Your top questions about hair toppers answered. Here is a comprehensive overview to the most commonly asked questions regarding hair toppers.
What is a hair topper and how does it stay in place?
Can hair toppers cause hair loss?
How do hair toppers work?
What is a Hair Topper?
Most people have heard of wigs and how they are worn on the head. But there is a lesser-known cousin to the wig: it’s called a hair topper! Back in the day, toppers were also called Hair Falls or Weaves.
In Jewish culture–where head coverings are a popular choice for married women seeking a head covering–they can be referred to as a Kippah or Sheitel.
Most recently, new terms such as Crown Topper Hair Extensions and Volume Extensions have been used to describe the small hair piece that gives volume to the crown of the head.
Because there are so many terms to describe this uniquely shaped smaller hair piece, it’s little wonder why it has stayed in obscurity while the wig has basked in the limelight. In this article, we’ll show you how they work and why they’re quickly becoming part of mainstream fashion. We will also tell you the real truth on if hair toppers cause hair loss.
How Do Toppers Stay in Place?
Hair toppers are an easy way to add volume and are a great way to change up your look without having to spend hours styling your hair. The topper is strategically placed on the crown of the head and gives the wearer a voluminous look with out having to blow-out or heat style the hair. Let’s review the different styles of hair toppers and how to choose the right style for you.
Clip-In Hair Toppers
Hair toppers can be applied using different methods. A clipped topper has several metal clips sewn into the hair piece on the underside. The teeth of the clips directly attach to the wearer’s own hair. Because the weight of the topper is suspended by the wearer’s hair, a word of caution should be included. If the wearer has fine, fragile hair, repeated use of the metal clips tends to cause damage. This can exacerbate thinning and baldness in some individuals.
Pro: Easy to find clipped-style toppers in the market
Con: Can exacerbate hair loss particularly among those who have fine or thinning hair.
Bonded Hair Toppers
If clips aren’t for you and you want something more permanent, there are hair toppers that are designed to be bonded (aka glued) down. The wearer typically has to shave the hair down where the topper is bonded. This helps the adhesive to bond better and gives a more secure fit. Plan on monthly maintenance visits for re-bonding the piece.
Pro: You do not have to take it off at night.
Con: Monthly maintenance and shaving your own hair can be a non-negotiable for those looking for easy DIY alternatives. Also, adhesive allergies may develop and cause skin-sensitivities.
Sew-In Hair Topper
Another semi-permanent option is sewing down a hair topper which wouldn’t necessarily require any shaving. Hair toppers are typically made from a mesh integration base—think of a fish net design with hair tied onto the strings of the net. Like the bonded glue option, the wearer can expect monthly maintenance visits in order to reset the topper once new hair growth is present.
Pro: Breathable base design.
Con: The base tends to look unrealistic up close unless the hair is teased/backcombed to cover the fishet design. Monthly Maintenance is required.
Clipless Hair Topper
The Clipless Hair Topper design is a relatively new design shown here. Instead of relying on the wearer’s own hair to anchor down the topper, the Clipless Hair Topper attaches to a band which is then securely worn on the wearer’s hair. This eliminates the damage that is caused by traditional clipped toppers. Those with fine, thinning hair and with sensitivities to metal are good candidates. It is made of a breathable base that covers the crown area and sides of the head.
Pro: Unique design avoids damage and allows wearer to maintain their own hair health underneath the topper.
Con: No mass market production means potentially longer lead times for orders.
Can Hair Toppers Cause Hair Loss?
Let’s take a deep dive into anatomy for a second to help answer this burning question.
When someone has a healthy hair root it looks like a nice round white bulb at the top of the hair shaft. In fact, if you were to pluck out a strand of hair from a healthy person’s scalp, this root would be visible to the naked eye. That root is what helps anchor the weight of a strand of hair into your scalp.
The hair root was designed to suspend a single hair into your scalp. Over time, with fashion evolution, hair accessories, like extensions and toppers, have put stress on a part of our anatomy that was never intended to take on additional weight. Suspending the weight of hair extensions or a hair topper with clips, glue or sew-ins have a residual negative effect on your hair root over time.
People with fine or thinning hair tend to have a smaller root bulb. Thus, more hair sheds since the anchoring root is not fortified. Additionally, as we age, our hair starts a process called hair miniaturization which is when the density of each hair strand gets thinner. Other processes like heat styling and bleaching can also contribute to premature hair miniaturization and thinning.
If you find yourself in the category of having thinning hair, you should take caution on which hair topper is best for you. You must consider several factors to keep your hair integrity. People who want to maintain their hair health, while still have the beautiful aesthetics of voluminous hair should opt for the least damaging and least invasive hair topper. For many, the Clipless Hair Topper is and ideal solution for thinning hair.
For those with healthy hair and that choose to wear hair toppers infrequently, you have more flexibility in terms of your options. If you find yourself in the fortunate category of having a robust head of hair and choose to accessorize with hair extensions and hair toppers–perhaps for occasional fashion purposes–the likelihood of a hair topper causing hair loss is low.
In short, the answer to if hair toppers cause hair loss comes down to:
- How healthy is your existing hair? Is it thinning?—If so, be judicious on which hair topper style you select.
- Are you wearing a hair topper for daily use or only for special occasions? It is easy to tolerate a clipped topper or clip-in extensions for a few hours, but if you are planning on daily use, you might find clips are uncomfortable and cumbersome.
How Do Hair Toppers Work?
Let’s demystify how exactly hair toppers work. Who is it good for and who should skip this option? Whether you are looking for hair pieces for women with Alopecia or simply want a fashionable crown topper hair extension for your special day, hair toppers will give you that instant boost of glamourous volume.
Most women will find that their hair volume falls within the ranges shown below. Even with more advanced stages of thinning, a hair topper can be used to provide coverage. When you have more advanced stages of thinning, there is less to “lose” if you decide to shave your head and bond a topper.
But, for the vast majority of women experience thinning, their goal is to preserve the hair they have while finding a comfortable way to enhance it. If that sounds like you, then you are a candidate for a topper.
If you have next to nothing in terms of hair, a wig is the best option for you. Skip the hair topper and go straight to a wig. While that might seem like a daunting option, consider the bright side of wig-wearing: there is the perk of not having to color match your own hair!
Yes, wigs are fuller and hotter than a topper. But a topper must be color matched because it is intended to blend with the wearer’s own hair.
Now that we have reviewed what a topper is, the best hair topper options for you and the different ways a topper attaches to the head, it is up to you to decide which option will meet your daily lifestyle. Above all, have fun with it! Toppers are to hair, like mascara is to eyelashes. It’s a natural way to enhance your style in a subtle way. The added volume on the crown of the head does wonders to enhance your image and is arguably the best hair accessory you never knew you needed.