range from a few months to a few years of regular use.
Hair replacement is a complex topic and seeking professional advice is recommended if you intend to use this approach on a regular basis.
Some UK businesses offer professional services for hair replacements targeted at trans, non-binary, or gender nonconforming people in the UK, such as:
- Born (Manchester)
- Angel Wigs (Essex)
- Reinvent Yourself Makeover Girl (Lancashire)
- Simone Thomas (Bournemouth)
You may be able to find specialists in your area using a search engine.
Possible alternatives to hair replacement systems include hair colouring, hair extensions, and hair transplanation, depending on your specific circumstances and requirements. Hair loss can also be slowed or halted using treatments such as minoxidil or finasteride. Other options that can help include micropigmentation, tinted powders, and camouflauge hairdressing.
Costs and funding
Funding for hair replacement varies by region:
- in Scotland, guidance can be found on the NGICNS website.
- in the rest of the UK, you may wish to contact a NHS gender service to ask for advice.
If no funding is available in your region, and you believe an exception to the funding rules should be made in your case, the following documents give information about to apply for this:
- England: Interim Commissioning Policy: Individual funding requests
- Wales: Individual Patient Funding Requests: Frequently Asked Questions
- Northern Ireland: HSCB ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF REQUESTS FOR CARE AND /OR TREATMENT ON BEHALF OF INDIVIDUAL PATIENTS
If you decide to pay yourself, costs can vary greatly depending on the size, type, and quality of the piece, with a short length machine wefted cap of synthetic hair costing as little as £50, while a quality hand tied lace fronted human hair cap may cost more than £2000. There a complex range of products, with particular advantages and drawbacks, and researching your options is wise. You will need to factor in the need to periodically replace the wig, which may be as often as 3-6 months with synthetic hair, up to 3-4 years for a quality human hair product 1.
- 1 Saed, Stephanie, Ibrahim, Omer and Bergfeld, Wilma F. (2016) “Hair camouflage: A comprehensive review.” International Journal of Women’s Dermatology, 2(4), pp. 122–127. Link
Errors and omissions
Is there something missing from this page? Have you spotted something that isn't correct? Please tweet us or message us on Facebook to let us know, or file an issue on GitHub.
Page last updated: August 2020