What’s Your THING?

*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.*

*UPDATE: Please do read the comments on this post – there is pure gold located there for those that wear hair AND those that don’t! They are located after the the post, scroll down.*

I have a simple question today that I’d love to get your feedback on.

If you’re wearing hair, what is one thing that you can do now that you couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do before wearing hair?

If you’re not wearing hair yet and are struggling with your thinning bio hair, what’s the one thing that you WISH you could do? How is your hair holding you back?

I’ve done a lot of thinking about this lately, and it really hit me a few weekends ago. If I had to choose just ONE thing that wearing hair affords me to do, it’s taking family pictures.

(Yes, I can send out cheesy holiday cards!)

This is only the second year that we’ve had family photos done, and I’ve worn my Noriko Milan, albeit in different colors, each year.

Prior to wearing hair, I’d never dream about actually spending money to have our photos done.

Heck, I don’t think I wore my hair down more than ten times between 2011-2013. It was always in a ponytail, because that way I could tease the crown and make it look like I had more density than I did.

But, ponytails are rarely for pictures. Which meant family photos just weren’t happening.

But now…NOW I can document our family through the years without worrying about my hair. Instead, I can worry about all the normal things—my smile! my weight! my unruly children!—that most women do, without having the state of my wimpy hair add to the chaos.

Here I am, post photo shoot:

hair-family-pictures

You betcha I have fake eyelashes on.

So, what’s your thing?

Non-hair-wearers: What’s the one thing you want to do, but can’t, because of your hair?

Hair-wearers: What can do you now that you couldn’t do before?

I’m really looking forward to your comments!

…and to send out Christmas cards. I admit it.

148 thoughts on “What’s Your THING?”

  1. I just recently (little more than a month ago) started wearing a topper. My thing is not to sit on the subway (or anywhere else in public for that matter) anymore and literally feel the glances at my hair/scalp. Now i can wear a hat when it’s cold and can take it off again and my hair still looks good. now i don’t mind raindrops on my head or sweating. Before, any of this would mean either keeping the hat on all day (even inside), or feeling like sh*t for the rest of the day. Taking pictures or having pictures taken of myself and not see scalp shining through. And yes, it’s winter now, but i’m looking forward to not having sunburns on my scalp too!

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  2. I just started wearing a topper a week ago. I am obsessed. I have purchased 3 more in the last few days! I hated getting my picture taken and seeing old friends. It didn’t matter what I did to my hair, I couldn’t cover it up. My front hairline and sides are very thin and you can see my scalp. I still have some hair but it’s getting worse. I was scared about what it was going to look like in the next few years. It was embarrassing. I just hated the way it looked. Now, I am so happy. I just can’t believe how great these toppers look. Everyone thinks my hair looks awesome. I have told a few people and some coworkers because I want to experiment with different styles and colors. They were all so supportive. I wish I would have found this website a long time ago.

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  3. I am wearing toppers now and it makes me feel better, however, no matter what I do, no matter what tips I try here and with others, I cannot get the shine out of them. They are simply too shiny. I wear human hair toppers. So despite that I feel about 75% better (not using loads of toppik), I am in constant hyper stress mode about people staring at my head. My color is pretty darn close to my bio hair (thank you to my awesome hairdresser), but the shine makes me crazy. My hairline is really really low so I feel like it’s all front and center and noticeable.

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    • Hi there, sorry for the delay, I was out of the country. Hmmm…. so even dry shampoo doesn’t help? Especially as you wear it more, the silicon coating starts to wear off the hair and the shine should subside. What topper are you wearing?

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  4. I’ve been wearing a topper called Top Notch by Jon Reneau. I used to sing opera and had a lot of big wigs that were fun, but once I started to thin out on top, I found the wigs felt too heavy for everyday. I have a color that’s a medium brown with blonde highlights (can’t recall the number right now), but it is a GORGEOUS topper. It doesn’t feel that heavy, though I have to admit it’s not just like wearing my bio hair. I’ve gotten used to having a great head of hair – which I never in my life had. Mine was always thin and this topper also gives my head a better contour on top. I get compliments all the time on my hair! The blonde highlights are great for a brunette. I get mine at Ultimate looks, and when they have a 20% off sale, I just buy them. They last about 4-6 months for me.

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    • Oh, I forgot something – I take it to a hair stylist, have a side bang cut in, and she also layers it. It makes such a difference in how stylish and modern it looks! Definitely spend the $30 (they don’t have to wash it and it’s synthetic so you can’t dry it anyway, so it’s just a matter of a good cut.

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      • Anyway, I wanted to say that there is something very fun and divalike about wearing hair. True, you want to have natural great hair, so there’s no denying that. But if you have to wear toppers and wigs, and if you’re embarrassed about it with a date, for instance, or a boyfriend/husband, it helps to adopt a fun, girly, diva spirit about it all because that’s appealing and it puts a fun spin on it.

        I have a few of my pieces on display in my room and it just adds to a fun, Hollywood, old glam Hollywood feel. My hair is so shiny, so gorgeous with the blonde highlights that just looking at these toppers makes me feel sort of special.

        Most women would live with a dreary hair situation. I know I certainly did! But once you decide you’re doing something about it, it’s all a matter of how you see it.

        BYW – today, there is an Ultimate Looks for 20% off today and on all their pieces. The color is so gorgeous on this, it’s 10H16 (med golden brown with blonde highlights that are so beautifully done!). I just snagged 2 for 163 each instead of $240 each! So they’ll be waiting for me when I need them.

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  5. I took the plunge! I’m 31 and almost completely bald. It’s the worst feeling ever. It started falling out a few months ago over a medicine I was on. My body had an autoimmune response to it and attacked my hair leaving me with Alopecia. So after many tears and fear and trying Dermatch concealer and Toppik I bought a Jon Renau Gisele 6/33 color. It is beautiful. I’m having a hard time telling my boyfriend of 2.5 years how thin my hair has become. I did wear my hair tonight though. He asked why I was wearing it and I just teared up and couldn’t tell him. But I know he knows something is wrong. I am still lacking the confidence and having fear of being open. I’m scared of what he will think. I’m scared of what everyone will think. Hair loss is linked to unhealthy, sickness, etc. This was all so sudden for me. Happened over 6 months. I was so happy to hear of other young women with Alopecia. I didn’t feel so isolated and alone. Thank you so much.

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    • If he’s been with you for 2.5 years, it’s likely he’s noticed and even more likely he’s not going to care. Tell him with confidence. And congrats!

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    • Hi Kate – sometimes, yes. ๐Ÿ™‚ Depending on your level of loss in the front, you might consider a lace-front topper which can be placed RIGHT at the hairline. No idea if you’d like the style, but check out Top Billing by Raquel Welch as an example.

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  6. Hi… I’ve visited your site many times and have enjoyed the content you provide. The question you have posed really caught my attention. I have been wearing wigs since 2007. My hair began to thin in the front in in the mid 90’s, during middle school. I remember my best friend playing with my hair, and commenting about how my bangs looked thin. That was the beginning of what would be a decade’s long embarrassment for me. I remember taking showers while in high school and tears rolling down my face as I saw what seemed to be handfuls of hair circling the drain. I had tests run to find the culprit that caused my hair-loss, and was left without an answer. During one of my high school classes, I can remember a not so nice girl saying to a nearby classmate “look how thin her hair is!” Once in college, I began using copious amounts of hairspray, thinking if I could make my hair look as huge as possible, maybe I could fool people into thinking my hair was thicker than it was. It was during this time, I overheard a stranger in a movie theater comment, “look at that girl’s helmet!” I felt defined by my hair, or lack of it. I continued trying different up do’s, sprays, and gels. It was in 2007, when I simply got sick of walking around with what felt like gallons of product on my head, and still not being happy. I invested in my first wig, and haven’t looked back. I can now go out on sunny days without feeling as though the rays are glimmering off my scalp. I can run errands in rain or snow, without feeling like I’m leaving puddles of product behind me. Any apprehension I initially had about wigs has long since past. I look forward to each new style I select, the way I do clothes shopping. Thank you for providing such a wonderful community.

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      • It was called Cuddle by Revlon. I don’t even think they make it anymore. Since then I’ve been strictly a Jon Renau girl (Posh, Julia, Haute, and Elle). Branching out and buying Jackson by Noriko this week. We’re lucky as women with hair loss, to live in an age where the internet exists. It’s so reassuring to know others have the same insecurities and issues, enabling us not only to relate, but to lift each other up.

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  7. I started wearing hair this Christmas, partly thanks to this blog! I feel much more confident. One thing I have is that when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I get ready to wince, and then … I don’t. OK, so I notice the other things that are ‘wrong’, but that automatic cringing at my reflection is gone.

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      • The Amore long mono topper in medium brown. I got it a few years ago, and never wore it. Then I was inspired by all the photos of you in your updos to pull it out and work with it. I’ve trimmed it and mostly wear it up. I think I need something with a bigger base size for wearing down/all day wear, just for comfort and avoiding traction alopecia, but I love the density of this Amore piece.

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  8. I suffer from trichotillomania. I used to only pull out my lashes, then it was my eyebrows, and recently I had to shave my head into a buzz cut to make it harder for me to pull out the hair on my head. I told my husband that I cut it for fun, but I really did it because I feel like a freak. I wish I had the confidence and self control to have long beautiful hair so that I could feel stunning and feminine. ๐Ÿ™

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  9. Lauren, I wonder if you really understand how much you have helped women and actually changed their lives!! You have helped so many women to have a better quality of life and this extends to everyone they come in contact with! You’re doing a really big thing here!!! Thank you.
    I started wearing a HH topper a few years ago. It really takes a while to feel comfortable but after a while it just feels like putting on makeup. It take time and making a few “mistakes” to find what works. What helped me the most was just acceptance rather than a constant state of panic trying to find a way to stop the loss. I didn’t get there overnight and still get upset now and then. During those times I come to this site for support.
    My “one thing” is finally enjoying clothes! Before wearing hair I would buy something and then not wear it because my hair seemed to take away from the outfit. I gave a lot away and wasted money. BTW- flipping thru TV channels I saw wigs casually being sold on QVC- they were treating supplemental hair as a fun thing to change like any other thing we do! It made me happy to see this attitude. Thanks again!

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    • Wow – QVC! I love it.

      I hear you on the clothes. Hair is the crowning piece…almost an accessory…and it took away from anything spectacular I might have been wearing. I love that helper hair rounds out the outfit.

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  10. I finally can have a trendy hairstyle and may project the “me” that I have been inside all along. Not to mention that the paranoia of being caught in a wind storm and the horrible pit in my stomach are gone.

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  11. I meant to reply to this post awhile ago but spaced out. I totally enjoyed reading everyone’s responses because they echo my journey into helper hair! While I can “get by” with my bio hair if it’s short and side parted, I just got tired of the style. After getting the courage from Lauren to start wearing hair, I’ve received so many compliments! I was like, wow…I guess my hair did look kinda wimpy. I can also go out in the sun without fear of intense scalp burns. I can finally wear my hair longer and do “bumps” and french twists. I feel like my longer hair looks polished.now that I have a normal amount of volume. I also have a lot more fun looking at hair stuff online! Instead of looking for a “fix,” I get to look for fun new styles and hair accessories again!

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  12. Love your blog, it gave me the courage to go outside my comfort zone and try something different. My hair has been thinning since my early twenties and I started wearing helper pieces after my first son was born. That was 11 years ago. It was the revlon short shag which they no longer make. Over the years my hair has thinned more however slowly. I also began to get super bored of that style. Once I found your blog and YouTube videos I felt soo relieved and In powered that I was not alone, this happens to way more women then you think! My problem now is I feel the new pieces may have accelerated my hair loss! I’m finding bald spots were the clips are and since my hair is not tied up under those combs like before, it is seems to be coming out more after each wash due to knots… Am I the only one? Any ideas on what I can do? I’m trying to see if I can take my current style and use my old combs and make a sort of hybrid… Also I live in Miami were pools are a way of life, how do I handle this, I’ve always been able to go to my bio hair for that but now it is wayyyy to thin….so sad, I love the pool!

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    • About swimming, I’m going to copy/paste a recent reply: Iโ€™d get a cheap synthetic backup and swim in that. Braid it maybe to keep it out of my face, and add in a clip or two to keep it secure. What water will do is two-fold: for wigs, it can stretch them out. The chlorine/salt will shorten the life of the fiber considerably. So, keep a back up used just for swimming.

      I just moved from Florida where I had my own pool, so I understand the concern!

      As for bald spots, yes, it can happen! There are ways around this though: https://cornerofhopeandmane.com/hair/traction-alopecia-bald-spots/

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  13. Wow…I couldn’t date much always self conscious about the hair. Few guys were accepting but long story short…no one was particularly interested. I date now I feel desired I tell them I’m wearing hair of one sort or another…topper, full wig…I enjoy changing from blue black to bleached blonde. I go with my mood!
    I’m more social, more social life, more active, go to concerts…just more outgoing. I love my hair now! Never a bad hair day!

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  14. I recently bought my first human hair topper. Unfortunately I wasn’t in love with the cut and style. The stylist cut the bangs way too short, and as we all know, they’ll never grow out! I love this site and reading all the comments. I can’t help but wonder what type of piece everyone is wearing. I know it’s a lot of trial and error. I still haven’t found “the one” but after spending $380 on this one, I feel stuck for awhile.

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  15. Hi Lauren!
    You are amazing to put yourself out here on the web! Love your site and hearing about your story (although, I would rather you not be dealing with hair loss).
    I recently started wearing a topper. And quite frankly – I absolutely LOVE it! As stupid as it sounds my hair loss prevented me from living life. I didn’t want to go out. I did not even want to make plans for the future. I constantly worried about people looking at my head. I would just dwell on the fact that I was losing all my hair – and was super depressed about it. I even felt like life was not worth living – just because of my own vanity.
    Wearing hair has made me happy and joyful again. How silly is that? It has given me my freedom back. It has given me hope. I no longer waste hours of my time feeling sorry for myself. If any one is debating about getting hair and then wearing it – take the leap! It was scary as I work as a professional and am up close with people daily – do a few notice …probably, but the majority of people do not! And if it gives me my confidence back (not to mention hours of time previously wasted) it is well worth the price. Hope your family pics look great!

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  16. Like many here have mentioned, I love that I can clip on my topper in about 10 seconds and my hair looks great. My bio hair was fine until about 18 months ago when I started getting thin on top. I was diagnosed with lichen planopilaris, which sounds like something growing on my head, but it’s actually a rare autoimmune condition that is a scarring alopecia. I’m 62 and my hair isn’t terrible, but I started experimenting with wigs and toppers and I just really prefer how the topper looks. One problem, I wear my hair chin length and there are surprisingly few good toppers out there for shorter hair, compared with the dizzying number of wigs. I know I could have a longer topper cut to the right length, but most of them also have a really wide base, and I just don’t need that. I bought the Chameleon topper and the quality was awful. In a couple of weeks of wear the ends were fried and crispy despite careful conditioning. I saw a video by Danielle of Godivas Secret Wigs, showing how to make a custom topper from a wig by cutting through the wefts. I had a beautiful Amore, Codi wig with a monofilament base, but I just don’t like the feel of a wig on my head – it feels like I am wearing a hat. But toppers feel so comfortable and easy and I’ve not had a problem even on very windy days. I was very nervous about cutting the wig because I thought I might wear it for some occasions and I didn’t want to ruin it. However, you can sew the wefts back together if you don’t like the result. I bit the bullet and cut right round the monofilament base. I thought there might not be enough hair by cutting so much, but it was perfect. I can’t tell you how much nicer it is than the Chameleon. I get compliments on my hair all the time. I have told some friends I wear a topper and they were amazed – it’s synthetic hair and they keep touching it because they can’t believe how real it looks and feels. With most people I just smile and say thank you when they compliment me. It’s not that I mind people knowing – I just can’t be bothered explaining it – and what’s the big deal anyway?

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  17. Great question! I don’t wear hair (seriously considering) and the thing I miss is being able to just dash out of the house on a moment’s notice. Last Friday the husband asked if I wanted to go out. Yes, but wait, I have to do my hair. An hour of blow drying, concealing, teasing, fluffing and pinning later, I was ready. And he was over the idea of going out. Damn!

    Reading the replies here, I’m noticing that the thing hair wearers love is not having to do all that before going out. It’s encouraging me to try a topper.

    Thanks to everyone who posted stories here about the benefits of wearing hair and how they made the transition. Still nervous, but I would never even be considering it without all of your positive stories.

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  18. Wearing hair takes my confidence to a whole new level! I have ALL over thinning since I was 12, now I am 28 and have finally started wearing hair this past year. My hair does not grow past my shoulders and it’s real sparse.

    I wear a topper with a halo extension system, or I’ll wear a wig with my halo extensions. I want va-va-voom sexy hair. I find wigs a little thin so I pump up the volume with the halo extensioms under. No one suspects I have a wig, topper, or extensions in. I get compliments all the time at how awesome my hair is, first time in my life ๐Ÿ˜‰ My bf of 5 years didn’t realize I was wearing hair until about 9 months after the fact, he just would compliment how my hair was growing so fast, boys!

    I am a triathlete, and swim in a pool at least 1/wk. I wear my HH topper with no problems under my cap. During races it is business as usual with my helper hair, does not shift, does not bother me, basically I don’t even think about my hair and it looks awesome in all my race pics! It may shorten the life of my HH toppers, but that is a price I am willing to pay for the freedom I recieve!
    Lauren, totally love your site, and through your posts I was able to make the jump into helper hair! Thanks lady you are awesome!

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  19. I just started wearing hair about a month ago after stumbling on this site during the summer. It had been a remarkable journey. I just have run of the mill female pattern baldness, but it was time for me to make a change. I have always prided myself on being 100% ok with who I am with or without hair, but I was getting to a breaking point where it was affecting my confidence.
    My fave thing is how pretty I feel. We are booked for family photos in two weeks and will be sending out lame family photo Christmas cards and I couldn’t be more excited lol! I have been mostly honest about my hair. Mostly meaning I have said its a clip in extension system… Which is kind of true… It’s the Noriko Milan. I haven’t mastered Lauren’s – look them in the eye and thank them- yet.
    I love running, I love swimming, and I love yoga. I run without my hair and just put a hat on, I swim without my hair but I don’t get my bio hair wet (it’s my sons swimming lessons actually) but yoga I haven’t figured out yet. I also love to surf and wake board and I don’t know how to navigate that yet. I won’t give them up, but I need a solution! We also have a family vacation coming up and I’m unsure what my plan of attack is. I feel like if I’m honest about my hair, then there is less of a super shock or surprise if I decide not to wear it. I dunno…
    Sorry about the dear diary. I haven’t left a comment yet on this site, and clearly I had a lot to say. Thank you Lauren for quite literally changing my life.

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  20. I wear a topper and I love that I no longer have to worry about my wide part or bald spot showing anymore. I have so much more self confidence. I wore my topper on the beach this summer and didn’t have to worry about my scalp burning!! I don’t have to dye my hair blonde anymore to try to keep the scalp from being so noticeable. I don’t have to wear toppik anymore…which made my scalp itch. Plus my hair has never looked this good in my entire life. A little advice for anyone thinking about starting to wear hair, when you do take the plung consider going with a different color and style then your bio hair. I had dyed my bio hair blonde for years and it was in a bob style. When I purchased my topper, I got it in medium brown and got it a little longer. Most people when they saw me focused on the color change and didn’t really notice the length. I got a lot of compliments. No one said a word about me wearing hair. If people noticed the length then I just told them I had clip in extensions. This wasn’t really a lie because I purchased a follea topper which they also call crown extensions. Plus telling people I had clip in extensions would also explain the extra volume in my hair. I’ve never had anyone say a negative thing about my hair and no one has looked at my hair strangely. If you are considering wearing hair, all I can say is just do it! It’s so much better than walking around with bald spots. One of the best things I’ve ever done!

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  21. The one thing I wish I didn’t have to worry about night now is the lighting at bars and restaurants!! This may sound silly at first but since my loss is diffuse yet focus on my crown bright lighting makes my hair look see through.

    I think the fibers I use do a good job hiding my scalp and distracting how thin it really is most of the time but there have been plenty of instances where Iโ€™ve cursed the low lights that hang directly over the table, especially when I was dating, talk about a confidence killer!

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  22. I was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata in 2009. I’ve gone through various stages of hairloss and also have no eyebrows. Thanks to youtube videos I have learned to draw on perfect eyebrows that look natural. Knowing that I have no option but to wear hair has been hard to accept. But, I put my big girl panties on, started researching, and now have some beautiful wigs that make me feel beautiful. Still hard when the hair and makeup come off, but I just tell myself to give thanks that this is not a terminal disease, and be thankful for my life. I’m 57 years old and divorced, so the thought of dating and having to tell a man about my hair loss is terrifying. That’s my next fear to conquer. Thanks for your website. I don’t feel alone anymore!

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    • Be confident and brush it off as just another trick in your arsenal (just like makeup!) – if you act like it’s no big deal, he will catch that vibe and act and feel in kind. What wigs do you have?

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      • I have two Ellen Wille human hair wigs. Emotion. I have it in a medium brown and a darker brown. Beautiful hair. I have one I wear in a deep side part, and the other parted down the middle. I have several synthetic wigs by Freetress that I use for weekends and working out. Nelly is one of my favorites by freetress.

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        • Hi Del & Lauren! Can I ask you ladies, or anyone, a question? I used to work out about 3-4 days a week. I just started wearing my topper about a month ago. I haven’t worked out at the gym in 2 months, & I’m itching to go back. Can you work out in a wig or topper? How do you secure it so it doesn’t fall off. Although im comfortable in my topper, I’m totally self conscious about wearing it to work out. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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          • Don’t let your hair stop you from working out. I secure my wig with a few extra Bobby pins. I then put on a wide stretch headband and pull it back in a low ponytail. Baseball caps are also great, and look cute with hoop earrings.

          • I’ll echo the tips – I’d wear it as usual and put a stretchy headband over it to secure, and put in a ponytail (if it’s long enough). I use this method on roller coasters with zero issues.

  23. I could echo so much of what has been said already! Wearing hair let’s me ENJOY whatever it is I am doing. I’m focused on who i am with and what we are doing versus being there physically but mentally wondering…are people looking at my head, how does my hair look, can you see my scalp. And ditto a thousand times about sunlight and burning scalp! The past few months have been the first time in a few years I’ve been able to do an activity outside without a hat on. Thank you again, Lauren, for sharing your story and everyone else for comments and stories as well. It’s amazing what finding a group of people going through a similar issue, especially when you thought you were alone, can do for attitude and self esteem. Soooooo glad I took the plunge and started wearing hair!
    Thank you Lauren!

    P.S. we just took family pics too and am looking forward to spending out our holiday cards as well. It will be a first!:)

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  24. I fear the wind! I haven’t started wearing a topper yet, but I will soon. I live in a windy town and the second a gust of wind hits my hair – game over. The volume I spent all morning building is replaced with a stringy, limp mess. I’m already worried about what to do in the wind with my topper, and I don’t even have one yet! Can any gals comment on how their toppers do in the wind? I’m not so much worried about it flying off, but maybe the hair raises and you can see the base?

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    • Mine does ok. No lifting – can always haul around a headband or something if necessary. If you incorporate some of your bio hair in the front, that will blow back and you won’t notice the rim. If it’s truly windy outside, most people are walking quickly with their heads down (assuming it’s winter) so I’m sure no one will notice a thing.

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