Choosing a topper is a bit different from choosing a wig. With a topper, you’re not looking for all over head coverage; a topper or hairpiece is specifically designed to address an area of hair loss, for women who still have bio hair to attach a topper to. If you have lost most or all of your hair, or you shave your head, or your remaining biohair is really thin, you will likely need a wig rather than a topper. Sometimes toppers are chosen by women who have conditions that involve partial or progressive hair loss, like androgenic alopecia, or possibly alopecia areata in specific regions of the head. It’s entirely up to you and your personal situation.
So… why would I choose a topper and not a wig?
The choice is a personal one, and there’s different reasons why a woman may choose a topper over a wig. Here’s just a few…
1. Cool and comfortable
For some women, wearing an all over covering wig is not a comfortable option. Maybe a wig is too hot for you or in the climate where you live, or maybe you just don’t like the feel of it on your head. If that’s you, and you still have biohair to work with, a topper may be a better choice.
2. Simple and natural
A topper basically adds volume to the hair you have, so you can choose a corresponding topper that’s either curly or straight to match your current bio hair. This is the case particularly for a synthetic topper which, for traditional synthetics, cannot readily be altered through the use of styling tools. You don’t need to get used to a totally new style, as you may do for a wig; rather the topper is designed to enhance what you already have.
3. Less is more
Toppers that are designed for volume and the beginning stages of hairloss are much smaller and less intrusive than a full wig. They are simply designed to add volume where you need it, and so you don’t need to think about an entire piece, just the small piece. Even with more progressive hair loss, as long as you have bio hair available for clipping and blending, you can create a fabulous volume simply by clipping in the right topper!
I’m interested in a topper… but there’s so many! How do I choose?
There’s probably four key choices with a topper that will ensure you make a great choice for your needs:
1. Measure your coverage area
This is probably the most important first step. You need to measure your hair loss to see how big a base you require on your topper. Topper bases can range from small and narrow to encompassing most of the top of your head, and making a correct choice can save you $$$ if you don’t need a larger base. Take a look at this video from Jon Renau about measuring for a topper.
2. Choose your length and style
Toppers and hairpieces generally come in a few lengths, usually shorter (6″ to 8″), medium (12″ to 14″) and long (18″). In choosing a length, consider the length of your bio hair and how long you want the topper to extend. Remember if you get one that’s longer, you can always have your stylist cut it to fit better with your hair length.
You also need to consider whether you want the topper to be curly or straight, to have a fringe, or to have lace or mono features. There are many variations, just like with wigs, so it’s important to think about what you want to do with your hair and how you wish to style it with the topper on, to make the best choice.
3. Choose the fibre
Toppers are available in both synthetic and heat friendly fibres, as well as human hair. The benefit of heat friendly synthetics is you can style it with heat tools, whilst the benefit of traditional synthetics is that they generally last longer, especially in longer lengths, as they don’t react to friction the way heat friendly fibres do. You may decide, for example, that you like to style your hair with tools, so a heat friendly fibre is the best option. You may prefer to go for a human hair topper, to give you the ultimate in realism and allow for styling as you please. Again, it’s personal, and about how you intend to style your hair while wearing the topper.
4. Choose the colour
In many ways, choosing a colour for a topper is more challenging than choosing a wig colour, as you want the topper colour to match your bio hair. We’ve found the trick is to research as much as you can – look at videos, ask your hairdresser, check out colour resources like our Colour Library Pages. All of these will help you make a more informed choice, but just be ready to find that your very first one might not quite be exactly like your bio hair colour! Be a bit flexible, and remember that this is for blending, so work towards getting it as close as you possibly can. And remember, you can always dye your bio hair if you want to try a topper in a different colour!
Need help? Ask!
If you’re feeling completely lost an overwhelmed, don’t panic! Contact Wig Warrior and we would be happy to help you! Even if you just need a bit of moral support, we know what it’s like to buy your first helper hair (yes, we had to do it, too!), and we want your experience to be fun and exciting, not frightening! We’re here to help!
You may also ask friends and family for help in choosing something, but remember they may not look at your purchase in the same way, so be prepared for whatever they tell you or suggest. Make sure you are discerning about the advice you accept, remembering not all of it is always useful!
At the end of the day, you’re wearing it, so if it feels right, run with it!