365 Days Wearing Hair {A Year in Review}

*To cover all legal schmegal bases: I may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article and around this site. Particularly, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, at no cost to you.*

I remember my heart pounding; I could feel it through my chest. There was a tug-of-war going on inside my brain of “should I or shouldn’t I?” I peeked out my bathroom window and saw all the ghosts and goblins trick-or-treating down my street.

Nope, I wasn’t afraid of their Halloween costumes, but rather, my own. I was terrified of wearing my hair topper for the first time.

Throughout my pregnancy, I told myself that as soon as I had my son, I’d start wearing hair. You might remember when I posted about my first day at work wearing hair. Debuting hair post-baby was the perfect time to do so, especially at work. I was taking 12 weeks maternity leave, so a considerable amount of time would have passed before people saw me again. My body would change drastically, so maybe the hair wouldn’t be as noticeable. You get the idea. It actually went over amazingly well.

But this was the first, FIRST time I’d be wearing a hair topper. I wouldn’t be seeing anyone aside from a few neighbors, but I was still crazy-nervous. I HAD to go through with it, though. I couldn’t tell my almost-3 year old that “Mommy was too scared/nervous/paranoid to go trick-or-treating”, could I?

So, I peeked one last time in the mirror, took a deep breath, and NEVER LOOKED BACK.

Here I am, Halloween 2013, 10 minutes post-bathroom-panic attack, with my then-one-week-old son. We were trick-or-treating with my (not pictured) toddler. I wasn’t collecting candy for the newborn. I swear.

clip hair topper

It’s hard to believe I’ve been wearing hair for an entire year, and today I’d like to share some revelations I’ve had about it.

Wearing hair is not as hot as I thought

This was a big one for me, mainly because I live in the South. I think the first few times you wear a hair topper or a wig, you are very aware of what’s on your head. Combine that anxiety with summer-like temperatures (also, in my case, post-partum hormones) and the fact that your body temperature has risen by a few degrees is no surprise. You feel HOT. The first few times I wore hair, I was sweating. But after a week or so, nada.

I’ve survived a full-on 95+ degrees-with-horrible-humidity summer without so much as a second thought.

Fake hair really does become a part of you

Readers email me and ask all the time if my hair toppers really feel like an extension of me. They don’t just feel like an extension of me, they feel like they BELONG on me. After just a few days of wearing hair, I no longer felt like i was wearing hair. Much like with the heat, I never gave it a second thought, because it never enters my mind.  

As I sit here typing this post, I’m willing myself to FEEL ANYTHING on my head right now, and I’m happy to say, I just don’t.

Normal life resumes, even with helper hair

I’ve worn my topper: on roller coasters (and don’t see why you couldn’t wear a wig on one), parasailing, on a boat, splashing around the pool, to the beach, to get my eyebrows waxed (funny story there, for another post, though), etc. Life goes on with helper hair.

And yes, through any activity my topper has stayed on, stayed secure, and stayed beautiful.

Researching hair is actually…fun

Most of my hair-related internet travels prior to wearing hair was centered around hair loss: supplements, drugs, causes, “cures”, diet…the list goes on and on. Now that I’ve decided to wear hair, my Google searches are a lot more enjoyable.

I love looking at styles I could try. Short one day? Sure, let’s give it a whirl. Long and layered? Why the heck not.

And colors…oh, the colors. I’ve always wanted to try out blonde. With a few clicks, bam, there’s one en route. Highlights, lowlights, ombre, red, purple…you name it, there’s hair out there for you.

I’m not “out” when it’s comes to wearing hair, so I can’t just switch out styles and colors on a whim like some other of my hair loss sisters do (I’m jealous), but how awesome is it to think you could try styles and colors you never could before?

My kids don’t give my hair topper a second thought

Ok, so they’re young, I get it. My now almost-4 year old sometimes asks me, while getting ready, “do you have to put your hair on?” He knows it’s part of my routine. I’ve never made a big deal out of it, so he hasn’t either. I’m sure as he gets older he’ll realize that not all Mommies wear hair. Or, maybe he won’t…I only don’t wear hair when I wake up and right before bed, so he likely won’t see many other Moms during those times.

I do have a feeling he’ll make some innocent comment at the wrong time that will prompt a raised eyebrow, at least someday. Hopefully a “kids say the darndest things” explanation will suffice. Ha.

My husband couldn’t care less

I was concerned when I first started wearing a hair topper that my husband wouldn’t like it. Meaning, if I was admitting that I had a big enough problem to wear hair, that he, all of a sudden, would also realize the problem.

He’s as blind to my hair loss as ever.

I usually wear a headband over my bio hair at night before bed, and I’ve never once seen his eyes rest on that area.

Clearly he knows I wear hair, and thinking about it takes up zero time in his life. He just wants me happy.

Plus, he kind of likes it – my bio hair is boring-brown, and he’d love for me to try a blond or red wig.

Men.

I know dating is a concern for women who wear hair. I’d imagine it would be a little unsettling to meet a guy you are interested in, and after a few dates figure out how to tell him that you wear fake hair. I have an idea of how I would do it if I was in those shoes, but, everyone is different.

Just know that I know several women who wear hair and date…and date successfully. It can be done.

YES, there are men out there who will not freak out about this, I promise.

A year in review: Final thoughts

There are a million other reasons I could give as to why wearing hair is awesome. These are just some of the more-holistic concerns I had when I was deciding my next steps, back in the day. I’ll share those other awesome reasons, sometime, too.

This isn’t a push to get you into wearing hair if you aren’t ready. I know many of you aren’t.

But, if the thought has crossed your mind, I urge you to give it a whirl. Try it around the house and see what you think. Pair some hair with some bright red lipstick (like I did) and see how it makes you feel.

You may discover a whole new world out there.

36 thoughts on “365 Days Wearing Hair {A Year in Review}”

  1. Hi,
    I have been wearing my Jon Renau human hair French knot topper for just under a year now.
    How do I really know when it is time to replace it? It has been almost a year and I don’t notice any reason to replace it.
    I kept the original style for 7 months…then I got tired of the long straight style. I didn’t want to go back to the person who sold it to me b/c he cost a fortune but I asked my regular hair dresser to cut it form me…I went from below the shoulders to shoulder length and she layered it for a completely new look! I am so happy with it.
    She also helped me realize that if the clips were hurting I was probably putting it on too tight. It should have slight movement 🙂 I stopped trying to dig into my scalp when putting it on and have had no problem since.

    Reply
    • If it’s still working for you, then there’s no reason! Often, when pieces need to be switched they will feel knotty more often, or like they don’t swish like they used to, or they feel really coated and gross. It’s hard to explain, but you’ll know it when your piece is there. Sounds like you have some time left!

      Reply
  2. I just got my first topper today and at first I thought it looked so fake I was very disappointed. But then I gave it some more time and put it just above my hairline, so my natural hair is first then the topper takes over from there — just like extensions, you need a little real hair to cover the top. Now I think I will wear the topper every day! I love the full top with flexible part vs. the thin white spot along my part in front. And also it can give me the thickness to hide the longer hair extensions if I want to wear them without the worry my thinning hair would show the clips.
    Love the Topper!!
    🙂

    Reply
  3. Lauren,
    Thank you!! After struggling with hair loss all these years, I’ve finally decided it is about time to wear a hair topper. I ordered one and have been freaking out about wearing it – especially, scared about the people at work noticing the difference in my hair. However, you are giving me the courage. I am going to wear it when I get it back from the salon after it gets dyed to match my hair. I am excited, hopefully, that I will be able to let my hair down.

    Thank you for lessening my fears!

    Reply
  4. My hair is really thin and the clips on my mono topper are irritating my scalp, my scalp feels like its raised and sore where the clips have been. Ive been wearing it for. 2 weeks now and im afraid it will make my real hair fall out. Any suggestions? I bought the same one you have from John Renaui

    Reply
    • I’d suggest sewing in some extra clips (or super-gluing them) and rotating them – use a few clips this week and the other next week. Also, backcomb the area where the clips goes a bit and spray with hairspray so that the clips don’t slip.

      Reply
      • Lauren I also was very scared to wear a topper. My hair has been thinning for a while and I have been very self conscious. My daughter got married last year and she talked me into going to a hair specialist . It’s the best thing I ever did. It was very pricey but worth it. The clip broke the other day and I panicked. So just order another one. Do you think 1,500 is a lot ? I got a 400 discount. But I feel so much better about myself.

        Reply
        • Well, you aren’t just replacing the hair because you lost a clip, right? You’re asking if you should replace the clip? In that case, yep! Just sew another one on or glue it on depending on your type of construction. Or, the place you bought it from can do it for you. $1,500 for a decent-quality piece is not too much, no! I’m so glad you are feeling better about things, hair makes all the difference.

          Reply
  5. Lauren,

    I am losing my hair fast. I am curious on your thoughts on the enchantop topper? It is a lot of money to spend on sight unseen non refundable hair.

    Reply
  6. OMG !
    I am so glad I have found you my soul sister.
    I have been contemplating about using a wig for thin hair and sensitive scalp.but never got the courage to do it ever.As a result I am wearing a bandana since more than a year.i look great in it but I think I am so ready for my new piece of hair.
    It’s a shame you live in the US as I need that oomph and support ! Not being a creative person and quite self critical doesn’t help either.And coming from Asian background ,where anything made up is frowned upon.Gosh not a good place to start with.
    Ohh well,modern ailments needs modern remedies !
    Can I ask you ,do you know anyone in the UK personally,who I can visit and get help and chat about this issue to my hearts content.i also need (I think we all do) emotional healing too .
    Any help much appreciated .
    Xxxx

    Reply
  7. Hi Lauren,

    Please would you be kind enough to recommend a topper hair peice (long). I have looked at the Enchantop, which looks lovely but, I can’t seem to find inderpendernt…of their website reviews.

    I very much look forward to hearing from you.

    Dani x

    Reply
  8. Hi Lauren 🙂 Im so glad I found your page. Im 33 and have extremely thin hair. I have been using topik which I love, but I’m getting so thin it’s very hard to cover. I’ve become a contortionist in the bathroom lol. I wouldn’t leave the house without it! I just started looking into getting a topper and am hoping you can suggest a natural looking one. Thank you so much for helping women that are going thru the same thing as you. I truly appreciate it.

    Reply
  9. Having used micro rings in the past I wouldn’t go back to them now I wear a topper.
    I found they made my scalp itchy and sensitive, you couldn’t run your fingers through your hair not to mention the maintenance and upkeep and always worrying if the beads were showing

    Whereas the topper is easy easy easy – thanks to you, reading your experiences gave me the courage to go for the plunge and I am forever grateful !

    Reply
      • I lucked out with my first one which was Rene of Paris long top mono I couldn’t get over how comfy it was so I bought 3 LOL.

        Kinda scared of trying anything else so I keep a close eye on the ones you blog about for tips !

        Reply
  10. Hi Lauren: I’m so glad I stumbled upon your site. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and appreciate your easy-going yet sincere nature.

    I lost a lot of weight over the last year so when I was finally feeling good about my body image, my hair issues seemed to bring on an extra level of anxiety. After being in a relationship for seven years, then having broken off an engagement, the idea of putting myself out there seemed overwhelming especially because I had such insecurity about my hair. I did a ton of research, and decided to confide in my sister-in-law who I knew had experienced hair loss, and had decided to wear a wig (I always thought they were extensions until we finally brought our ‘stuff’ into the open). She referred me to where she purchased her wig and I was able to find the perfect topper. It blended incredibly well as soon as I put it on. A friend who came with me said it was absolutely amazing – it’s like he blinked, and I had this amazing hair. I wore it out that day and have been wearing it ever since (that was in April). I actually got it on a Saturday, wore it to work on a Monday and got tons of compliments about my new hair color (it’s lighter than my natural hair). Now, I still have anxiety about it from time to time and am nervous about the dreaded conversation with anyone I get into a serious relationship with but I also can’t imagine how I would have managed without it. It’s given me my confidence back and allowed me to live my life.

    I hope that the women out there that are struggling with the same issues can find a solution that works for them so that their hair loss doesn’t overshadow all that’s good in their lives. Thanks for starting the conversation!

    Reply
      • Hi Lauren: I don’t know if mine has a name but I’m learning that it seems many do! 🙂 I live in NY so I went to a place called Bitz N Pieces (silly name but a really wonderful place) owned by Barry Hendrickson. I will have to ask them next time. I know they do custom pieces too. I was there about a month ago and bought another one. Since the one I’ve been wearing is a bit lighter with more highlights, I wanted a darker one for fall. I figured I’d make the transition over the long holiday weekend once I have time to get to my hair salon to color my bio hair and get the piece cut to match my current style more closely. This one has a lace inside as opposed to my original one so it seems much lighter and more breathable. It also seems like it has less hair which is fine with me and the clips are placed on the sides instead of in the front/back/sides so it will be nice to give my scalp a rest in those places. This is going to sound a little nutty but I was actually kind of excited to go back and try on some new ones – talk about making the best of a sh*tty situation! Lol

        Reply
        • Oh, and yes, it is human hair. I tried on a synthetic one but the part didn’t look as natural and the human hair seems like it would be easier for me to style like my own.

          Reply
  11. I just have to say thank you as well. Yours is the first blog I came across when I first started noticing a problem with my hair and it has helped me so much to read about your experiences. I know I am not ready to start wearing hair yet but I am sure that I will need to someday and you are one of the reasons that I am not scared like I use to be. Thank you so much for this blog. You are helping so many people.

    Reply
  12. Thanks Lauren. Every post I read immediately answers a question I have. I feel like we are great friends and can talk freely about our issues. I have only been wearing hair for about a month. I am stll very worried that someone can tell, however no one has said anything to me. I no longer feel it and I put it on immediately upon waking. I currently have human and I like it but it is a lot of hair! I think it looks better air dried. I have ordered you milan,as it looks so good on you.
    I have teenagers and they have not noticed that I am wearing hair. Please keep posting. I love getting your emails.

    Reply
    • Such kind words, Patty, thanks! I hope you like the Milan – she has alot of hair, too, but maybe less than what you are correctly wearing. Let me know how it goes!

      Reply
  13. Hi Lauren! Congrats on the 1 year hair anniversary! I was curious, have you noticed much traction alopecia from the topper clips?

    Thanks!!

    Reply
    • Yes. I’ll be blogging about it, soon. What I should’ve done was sew additional clips around the perimeter of my piece so that I could switch out their use every week or so. I was too lazy. Not a big deal, for me, because I know I’ll never NOT wear hair, but I’d highly recommend doing this for those that are not ready to commit 100%.

      Reply
  14. Lauren … Thank God to find that you are a true, genuine person as nowadays it is almost non-existent. I agree with all the other ladies in that you truly have helped us in not being ashamed of wearing helper hair. Because of your post, I’ve orderd a Jon Renau Mono Long Hairpiece. I am a redhead and the color is on backorder. Hope I receive it for the holidays. Consequently, you look beautiful in it.

    Thank you, thank you, and again thank you!

    I pray God’s richest blessings for you and your family.

    God Bless You Abundantly. Frances

    Reply
  15. Lauren,

    Thank you so much for posting this and sharing your experiences. You are helpful beyond belief. I found this blog when my hair was shedding more than usual this summer and I already had a thinner part and volume was less. I was sure that if hair loss got worse that life was not going to go on. I mean, how could it?? But, you show everyone just how much it does and how you can still be happy and even happier! Just knowing that I think takes the fear down a notch or two!

    I am often at the point that you hint at in this post. Just how much do you put your body through trying to “save” your own hair? And, at what point do you just say I want to feel good, be healthy and wear hair if I have to or even want to??!

    I bought an Enchantop topper this summer when my panic was at its worst. It was after I saw your blog and how great you looked in your toppers. I thought maybe having it and seeing for myself it wasn’t so bad would also help alleviate some of my fear and constant worry. I have to say, it was a perfect match! And after wearing it around the house a few times, I finally asked my husband if he noticed anything different with my hair. Of course he didn’t and when I showed him he was stunned. I haven’t worn the topper out but every now and then he will still ask “are you wearing that topper or is that your own hair? Freaks me out because I can’t tell!” I have found through all this it is a much bigger deal for me than for him. He would just rather I do whatever I have to do to feel good and be happy so I stop constantly worrying and talking about it!! Like you said, men! 🙂

    You not only show how life goes on but you give a lot of guidance on the process of wearing hair and give us a starting point. We all benefit from your research and trial and error! and sharing.

    Just, thank you! Thank you!!

    Kate

    Reply
  16. Great post! September 24, 2014 was my 2 year wig-wearing anniversary, so I can relate to everything you mentioned. I had the same anxieties and issues. The whole being “hot and uncomfortable” in a wig was a big worry for me. But to put it in perspective for anyone worried about this, in my opinion a baseball cap is much more hot and uncomfortable than a wig, believe it or not. I think I’m going to try a topper next. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Reply
  17. Ah Lauren, you’re awesome. I’m headed to a salon in a couple weeks to try on (and probably buy) some hair.

    And strangely enough, all my male friends are VERY enthusiastic about me going red-head for some reason.

    Men, indeed. LOL

    Reply

Leave a Comment