As a woman who has dealt with hair loss for almost 15 years, I have to say that the world of fake hair is pretty wild right now. From extensions to wigs, and now toppers, there are a multitude of faux hair options for people to choose from. Whether you want to simply change up your look, add some fullness, or perhaps you’re dealing with hair loss like me; I am having a blast since I’ve discovered the topper world. Now, toppers aren’t exactly a new form of fake hair; they’re just getting a lot more attention lately, so here’s the full lowdown of everything you need to know about toppers.
Alternative Hair Solutions
Let’s start with how toppers differ from other forms of alternative hair. Extensions can take different forms (clip-in, tape-in, sew-in or micro link), but that’s another post entirely. Whatever form extensions take, they are separate pieces of hair that are secured to your existing hair and then blended in. They can be worn for as long as you like, some forms for months at a time. Extensions do not cover the crown area and often cannot hide thinning or bald spots at the top of the scalp. Alternatively, wigs are placed on the top of the head, with your natural hair wrapped and tucked underneath. We all know what wigs are, for the most part, so the main takeaway is that, with wigs, your natural hair is hidden, making the wig look very full on the top.
What Are Hair Toppers?
With toppers, they’re kind of a mix of both extensions and wigs; honestly, you get the best of both worlds here. They clip in at the top of your hair, but since they have a much smaller cap, they sit flatter. With toppers, you also get to rock your natural hair and blend it in with the topper. Similar to other forms of fake hair, you can purchase curly hair toppers, toppers with bangs, or even custom pieces with balayage to match your own style. The possibilities are really endless.
Reasons to Try Hair Toppers
Now, why should you choose a topper over other forms of faux hair? Believe it or not, toppers make life easier in so many ways. There are a number of celebrities and TV personalities who choose to wear toppers to add fullness and allows them to have a more styled and sleek look on screen, without the added work or heat damage. It’s just like wearing extensions or wigs for the added fullness, without all of the efforts. For those suffering from hair loss (androgenetic alopecia, telogen effluvium, postpartum thinning, alopecia areata, just to name a few), toppers can be a total lifesaver. They are much less damaging than extensions and can cover the crown, which is a common area for women with thinning.
More often than not, women are choosing toppers over wigs because you still have the choice of incorporating your own hair, giving you a more natural look. Toppers are generally less full than wigs, so for someone transitioning to fake hair due to hair loss, it’s a much gentler switch. Switching to fake hair can feel like a drastic change, so being able to wear your own hair helps to ease your way into the fake hair world. As someone who has hair loss, I definitely appreciate that. Basically, toppers provide the added fullness and thickness you get from all forms of fake hair, with much less effort.
Tips for Toppers
- Consider your preferred style: small base, medium base, etc.; the larger the base the fuller the topper.
- Mono is one layer for the cap, so your hair will show through, meaning you will not have a natural parting.
- French drawn gives a more natural look and a scalp-like parting, as there are two layers, one of which mimics the color of the scalp.
- Density: the higher the density, the fuller the topper. Personally, I prefer the lightest density possible, as my hair is thin as hell so I want it to look like me. Lower density toppers would be 100%, 120%, etc.
- Always place the topper about 1-2 cm from your hairline.
- Machine-made toppers are the cheapest option.
- Hand-tied or French drawn will be more pricey but will provide a more natural/quality piece.
- Synthetic hair toppers are cheaper.
- Human hair toppers are pricier, but more natural-looking and feeling.
Disadvantages of Hair Toppers
While I do think that toppers are a great alternative in the faux hair world, like anything, they have their cons, and the last thing I want is to leave you thinking this is a perfect fix. Nothing ever is perfect in life, right? I often receive questions about what brand is the best women’s hair topper, and my answer is always, I haven’t found it yet. Toppers are great, but they can still cause some damage, as the clips that secure it to the hair can create traction and pulling over time. Due to my own personal hair loss issues, I can wear a topper for about 4-5 hours before it starts to get uncomfortable. Those of us with hair loss generally have a more sensitive scalp, so the experience will be different for everyone.
Toppers also need to be maintained, just like any form of fake hair. They need to be gently washed and dried to prevent damage to the piece. As you can probably imagine, the more expensive the topper, the more care it requires. Lastly, toppers really only work if you have hair. So, if you suffer from severe hair loss with little to no hair at the top of your scalp, toppers may not work for you as they need a decent amount of hair to clip onto.
As you can see, hair toppers aren’t a perfect solution, but they are DEFINITELY an awesome option for those of us needing a little boost in the hair department. Regardless of your hair type — thin, flat, or bald spots — toppers allow you to hide your hair insecurities while enhancing your overall look. Feel free to connect with me on Instagram and YouTube for more information about toppers or if you simply just want to talk about hair care.