FAQ: Life in a Topper

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I had a zillion ideas of what next to write about, but I got a comment from Julia on my topper post this morning and thought the topics she brought up would make an excellent blog post. She had a bunch of questions of what it’s like to actually wear a topper, and I thought I’d answer those here.

How long do you wear your topper during the day? Do you want to rip it off by the end of the day or does it really feel like your own hair?

Interestingly enough, the topper I posted about is not one I wear very often. It was an experiment of sorts…I choose not to wear it very much because the color, while pretty, is different from my bio hair. This wouldn’t normally be a big deal if I decided to wear it full-time, but at the time, I was only playing around with it on the weekends. It would be a pretty big shock if I ran into someone with beautiful, thick hair on the weekend, only to show up at work on Monday with my crappy, darker bio hair.

I’m now rotating between two toppers (more to come on those later!). One is synthetic, and one is human hair. The synthetic one I tend to wear up in a ponytail quite often. It is a lightweight piece that has a small base, so it doesn’t bother me in the least by the end of the day. I wear both of them from waking up until bedtime. The human hair topper I have is larger and has more density in terms of hair, so by the end of the day I can “feel” that one a little more. It’s not uncomfortable by any means, I just know that it’s there, if that makes sense.

In terms of feel, the synthetic hair feels drier and coarser than my bio hair (but I’m not sure anyone would be able to tell if they touched it). The human hair, on the other hand, feels heavenly.

I hate taking them off at the end of the day, because I hate seeing what’s underneath them! Both of my toppers clip in, so after resting on top of my bio hair all day, my bio hair looks like a MESS underneath. It’s all bent in odd directions and the clips make it looks like I have bald spots. I don’t–it’s just the way it looks from being matted down.

Is it causing any addition hair loss where you clip it in?

None that I’ve noticed, yet. My pieces have clips in different areas, so because I rotate them, the clips end up hitting my head at different points. I think this helps.

I imagine wearing the topper gives you great confidence during the day; how do you feel after your take it off?

I’m pretty sure every time I remove it and look in the mirror, my husband hears a little sigh from the bathroom. It’s not the best part of my day, by any means, however, it is what it is. I know what’s under the topper, but after having pretty awesome hair for the day it’s a bummer to remove it (maybe someday I will bond my hair, then I won’t have to take it off!).

How do you feel in front of your husband going from one look to another?

My husband has been great. He knows how much the hairloss bothers me. Even though he insists that he doesn’t notice my loss (smart man), part of me feels like I owe it to him to wear a topper. Does that sound bad? He married me with hair, so I want to continue to give him hair! Plus, as my hair has fallen out, it’s made me feel much less womanly. Having hair again helps me to feel better about that, too.

When I take my topper off at night, I usually put my hair in a super-deep side part to help conceal the loss on top, and pin the side with a bobby pin. I then put my hair in a ponytail for the night. The loss isn’t super-noticeable this way. I would never wear it this way in public, but it’s fine for bedtime. I told my husband he should expect me to be in a big terrycloth headband soon; I think that will be my next step for bed.

Now that you have had the topper for a while – do you wear it every day?

Not the topper that I first blogged about, no. But as I mentioned, there are two that I wear full-time.

What challenges have you had while wearing it?

There have been a few. It takes ALOT of trial and error to get a topper to integrate naturally with your bio hair. I’m still not an expert on this; each morning it’s a bit of a struggle to get a tiny bit of bio hair out so that I can integrate it with the front of the topper. If I take too much out, the color is slightly off so it looks funny. If I take too little out, it looks more unnatural. I think anyone who wears a topper struggles with this, at least at first.

My other “problem” has been how to just waltz into a room with “new hair” in front of people that I am expecting will definitely notice. Mainly, my good friends at work. I haven’t experienced that yet (I’m currently on maternity leave) but it’s something that crosses my mind often. Do I tell them so I can avoid some stares? Will there even BE stares or am I just expecting some because I am paranoid?

What are the benefits and what are the cons? Were there any surprises good and bad that you hadn’t expected?

The main benefit is that for once in a long while, I feel normal when leaving the house. It’s also been fun to just throw it on in the morning (even over not-washed bio hair) and look instantly 100 times better. Having thicker hair up top also helps me to look thinner, which is a bonus.

I’ve also been open to being in more pictures. So often I avoid being in front of the camera…but I have kids and I want them to have pictures of me as they grow up. Now, I have more confidence to actually step in front of the camera with them–that was something I wasn’t expecting.

The con is that I am always on the lookout for the next new thing. Any piece I own is never going to 100% perfect (because it’s not growing out of my own head)…the color will never be *just* right, or the thickness will never be ideal, or the scalp-area may not be perfect. None of these things will ever be seen by the public, it’s just what hair-wearers experience on a daily basis. Those that wear hair can usually spot hair a mile away (no matter how good it is) and always fear that will happen to them, too. At least, I do. There are some people who just don’t care, but I am not there yet! But, I’ve found that no one ever notices helper hair, unless they themselves wear helper hair.

The other con is that it can be hot! I live in the South, and we are currently experiencing fantastic weather (high 70s/very low 80s)…however, we get very hot and humid in the summer. I’m honestly not sure how I will handle the heat when the warmer season rolls back around. Hopefully I will be used to the feeling of no air movement on my head by then (is that possible? I don’t know).

Well Julia, I hope that helps! Here is a pic of the topper piece I have on today (it’s the synthetic one). More on that to come. 🙂

Synthetic Topper

25 thoughts on “FAQ: Life in a Topper”

  1. Lauren im amale 53 years old. Ive been wearing toppers sence 2005 my real hair is 36 in long and
    not one person has said nothing at all about fake hair. to many complements to share but i have been a hair stylist for 30 years so that helps. you look wonderful.we all are not perfect like my typing ,or spelling but I know one thing, everyone envies me and my long beautiful hair.
    Never would I go out without it,I make my own very easy ,just clip on. sometimes i braid around top
    and sew it in will last for 2 months.lots of LOVE to all all people with this problem, But dont sweat the small stuff Thanks Mark C

  2. I wonder if you can go swimming with the topper or work out?
    Any suggestions?
    Did you hear about using castor oil to stimulate hair growth and stop hair loss?

  3. Hi,

    A question for all.. Have any of you dyed a hairpiece or had it professionally colored.
    I ordered a Jon Renau HH topper on line, it’s a 6/33, from the online color chart it looked like a medium brown with slight red highlights..it came last week..and it’s bright red!! A very bad color match, totally unlike my bio hair. The company suggests I have the topper colored, at my hair colorist, as they don’t have a color to match my medium brown hair. I wish I had chosen another supplier..they have a very limited choice of colors. No refunds, well on this piece at least..they make up the rules on the spot it seems.. Anyway, if any of you guys have had success with dyeing a HH piece..I would love to know.. Thanks

    • Hey Bridget – which Jon Renau topper did you get? I, too, find 6/33 to be very red. If you have a straight medium brown color, I’ve found 8 to work really well in the Jon Renau line.

      Most HH pieces can be dyed without issue – you’ll need to go a bit darker/tone it though, rather than try to lift the color.

  4. Lauren, have you thought about doing a post on your human hair topper? Have you not done one because it was not a success, and you don’t want to criticise the company or post pictures of yourself in it? Or is it because it is less helpful to people, because it’s not the same as buying an off the shelf product like a synthetic and it’s more expensive to get started? I think many of us are open to considering both human hair and synthetic, and it would be very useful to address this, if you were so minded:) Also, I love the blog, especially all the great pictures. I’m also a medium brown gal, so it’s extra helpful!

    • I’ve thought about it several times and then abandon the idea. 🙂 Mainly because I really haven’t given the piece much of a chance. It’s actually a nice piece (I wouldn’t speak negatively about the company at all) but it’s cut in a way that’s not ideal for me. Because of this, I never wear it. Maybe I’ll get this topic onto my calendar for you all!

      Go Team Medium Brown!

  5. Lauren, I’m a 25 year old straight male who’s had long hair his whole life, down past my shoulders mind you, and browsing around the web looking for some kind of hope, and having tried a topper like yours… thank you… I know most people would say “Just shave, all the guys do it” but what people don’t understand is that some people genuinely cannot pull off the bald look… I’ve tried, it was awful, and I have a very bad dent in my skull from when i was a baby… it’s not my fault.

    I really appreciate the answers to these questions, especially as they line up with many of the FAQ guides to wigs and toppers I’ve been reading. I feel like I can RUN in these things they fit so snug, yet pretty gentle. The clips are not bad at all. I deeply sympathize with people who are going through hair loss.

    One thing I would maybe like to see you talk about is the strangle hold of the cosmetic industry, specifically places like Bosley and Hair Club that charge, in my opinion, BAT SHIT INSANE PRICES FOR SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE HAVE KILLED THEMSELVES OVER. Something that has the ability to completely throw someone into the depths of depression and social withdrawal, I feel, should be considered a very serious issue and more should be done to help them. I know chemo patients etc, but in many cases their hair grows back as the treatment subsides, in the case of people with hereditary hair loss… they cannot control it… and the treatments that can are so expensive!

    I’m not expecting follicular transplant surgery to cost 200 bucks or something ridiculous…. but how about more reasonably priced options that still deliver a good result? Good hair toppers and wigs cost around 800 bucks (that I’ve seen, still new to this), and it’s just criminal. Is there some aspect of the market that I’m missing? Is there actually a GOOD reason that prices are so high???

    Sorry for rant, just this has been one crazy trip going from my locks to thinning and looking for fake hair :-\

    • Hi Noah! How cool to hear a male’s perspective. What topper did you end up going with?

      You’re so right about how expensive hair can be, be it helper hair in some cases or transplant surgery. Sadly, transplant surgery isn’t a viable option for most women, but I can certainly speak to helper hair. I spend $1500 on a human hair topper that just sits in my closet. It kills me to even look at it.

      I don’t think there’s an aspect of that market you are missing – seems when you’ve a product that people need and would be willing to pay almost anything for (how can you put a price on happiness?), the cost follows suit.

    • Iam all a male with thining hair lost 1/2 of it and being a old hippy not into short hair.had bad heath for year.then lost weight of 42lb.36in to a32.in hospital 3 weeks.and a pacemaker put in.so i got a hair topper .comes closed in color.now to gets the gutz to wear it.tks for your helping with others.

  6. Yes!! I sure hope it’s te but I have my doubts. It’s hard to stay positive when I just keep watching the hair come out. How did you cope with the loss? I am really struggling, it’s been such a rapid loss (3 months) that it’s just terrifying. I cry and cry and cry. I feel like I’ve lost myself to this. And I don’t know if or when it will end, and what I may look like at the end of it all. It is the most difficult, painful, agonizing thing I have ever been through. I just got engaged and I’m worried about what my fiancé thinks of this. He says he doesn’t care and to just move in cuz I can’t do anything about it. I feel so much less attractive, it’s really affecting my self esteem :(.
    Have u ever gone through sheds and then had it grow back?? How did you cooe with the pain of losing your hair?? Any advice would be helpful.

    Thanks so much

    • Hey Adi,

      how have you been so far?
      I quit birth control about 1,5 month ago, and losing my hair extremely!
      I think i lose about 200 strands each day.. So scared of losing more…
      It’s affecting everything in my life… everyday i cry so much!
      Before i got off birth control i also lost a lot of hair each day, but now it’s crazy…
      I am so scared i have to ware wigs soon… this idea freaks me out.

      Hope you are doing fine now!

  7. Hi Lauren!! I love ur web site. I just bought a topper and ur video really helped me out. U are an amazing woman for posting ur journey through this to help other women. Losing hair is a huge struggle…I am living it right now :-(. I stopped birth control and I lost half my hair within 3 months. I have one derm saying it will grow back that it was telogen effluvium and I have another one telling me it’s AGA and birth control was protecting my hair and that it’s actually at the state it would be if I was never on the pill. Anyhow, I dunno what to believe. I’m hoping for my hair to return of course. I do see regrowth but it’s too soon to tell. Fingers crossed!!

    Thanks again for the video and for being a strong amazing, beautiful woman.

  8. Lauren the topper looks really great. It really appears to be your own hair! I started the HairMax Advanced 7 Laser comb today. I went for blood work, iron a little low, and Vitamin D low. So began so supplements. I saw this Trichologist – specialized in hair loss, he wants me to retest everything in 3 months, but take the supplements for 6 months, plus the laser comb. Like i mentioned I had used the Minoxidil, but I became a werewolf. Apparently the laser comb combined with the Minoxidil would be best. He thinks I’m still actively losing, and to maintain losing anymore to try what he’s prescribed… A topper may be in my future. I made my husband part take in the laser comb for a few minutes. He too knows the right things to say 🙂

  9. Hi Lauren – I found your blog by googling a few things – I’ve had a few ‘run-ins’ with alopecia in the past (little patches) but recently I found a huge spot missing and noticed thinning all over – obviously I’m super self conscious about this (and ahem, kind of panicking – as you’ve mentioned – this totally isn’t what you plan to be dealing with at age 30!). After reading a few of your posts I’ve ordered the Bumble & Bumble spray – hoping that helps – and seeing a doctor soon to have some tests run to make sure there isn’t something else at play here (like you, I’m a prime candidate for PCOS – in the past the ovarian cysts have been the worst part – vainly, right now, I’d so much rather have that pain then deal with the hairloss!). Anyway, just wanted to say thank you for having this blog – reading this made me feel a little less alone/afraid.
    Take care!!

    • I’m glad you found my posts helpful – it’s true, we are all in this together (although it’s really not fair that THIS is what we have in common!). I hope the B&B spray helps you. There’s a learning curve with it so give it a go on the weekend until you learn how the spray/nozzle works!


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