If you are thinking of a bonded topper...

Discussion in 'Wigs and Toppers' started by missmyhair42, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. missmyhair42

    missmyhair42 New Member

    I just thought I would share my experience in case it could help someone else. I am 43 but my hair started thinning in my mid-twenties. For years I spent hundreds of dollars on thickening products, highlights, minoxidil, etc. About 6 years ago I found out about Toppik. I started using it daily but by the end of the day I would be horrified to find noticble black clumps on my scalp. Also, it was super messy. Then I started using DermMatch which was better than Toppik and covered up the thin area but I was still self conscious. I was also always worried it would be noticeable when I would swim or that it would rub off my head and leave marks on towels and pillows. Last year I came across an ad for women's hair replacement. I went in for an appoinment and decided to order a bonded topper. This was by far one of the best things I have ever done. The salon I went to did an excellent job of matching the human hair topper to the color, texture and curl of my natural hair. Although it took some getting used to (I have never had so much hair in my life), now I have had it for about 9 months and I cannot imagine life without it. Even my own mother asked me if I had started taking vitamins to thicken my hair. She had no idea. Now I never stress about a bad hair day. I can wear it wavy/ curly like my natural hair or blow it out straight. It just looks like a great, healthy, full head of hair like I spent many years wishing I had. Yes, it is not cheap and I go to the salon about every four weeks for maintenance but I think it is more than worth it. I am no longer self conscious, dreading swimming or rain where my scalp would show through my wet hair, or any other situations where I would need to worry about my appearance. I get tons of compliments and I am sure it makes me look 10 years younger. I know some people think its a big step, but I am so glad I went for it.
    queenofthemacabre likes this.
  2. tcat

    tcat New Member

    Love It!

    Keep the positive stories coming. I just purchased 2 toppers to bond from Amberc, and I can't wait until they get here. Yes, expensive, but I have gone to a real salon less than a dozen times in my adult life. I don't get pedicures or manicures, I don't go shopping for clothes regularly, and I wear the cheapest drugstore make-up I can find. I'm thirty seven now, make my own money, and I'm like you know what, I'm cashing in on all the money I theoretically saved being "low maintenance" for 37 years.

    So many stories I've read are like yours, and they make me so glad to have this website and heralopecia. Because so many women are willing to share their experiences, I went straight from realizing I was losing my hair to grieving to making a decision to find a solution in about a year and a half. Without the stories of women like you, I'd probably be depressed and hopeless for years. Thank you, thank you, thank you! If you've got pics and ever feel like sharing I'd love to see your toppers. Again thanks so much for sharing!
    queenofthemacabre likes this.
  3. Charlotte P

    Charlotte P New Member

    What exactly is a bonded topper? Would appreciate any information. I am wearing a human hair topper I ordered from Paula Young catalog but I'm sure there are better ones out there. Was looking at a monafilament is this similar to bonded?
  4. angela75

    angela75 New Member

    Hi, missmyhair42! Thank you so much for posting this. My bonded topper will be in very, very soon and I am starting to have 2nd thoughts. I have curly hair too and I can get away with lots of hairspray, toppik, etc. but I'm getting so tired of it. I want to be able to wear "natural" hair without all of the crap that I put in it. When I get done styling my hair, it is literally crunchy. I do a good job of concealing my loss, but I want hair I can actually do stuff with... but shaving my head scares the crap out of me. Since I can get by without a topper, I am now thinking the crunchy hair isn't so bad to deal with ;p I am PARANOID that they are going to shave my head and glue the thing on and something will go horribly wrong and I will be left to figure out what to do with my new bozo hairdo :( UGH! i am just a ball of nerves!!

    And now here come the questions:

    How long is your hair?
    Are you using your own hair line?
    What is your base made out of?
    Does it make you sweat?
    Does it get itchy?
    How long did it take you to get used to it being on your head?

    Okay, i won't ask anymore... that's probably enough for now. I would really appreciate any advice, thoughts, encouragement, etc... :)
  5. missmyhair42

    missmyhair42 New Member

    Hi Angela,
    I totally get how nervous you are. I was exactly the same. I even made the first appoinment to bond my topper late on a Friday afternoon so I could go straight home and go back to the salon on the Saturday if I absolutely hated it and wanted it taken off. While it did take some getting used to, I decided to stick with it. My husband and daughter who both had no idea what I had done to my hair said my hair looked really good. Also, they did not shave my head. My head still is not shaved. The hair on my crown is so thin, my stylist just gathers it in back, making a part all the way around my head and then bonds the unit to the part leaving my natural hair to stick out the back. Although the salon has tried to encourage me to shave my head, I just cannot bring myself to do it. I think my bonds do not last as long for this reason but I don't care. To answer your other questions:

    My hair is just above my shoulders (like a long bob)

    Yes, I use my own hairline and I do not wear bangs.

    I am not sure what the base is made if but I think it is French lace.

    No, it does not make me sweat but I still am not completely comfortable with very strenuous exercise.

    It is only itchy sometime at night when it's almost time to get rebonded. I hate the feeling of it moving against my head when I am lying down.

    It took a few weeks to get used to. I was paranoid for a while that people would know I was wearing it but once I realized that I was just getting lots of compliments on how great my hair looked, I relaxed about it.

    I recommend changing up your style enough that people get distracted by the change in length or color, it will feel less obvious and when people ask you what you did to to your hair, you can say you colored it, cut off quite a bit to make it look thicker, etc. I also think wearing it curly and straight on different days throws people off because most people do not think of a wig as something you can style like that so that also makes it look like its natural hair.

    One thing you will realize is that only you pay as much attention to your hair as you think other people do.
  6. angela75

    angela75 New Member

    Thank you so much for your answers!!! It really does help.

    Unfortunately, I don't think I can have them bond it without them shaving my head. My follicles are very sensitive and get extremely sore if they are forced in the same position for even a few hours - I can't even wear a bandana or a hat without it causing pain so I don't think I could let them bond over my hair because I would be miserable :(

    I have my appointment in exactly one week. I may or may not have it bonded when I go in. I'm mainly going to make sure the curl they picked matches my curl and that the density is good. When I was a kid, I HATED my curly hair and everyone would say to me that one day I would be thankful I had it. That day came when I was 16 and my hair started to fall out. Thank God for the curls, because it does mask some of the loss. Right now with all of the hairspray, toppik, couvre, etc. that I use I have a white girl 'fro - and i actually get compliments on it.... if people only knew what it was like when I did nothing to it... All of that to say... I really hope that the topper they made can still be styled "Crazy" I am a jewelry and purse designer and work from home but go to Art Festivals on the weekends so the crazy hair works for me in that setting ;p

    Anyway, I know i'm rambling so I'll stop but thank you again for sharing your experience! It really does help and I really hope I have the courage to get it put on next week!!! Send me some positive thoughts because I will need them!
  7. missmyhair42

    missmyhair42 New Member

    Hi Angela,

    Wow, you are a jewelry and purse designer? How cool! I think that would be my dream job! I work for a big company and my job is very corporate. One of the things I really like about my topper is that I feel like the thicker hair gives me an overall more polished and professional appearance. Before I felt like no matter how nice and businesslike my clothes looked for work (and I frequently meet with clients and address large groups in presentations) my hair always looked pathetic. I was able to hide behind thickening sprays and Toppik or Dermatch but I still felt like my hair looked like crap so the topper really changed how I felt about myself and my confidence level.

    One thing to mention that I did not put in my previous post is that when they first put the topper on my head, it felt like a tight hat. However your head gets used to it and as your hair grows underneath it loosens. Eventually you become desensitized to it, kind of like when you wear contact lenses, you can feel them in for the first few minutes and then you don't, once your eyes are used to them.

    Wishing you lots of luck with your new topper. Please come back and let me know how it works out.
  8. angela75

    angela75 New Member

    Never in a million, trillion, bazillion years did I think this would be my career!!! I am 37 and was laid off from my cushy job in marketing and advertising in 2009. And that really was the best thing that ever happened to me. It didn't feel like that at the time, and even after I started this business venture I was still looking for a "real" job because it didn't feel right not going into an office every day. But after I realized that people liked my stuff, and that they were responding positively to it, and that they actually BOUGHT it I stopped looking for something "real" and decided to stick with it.

    Funny thing is - my purses are inspired by Enid Collins. She was a purse designer in the late 50s early 60s. She was known for her funky, edgy, wooden box purses. You know how I found out about her? It was about 5 or 6 years ago, on a hair loss forum! Had I never had this problem, I would have never been on that forum, and I probably would have never had the idea to try to bring back the box purse.... so strange how life works sometimes.....

    I work harder now than I ever have in my entire life, but it is SO worth it. I love being able to stay home in my PJs and not leave my house unless I absolutely have to... It still feels unreal to me... but I am thankful every day that I get to do this! It has been a true blessing.

    Thank you for the additional info on the topper. I have heard that same analogy about the contact lenses from many people. I am hoping that it's true for me too! I will definitely come back and post when it's on and maybe before that when I'm having a full blown panic attack about going in for the appointment! ;-p
  9. missmyhair42

    missmyhair42 New Member

    Hi Angela,

    Did you get your topper yet? How did it go?????
  10. angela75

    angela75 New Member

    Hi! Yes, I did get it put on!! LOONNNGGGG story short.... I am really not loving it right now :( The curl is all wrong and it needs to be cut. They left it the length of my hair bio hair, but that hair bounces up so much when it dries but the hair on the unit doesn't. So, I am going back next week to take some weight off of it and to make it shorter. I feel like the length around my face makes my face look unusually long.

    Also, I feel like my head is in a vice 24 hours a day. It is WAYYYYYYY tight. They keep saying it shouldn't be, and i keep telling them that it is, but nothing is being done about it. I go back in three weeks to get it taken off and re-bonded and i think I'll ask them if they can do anything about the tightness. I don't know what - but maybe something.

    I'm posting a pic. here.... do you think it looks too wiggy and fake??

    Attached Files:

  11. missmyhair42

    missmyhair42 New Member

    Hi Angela,

    Thanks for the update. Did you shave your head before you had it bonded?

    Actually I think it looks really good. It looks quite natural. I think we all assume everyone can tell, but as I said in one of my previous posts, people really do not pay such close attention to your hair as you think they do. So I would encourage you to stick with it and see if you feel more comfortable after a while. My topper hair is the exact same length as my natural hair. When my natural hair starts to get even a tiny bit longer, I feel like people can tell so I make sure to get it trimmed every four weeks when I go in for maintenance and rebonding.

    I am not sure what to tell you about the tightness. That sensation usually goes away for me after an hour or so. How long have you been wearing it? Once your hair starts to grow out a little underneath the topper, it should begin to feel a bit looser.

    Anyway, I wish you lots of luck with it. I know it is winter so you probably have not tried to swim in it yet, but I think its pretty cool to be able to go swimming and not worry about pathetic thin wet hair with scalp showing through.

    By the way, do you have a website where I can see your purses and jewelry? Are you on Etsy?

    All best,
  12. angela75

    angela75 New Member

    Thank you! I am just not used to it and the curl is bumming me out... but I LOVE having hair that I can pretty much do anything I want to! That is a big bonus! :) And, I am definitely excited to go swimming with it!!

    Unfortunately, they did shave my head :( The base is a breathable, thin-skin base so they have to bond the entire thing to your scalp and not just the perimeter as they would with a lace top. Also, my follicles are very sensitive and when my bio hair is pressed in the same direction for any periods of time, i am always in a lot of pain - it was scary to shave but i'd rather not be in pain :) I just want the tightness to go away! I'm hoping to switch to a lace system in the summer and maybe then it won't feel as tight. I think it has a lot to do with the glue being on my entire head and not just around the edges.

    I do have an etsy shop! Two actually :) I am going to see if I can PM you with the info!

    Thank you for all of your help!
  13. angela75

    angela75 New Member

    hmmmmm - can we not send private messages on here? Maybe I'm missing something....
  14. missmyhair42

    missmyhair42 New Member

    Hi Angela,
    I think I sent you a private message. Look under your profile page and you should see a "conversation" started.

  15. angela75

    angela75 New Member

    ....and I think I replied ;p I hope you got it!
  16. missmyhair42

    missmyhair42 New Member

    Got it! Thanks :)
  17. alilou

    alilou New Member

    i think it looks good. how much do toppers cost? i went to a salon that specializes in custom hair pieces and dyes the hair to match the customers' and she quoted me 1500$. she said it is human hair, which i guess might look better than synthetic. i'm not sure. it's a huge investment but upon looking at my hair loss, that is what she recommended.
  18. angela75

    angela75 New Member

    Hi, Alilou! How long is the salon saying the topper will last? Most places will say that you need 3 to 4 per year, but I have heard of some people going longer. Are they going to charge you for servicing? Or are you going to bond yourself? Most places around here charge on a monthly basis. It usually works out to about 300 to 400 per month. That includes 3 to 4 toppers per year, all of your servicing, de/re etc. But they will sometimes add an extra charge for coloring your bio hair.

    Hope this helps!
  19. alilou

    alilou New Member

    I'm not sure how long she said it will last. I've lost about half my hair over the span of less than three months. I think I'm still in shock at how I've gone from having an overabundance of thick, wavy hair to having thinning hair and needing a topper. Thank you so much for the info! I will look into that. A part of me is hoping that all my hair will just suddenly come back. I am realizing though that that is not the truth and my hair might not come back.
  20. angela75

    angela75 New Member

    I understand how you feel about hoping your hair will come back - I hoped mine would come back for over 20 years, but it never did. But mine was genetic. If you've lost that much hair THAT fast, then it could be a bout of TE and it will come back. What does your doctor say? I'm sure you've had all of the necessary blood work done, but make sure they check iron, ferritin, thyroid, B vitamins, and Vitamin D.

    I have come to realize that you absolutely go through the 5 stages of grief with hair loss. It took me 20 years to finally get to "acceptance" but I did and I'm happy that I'm finally here. I just got a new lace topper put on and I am beyond happy with it! I love it!!