Intro to wigs, etc.

Discussion in 'Wigs and Toppers' started by TEforMe?, May 26, 2009.

  1. TEforMe?

    TEforMe? New Member

    Can anyone link to a site or explain to me what a topper is? How does it differ from a wig? How do you know which to get? Etc, etc,

    I'm not to this point yet, but I fear it may come much sooner than I want!! I just have no idea where to start!
  2. Arrant

    Arrant New Member

    I'll second that request for information about toppers!
  3. Angela

    Angela Moderator

    Here is a link to another member of the Forum...she knows a lot about toppers:
  4. kawawa

    kawawa New Member

    Quote from Sessa( sent to me when I asked the same question)

    Toppers: Like wigs, but smaller. Toppers are designed to be blended in some way with your own existing hair and are much smaller than a full wig (a few inches long and wide). My personal opinion is that if you are needing some sort of hair replacement go with a topper before going with a full wig so that you don't end up with more hair than you need. They now have virtual reality. I have attached a website for that too.

    Cost: Varies from a few hundred to several thousand, depending.

    Pro's: If blended well they look very natural. You only have to cover trouble spots rather than you entire head.

    Con's: If not blended well they can look fake or poofy. Clips can be stressful on your natural hair.

    Comfort: Usually you do not have as much of a heat issue with toppers since they cover much less of your head, though they can get a bit toasty depending on what the base is made out of.

    Attachment: Clips, bonded with tape or glue, attached using extentions (the piece is put on your head and then a stylist uses extensions to attached pieces of the topper to pieces of your natural hair...this is a nice way to go if you are freaked about shaving any of your natural hair off which is usually necessary for a bonded piece).

    Look: Toppers can look very natural if they are cut in and blended with yoru natural hair, especially if you place it right behind your hairline (even a weak hairline can still be blended into a topper if done correctly).

    Maintainance: Similar to a wig, depending on the method of attachment. Bonded pieces must be rebonded about once a month whereas clips are simply done and undone as needed. Most people with clips take their topper off nightly. Bonded pieces can be washed and dried with your natural hair, though it is suggested that you only wash a bonded topper every few days rather than daily to extend the life of the piece. You can also go the lace front option with a topper which means glueing or taping daily.


    Bonded pieces from HRS, Apollo, Hair Club, Farrel, etc.

    Cost: You'll generally start at around $1,000 and it goes up from there depending. Some places have a 'club fee' where you pay monthly (usually starts around $150-$200) which covers the cost of new pieces as needed plus montly maintainance. I've come to the conclusion that the initial sticker shock of such services turns many people away when in reality you would generally pay almost as much for a high quality wig or extensions.

    Pro's: I'm biased since I have one and now I can't imagine life without it. Since they are bonded on there is no way for them to fall off or slump and if done well the look is VERY natural. By having a professional fit and attach it you don't have to do much legwork yourself. They are easy to maintain since you wash and dry them right along with your own hair (and less traumatizing to have to 'take off' your hair nightly).

    Con's: Some of these places are rip-offs (such as Hair Club...DON'T GO THERE, too many people have had bad experiences with them!!!) and I think that some of the various salons are more experienced than others. Check them out carefully, and if you don't get a good feeling then go elsewhere. Make sure that you do a test patch of the glue that they use so that you are not at risk for an allergic reaction (very rare, but it does happen from time to time...and you don't want that time to be right after you have shaved some of your hair off!).

    Comfort: I have a bonded piece on my head from HRS (same as Apollo) and I love it. I don't even notice it is on my head except for the day after I get back from maintainance when it is a bit itchy from the hair starting to grow out underneath. Most of these bonded pieces require you to shave some of your natural hair.

    Attachment: The stylist shaves a track or a circle where the piece is to be attached and bonds it with surgical adhesive. It won't come off for anything, in fact they have to 'shave' it off during maintainance. The piece will start to 'wiggle' a bit (not noticable to anyone but you) as your hair grows out underneath the piece and that's when it is time to go in for reattachment.

    Look: For the amount of money that you pay for these things they damn well better look good. However, it is money well spent from a natural look that you don't have to remove more than once a month. If you have a weak natural hairline bangs will cover the front edge. I have long sweeping bangs that I clip to the sides and they look great.

    Maintainance: Usually once a month you go in for reattachment and cost varies per salon. I pay $199 which includes cut, blending, color, conditioning of the piece, etc. There are certain brands that they recommend...I use Redkin, which is available at Fred Meyer's so it's readily available. Spray-in condition is a must to keep the piece from drying out (same for any human hair wig, topper, etc.). You can get a lace front on these as well as long as you are willing to glue or tape it down daily for a natural look.

    Resources:, Apollo Hair, Hair Club, Farrell Hair


    Hair Integration Systems: These pieces look kind of like hairnets with hair attached. You pull your remaining natural hair through the holes.

    Cost: Varies as much as wigs and toppers depending on the product and the company.

    Pro's: You have your own hair pulled through to better match color and texture.

    Con's: It is hard to get an integration piece to look natural. Mine looked like I had stiches in my head because the holes were too big. You have to spend quite a bit of time daily pulling your hair through the holes with what looks like a giant crochet hook. I think that integration pieces sound great because it integrates your natural hair but in reality are hard to pull off for someone who is thinning (especially on top). That being said, I have seen some topper/integration combo pieces that are mesh on top with integration 'netting' along the sides and back so that you have the best of both worlds in a sense.

    Comfort: Mine was terribly uncomfortable, but I can't do clips so that was the biggie for me. It was also very heavy and pulled. However, my entire Sequence experience sucked from beginning to end, so there ya have it. Anyone with positive integration experience please let me know how comfortable it is so I can add that here.

    Attachment: Clips or 'anchors' (they sew or tie sections of it down in various places).

    Look: Integrations look great on people with a normal amount of hair who want to add length. It's tough to pull of an integration piece on top if you don't have enough hair to pull through and blend with the piece.

    Maintainance: Depends on the type of piece. If you have clips you'll need to go in as needed for color/trim/touch-up type stuff. If you have anchors you'll need to go in montly for tightening.

    Resources: For the love of god DO NOT GO TO SEQUENCE!!! There are a handful of us here who got completely screwed over by them to the tune of several grand.


    Extentions: Note - I have had several consultations for several different types of extensions. If you do not have enough hair on top to cover the bonds, links, clamps, etc then you are not a good candidate for extensions (even if a salon tries to tell you otherwise). Be realistic about your expectations when it comes to extensions and if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. I have seen way to many girls on the board pay tons of money for extensions that did not work out for them. On the other hand, there are several ladies here who have had great experiences with extensions, especially when it comes to the thickness factor. Just keep in mind that if your hair is super thin it will NOT cover the bonds. From what I have heard, extensions are fairly comfortable once you get used to them. To me, the Great Lengths extension (glue-in, placed down lower) was less noticible to me than the Hairloc extension (metal clamp extension, up higher on my head next to the scalp)...however, notice that I only had one of each for trial.

    Maintainance for extensions varies from person to person and on the type of extensions you have. Most extensions need tightened every 4-8 weeks, though some can go longer. It is usually simply a matter of how fast your hair grows out.

    Great Lengths Extensions: These are extensions that are bonded in with glue. They are fairly large extensions and many salons cut them in half to give greater coverage. It is also possible to have a topper 'bonded' to your hair using these extensions.

    Cost: $200 for minimal hair, and it goes up from there depending on length and amount.

    Attachment: Great Lengths uses a glue bond. The glue around the bond is heated and then wrapped around a section of you hair where it cools to a hard shell. There is an acetone based solution used to weaken the bond and then plyers are used to 'crack' it when they are taken out. The same hair can be used 3 or 4 times before needing replaced.

    Pro's: They are generally fairly quick to put in and take out. They are high quality and most people who have them love them.

    Con's: They are attached using a glue which is somewhat sketchy for some people.

    More to come soon on Hairlocs, Hair Dots, Shrinkies, Hair Integration stystems, etc...but I'm tired and need to go to bed! Please please please feel free to add anything that I have missed!
  5. Brooke1215

    Brooke1215 New Member

    Kawawa -

    I was wondering if you knew of any specific companies where I could purchase a Topper. I live in Kentucky, but would be willing to travel a little ways to find something great.

    Thanks for all the great information!
  6. kawawa

    kawawa New Member


    Below I've given some web sites.

    This first one is in Kentucky, they do toppers like mine. A place like this is a good place to start they can help you gauge your need even if you don't buy. I can't vouche for them, but I know they only do cosmetic hair solutions.

    Eric / Jeletta Johnson
    3260 Blazer Parkway Suite #202
    Lexington, KY 40509
    (859) 263-9811 FAX (859) 263-3890

    First group (Most of these have wigs in the 2000-3000 range but also at lower prices)
    (I believe that several *********** members have wigs or toppers from them)

    Other makers with whom *********** have had success:

    And Janie-Ann mentioned:

    A bit lower down in price:

    Hit or miss with quality (but sometimes very good)

    For more ideas go to: ... /Wigs.html

    Some UK suggestions:
    First, if you look on the 'where to buy' on the Clary's web site, you'll see that there are two UK merchants listed, one is in London. Milano are also sold in London--it's mentioned on their web site, although you probably have to email them to find out how to get them. I also know of a very high quality custom wig maker in London: Gali Wigs Tel: 020 8455 0349, 1, Eastside Rd, London, NW11. (I've been there and seen the hair, which was beautiful--but that was some years ago.) And I think that there is another that has been mentioned in the UK alopecia forum. You can probably deal with the US internet dealers. I don't know exactly what the customs ramifications are, though.

    About which wigs are available by internet. The main problem with buying a wig via the internet is that not all internet dealers will allow you to return it if you don't like it. Some of those that do allow returns will charge a significant restocking fee.
    (no restocking fee, I believe)
    (returns allowed, but I think there is a restocking fee)
    sells Georgie, Kiki and Allegria. Kathy Tonkin, the dealer, is extremely nice and will take back anything you don't like with no restocking fee.

    I don't know about the return policies of these dealers:
    sells Georgie, Judy, Freeda and Yaffa
    sells Georgie, Judy and Clary


    Kathy Tonkin
    Tonkin's Wigs
    481 Wolcott St
    Waterbury, Ct 06705


    Diane Callibret
    Art of Wigs

    I have seen two of her hand made toppers. Beautiful
  7. feelingwiggy

    feelingwiggy New Member

    Thanks for all the info on toppers and wigs! You're awesome!
  8. Brooke1215

    Brooke1215 New Member

    Thank you sooo much for all the great information! Another question - Are any of those lace front wigs? And what is the difference? Do any of the companies listed make lace front wigs?
  9. kawawa

    kawawa New Member

    Go to network and get with KatKat. She is the expert she is just a hair loss sister who is trying to help the women here who are lost. We have been friend for a very long time and I know she is a great resource.
  10. feelingwiggy

    feelingwiggy New Member

    I found starting with a topper, gave me the courage to go to a wig. I love both. Just do research like crazy on the web. Many sites, show you the underside of the topper or wig and will send you color swatches to choose the right shade for you. You'll know when the right time is! Judy
  11. Kia

    Kia New Member

    Brooke- I am also in Kentucky. If you are interested in Reprieve hair, there is a place in Prospect which is probably 10 minutes outside of Louisville that has a stylist certified in it. It is called Profiles Salon. Take a look at their website www.[B]profiles[/B]