Confession: I Still Dread the First Day

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It’s so true.

Even though I’ve been wearing hair for years, I STILL dread the very first day with a new piece.

I’ve had one ready to go for about three weeks now (my Top Secret replacement, but of course!). But I’ve been putting it off, instead opting to wear my “updo” piece every day (which is Top Secret, but of course! Ha.).

I generally don’t do much to pieces right out of the box. With my Top Secret, I actually do next to nothing.

Wet down the front and re-part.

Deshine with dry shampoo.

Add roots.


For me, it makes the most sense to wear the piece for a few days so I can determine what, if anything, needs to be done with it.

So that means a few days where a piece might be a little too thick in some areas and a little flippy on the bottom.

Here’s what my new hair topper looks like today, on Day 1:

To be fair, I must point out that I do curl my bio hair–I think it helps it to blend with my shorter topper.

I usually curl the hair, then spray the hair to the high heavens with hair spray and leave it to “set” until I get to work.

Then, I use my Tangle Teezer or a pik to brush through my hair. This softens the curl to a slight wave and helps to integrate my bio hair and the hair topper all together.

This particular shot above is pre-brushing, so the curl is more of a true curl, BUT, I do think you can easily see the flippy ends that the piece currently has.

Those will tame in just a few days (and a quick shot with the hair dryer on low will take care of them even faster), but for now they are kind of all over the place.

Here’s a pic of the hair post-brushing. You can see it looks a lot better, especially on the ends. Also, this is horrible office lighting, which I believe everyone should see because I know you may deal with bad office lighting, too!

What I’m going to do to this piece is slightly thin the hair on the right side of my face. Right now, it hangs just a bit heavy (I feel that on me, the three inches at the hairline around the temple on my right side is where the realism game is 100% won), but a few snips with the thinning shears will take care of it.

I’ll also tamp down a little of the poofiness at the crown on my left side. I’ll flip the top layer of hair over and aim a hair dryer (on low) at the hair underneath to help smooth everything out and lessen the effects of the permatease.

And then, she’ll be perfect for a good long time.

As she starts to break down (so sad!), I’ll have another piece on standby (I always do!) and the dread will creep back in.

But I know it’ll be ok–I’ll have to refer to this post to remind myself of that.

Luckily, she should last me at least 7-8 months before I demote her to “updo” status. 🙂

(Want yours to last that long, too? Check out my must-have products to keep her soft and swishy!)

What about you? How do you feel about wearing your topper/wig/hair on its first day?

22 thoughts on “Confession: I Still Dread the First Day”

  1. oh my gosh Lauren…… I am just now transitioning from fighting for my own bio hair to grow, to embracing toppers ?. which is wayyyyy healthier for my emotional health. anyways, i have recently started with easipart xl hd by jon reneau, then i got a 2nd, & then i bought a top secret wavy. I guess i want to have options & back ups. I didn’t realize how much time & obsessing is involved on day 1 of new piece arriving! Now i know im not the only one ? so, thank you. i literally spent 6 hrs on my wavy top secret synthetic when she arrived. I appreciate all of your blogs/videos/advice so much!

  2. Hi Lauren, I just came across your blog. I’m 56 and I’m beginning to thin on the crown of my head. I can still manage to hide with teasing my hair but I’m to the point that I will prefer a topper. I’ve been researching because WOW, this is a scary step to take. So many things to take into consideration. I’m concerned with me being menopausal, does these toppers make you hot. I imagine it will be like wearing a hat. I wish I can find a store here in NYC so that I can go and try them on but even that makes me uncomfortable. And what is your take with synthetic and human hair, is there a difference besides the price. I want something that will last. Let me know sweetie and you look beautiful in all your toppers.

    • Hi Sandy! So many considerations with toppers. If you go to my homepage, you’ll see a 5-day email course. Sign up for that and I’ll send you ONE consideration each day on each of the major aspects about toppers. One is fiber, human vs. synthetic. At the end of it, you’ll probably have a clear direction to go in. Here is a post, too, about the fiber types: Synthetic versus human hair

      Hope that helps!

  3. Hi Lauren, I love your site!! It’s so helpful and makes me feel better about getting into the world of helper hair. I do have one problem that I can’t seem to get right. I can never seem to lay the topper flat enough and even when it’s the best I can get it, I look like an cone head! Do you have any tricks to get the lumpiness out and lay it flat? Thanks!!

    • Well, do you have a conehead? 🙂 Kidding! How big is the topper? As long as it’s not TOO big for your head, you might consider making sure the clips are more snug. You don’t want them to pull, obviously, but if they slip a bit and your topper is a bit on the larger side it might cause it to puff up a bit.

  4. You comment about old toppers used for updos. At my age an updo is more my style. How do you do your uodos. and how does it work using a topper?

  5. Hello! I’m loving your blog and videos. I bought my first topper at a mall kiosk last month and loved it for a couple weeks until I realized there were options out there that would probably suit me better. The one I bought doesn’t have a visible part or anything and is bang heavy. It looks cute under a hat, but otherwise it’s just too short and not close enough to my bio hair “shape” to feel natural.
    Anyway- I think I’ve landed on trying the Top Secret 12″ and I’ve been keeping some notes on care and ways to adjust it to make it look really natural. I was surprised to read that even with a lot of care that they don’t usually last a year? I guess that makes sense but I’ve spent 10 years spending about $50/year on my hair out of sheer depression over it and just getting a couple Great Clips trims a year and wearing hats. I am so encouraged by all the beautiful pieces I am seeing though- I might just have to set a budget and give myself the gift of hair confidence. 🙂

    • You should expect about 6 months, but, luckily all the major sites run sales on the regular! I’ve purchased from both of these companies before, but am not affiliated with them; they’ve just provided coupon codes for my readers. Patti’s Pearls offers 25% off Jon Renau with code “hopeandmane”. offers 25% off Jon Renau with code “Hope25”. Enjoy – I love my Top Secret!

  6. Just wondering – with your pieces that have been downgraded to updos – what is your care routine for them? Do you still wash them the same eg apple cider vinegar soak/bambu etc? Do you even wash them at all? My noriko (which is 8 months old) is still going strong – but I’;m thinking about ordering a back up soon. Thanks 🙂

  7. I have a topper but stopped wearing it because I go to the gym after work and I refuse to wear hair to workout in. I’m menopausal and I sweat bad as it is. I would love to wear my topper to work but I can’t get past bringing the extra attention to myself as me in a topper and without a topper. If I didn’t exercise it would be on my head daily. Not sure which is worse, fat unhealthy me or half bald me? Does anyone else here go the gym after work and how do you deal w the hair issue?

  8. Hi Lauren
    You described how I feel about breaking in new hair. To a tee! I dread it… So I make my old hair last and last until it’s frizz and crunchy clumpiness is beyond hope. Then when the new hair is tamed and ready to wear, the soft swishyiness and movement is so nice, I think why did I wait so long to get new hair….. Sigh….

  9. Hi Lauren! Your hair looks beautiful and natural! I wanted to thank you for giving me courage.. I Bought my first topper today!! I ordered it online and I hope I picked the right color. I Bought the Top Notch by Jon Renau in 6/33. I’ve been taking a thin layer of hair from along my forehead and pulling it forward and placing two small clip in extensions then brushing my hair over the extensions to cover my scalp then using scalp concealer and root concealer spry ANd volumizing powder… Its a long process and I’m hoping that a topper will shorten my morning routine.

  10. Lauren, that’s just crazy how awesome it looks basically “out of the box”! You have your color and style choice down to a tee! Hope you had a great first day wearing it. 😉

  11. I’m an “older” woman, old enough – I’m sure – be your mom. My hair is more pepper than salt right now, the base color being a chestnut brown. It’s been thin and fine, in a bothersome way, since my mid-thirties, though when I look back at the very few photos I allowed to be taken of me, it seems thicker. All that aside, I’ve found that a short bob with straight, somewhat layered, bangs in good; I can wind the hair behind the ears if needed, especially to show off earrings. The hairdresser mentioned that I could get some soft highlights, which may be an option. I could also do with a, I guess you call it, a topper style. My question with that is, “are toppers as hot and ‘itchy’ as full wigs, even the so-called “cool” ones? I’ve tried the “cool” one but the itchiness makes me crazy and after a few hours I want to rip the thing off my head and shave my scalp. My mother wore a full wig for almost forty years and wouldn’t be caught without it. I’m a relative newby to your site and appreciate any suggestions. Also, and I have to say I haven’t checked around to all your discussions, do you feature wig advise for older women? Please recognize that this is a difficult question for an old hippie to be asking. Peace, love, and all that. Sue

    • Ha, Sue you made me laugh. First off, toppers will be cooler than wigs and less itchy/noticeable just because they sit on your head…rather than surround it. I truly don’t notice I have one on, and here in TX we have almost-110 degree days in the summer sometimes. I did write a post on synthetic bob wigs that are really attractive, and would suit all ages. I guess the main things would be not to look for a color that is too fashion-y, and something that has a lower density…unless you like trendy colors and big hair. I, myself, appreciate the latter. 🙂 Jon Renau and a few other brands do have some gorgeous gray-blends…color 38 Milkshake is my favorite (gray/brown) that I have that I will post about soon.


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