One of the things I love about alot of the synthetic topper and wigs options these days is that many colors come rooted. While this is most important for blondes (don’t blondes always naturally have some sort of roots showing?), it also lends realism to us brunettes, too.
I’ve seen a few tutorials online on how to add roots to synthetic toppers and wigs; most of them involve using a sort of craft/pen marker that you can get at places like Michael’s or Joann’s. I always wanted to try this method, but I was nervous to do so for a few reasons. One, I wasn’t sure what color to try and I got nervous thinking I’d be faced with a few dozen options to choose from. One tutorial suggested bringing my topper into the store and testing a few strands.
I also was nervous that if I picked the wrong color, it could very well be permanent. The goal for most people rooting a synthetic wig or topper is to have it be permanent, I’m sure, but what if I screwed up?
So, I turned to one product I use every day, that I already had on hand. Enter my liquid eyeliner! I use L’Oreal Lineur Intense Liquid Eyeliner, and I’ve tried it in both Carbon Black and Black Mica. Both of these options have a wet look when applied to your eyelid; it doesn’t look matte but rather has a sheen. I thought this would be fitting for hair since hair naturally has shine to it.
Here is what my synthetic topper looked like before I added roots:
I like this topper without the roots, I really do. But I feel adding just a small root really makes a synthetic topper look more real.
(And yes, I know, the lighting is different here. It always is. I suck at photography. I’d like to say I’ll get better, but I know I won’t. Besides, this is in my bathroom at work.)
See the subtle roots?
Here, I’ve altered the pic a bit so you can see exactly where they are.
What do you think? Kind of cool, right? You can’t tell too much on the parts that were already brunette, but you can see the difference when you look closely at the blond highlights.
Here’s another look:
How to Add Roots to a Synthetic Topper or Wig
Step 1: Use the side of the eyeliner brush (I used L’Oreal Lineur Intense Liquid Eyeliner, rather than the tip, to paint roots on either side of your part. It doesn’t have to be perfect — real roots never are. This step took me about two minutes.
Step 2: After you have the roots applied with the side of the brush, use the tip to gently draw over your new roots. Do it messily; the point of this step is to use the tip to extend the roots a bit in a few different places. Unless your hair is super-thick, roots are never in a perfectly straight line since they grow out at different rates. Use the tip to help make your rooting look imprecise.
Step 3: Take a step back and admire your work. 🙂 If you need to add any additional rooting, do so after taking in the big picture.
[Update: Check out my video on how I add roots to synthetic wigs and toppers!]
That’s all there is to it! I never thought adding roots to a synthetic topper would be so easy, but it took me literally three minutes. It’s definitely a subtle change. That works for me since I don’t want people to think my hair grew out a few inches overnight. It’s just one of those things that if anyone were to ever wonder about my helper hair, they’d think, “nah, that can’t be fake hair, she’s got roots”. I consider it insurance, ha!
So, if you’re feeling like doing a little DIY work, try adding some roots to your pieces. It was fun to make my already-real-looking-piece look even more so.
I’ll update this post after I wash my topper. I’m presuming that most of it is going to wash out (no biggie since it took no time at all), but we’ll see!
UPDATE: If they washed out, it was only slightly. Still there! 🙂
20 thoughts on “How I Added Roots to My Synthetic Topper (or Wig!)”
I ABSOLUTELY love my hair toppers. I wish I had tried them sooner.
That’s what most people say!
Anyone try this “root trick” on a blonde topper?
I’ve seen it many times, Julie!
I have used a brown marker on my blond wigs for the ‘grow out’ look with success. The color was soft.
I almost wish there was a darker brown pen. I have also run a few streaks in the wig like foil coloring.
Try the pen on the nape of the neck where it will not show. If you do not like it, who cares?
I’m having a terrible time finding the right color to match my hair in this topper, I think I’ve finally decided, but just incase, can you color these toppers? Or is that like a giant no no? This will be my first topper
You can’t color synthetics toppers, no. They are plastic. 🙂 Human hair you can (at least, in many cases). If the human hair has been processed, you can typically only darker/add lowlights. If it’s completely virgin you can lighten or darken. Which color are you leaning towards?
I have seen people use brown permanent markers on synthetics and it looks very real. I know it sounds crazy, but it works!!!
Yes, I have heard the same! Don’t see why it wouldn’t work.
Is there any way I can contact you privately in relation to this?? Such as Facebook or something? Thank you, Alison.
Hi – my email is listed under “Contact” – firstname.lastname@example.org. 🙂
Maybe one day I’ll make a fancy contact form, but this’ll do for now.
Can you advise I’m thinking the Milan in toasted brown would suit me but your marble brown is warm and lovely.
Awesome job! What topper is this? 🙂 looks great.
Hi! This is the Jon Renau Long Mono Top (I think it’s called Hair Additions).
Thanks for your positive attitude and sense of humor over the whole situation! I love learning about women who don’t let hair loss take over their entire life and learn to live with it without depression or resentment
I have my days. 🙂
I’ve been dealing with hair loss for at least 20 years now. It’s been a slow process (but progressive loss) and I’m just starting to wear a topper. Thanks for your casual and very creative way that you treat this issue. Most of all, thanks for sharing so much with us. I’m sure there’s tons of women that read your blog but don’t comment and I’m sure you have helped them! Also, you are adorable and seem like such a sweet person! Thank you!
I came across your site while researching if toppers ever look real. EVERY topper I purchased looks like a toupee. Everyone stares at my head before my face. I don’t understand why mine don’t look natural.
Which ones have you tried?
You truly are a genius! And so artistic…you should be a consultant for topper wearers 🙂 Looks great! And a great way to make it look like your roots are growing out! Looks very natural- well done!