I was watching the movie Grown Ups the other day and I could not help but stare at Kevin James’ hairpiece. Most likely you did not even notice it. The reason that I see results that look fake and you may not is that I have significant experience with hair restoration and know how to detect even very small degrees of unnaturalness. Believe it or not, his hairpiece does not look entirely fake because of his hairline, well not exactly as I shall explain. Today, hairpieces can truly look amazingly natural due to the hair fiber technology, how they are woven, and how they are applied to the scalp. The reason that I noticed his hairpiece is that it did not match his temple area. I call this the “lid effect.” A more glaringly obvious example of the lid effect is Ralph Macchio on Dancing with the Stars. His temple recession is so significant that it does not match his hairpiece at all. You may have been able to spot this one out more easily.

The lid effect refers to the appearance of a baseball cap or lid that sits on the head like a bowl but that does not match the degree of recession in the temple hair. In general, the degree of anterior temple hair loss should match the degree of hair loss in the central hairline in order to look natural. In fact, the two areas unzip at an equal rate, where the hairline loses hair to the same extent as the temple area does. When the hairline is rebuilt with a hair transplant or a hairpiece and the temple area is not similarly matched, the result can look fake.

For someone who has become accustomed to wearing a hairpiece and/or who simply does not have adequate donor hair to fill the entire head with hair again, I recommend at least considering a hair transplant in the temple area to match an aggressive hairline that has been established with a hairpiece. Creating a temporal point and temporal hairline does not require a lot of hair and even the baldest man should have sufficient hair to rebuild a temple that can then match the appearance of the hairpiece. Somehow hairpieces today can look relatively natural in the hairline but they simply do not work well in the temple area.

Dr Samuel Lam is a board certified hair restoration surgeon in Dallas, TX. To schedule a hair transplant consultation please call 972-312-8105, or visit hairtx.com for more info. To ask Dr Lam a question please visit our hair restoration forum.