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Clip-on topper wearers, questions from a newbie

Discussion in 'Wigs, Extensions, Toppers & Hair Systems' started by Blahblahblah, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. Blahblahblah

    Blahblahblah Member

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    Hello ladies. After almost 15 years of rather unsuccessfully battling Androgenetic Alopecia, I will be buying a clip-on topper in the next few weeks. Part of me is relieved and excited to finally be moving on from the misery that has become me; another part is scared sh*tless. No matter how much I read about these things, I still feel like I have no idea what I am doing and again I am paralyzed by fear and procrastination.

    My biggest dilemma is where to buy this topper from. I went to see a local hair replacement salon - after trying a bunch of things, I settled on an asian hair clip on topper (it will be custom made) with a silk part (french part? I am awful with the terms). It would have to be colored to match, and because my bio hair is curly, the unit would have to be permed as well. The price I was quoted is $2800 and it includes cut ins, 1:1 instruction on how to wear it, take care of it, etc,. and rotation of clips every two months. They'll also perm it for the life of the unit, and I was told that the average unit lasts 18 months depending on lifestyle and how hard I am on it. The fact that I can even consider buying something this expensive - I am very fortunate and grateful for it. My husband is supportive of this purchase and never said a word about the price. But, it's a lot of money; money that should have been but will not be spent on my family, and even though I know there's no $$$ amount on feeling comfortable in my skin again which is something I thought was taken away from me forever, the pressure to ensure that this is indeed a reasonable price and a good quality piece is tremendous.

    How do I figure this out? It seems like a lot of you order from online vendors, but I am not comfortable buying a topper sight unseen considering that my color and curl has to be matched, and I feel like I need to have a human being who is in front of me rather than in YouTube or Skype, teach me how to blend it, clip it, style it. But is it reasonable for asian hair to cost this much? I always thought it was the VEH units that are big bucks, not processed asian hair (even if that's the best choice to blend with my bio hair). Is it normal for it to last 18 months on average? Or is the fact that it's custom along with needing a perm driving the price up? In general, how does one know if a vendor is reputable? This place I am considering is local and has a lot of good reviews online but I have no idea if they can be trusted. It's not like Design by Flora, which I am considering also ... but not sure if I can deal with the remote aspect of it.

    Then I am also really afraid of clips hurting and pulling the little hair I have left out. Is it possible to not struggle with the clips?

    Limitations - I am well aware that hair-wearing comes with limitations. I won't be able to go to the beach in this topper, or to swimming classes with my son... I won't be able to go to the gym - but we have a blissfully mirror free gym in the basement of our home and I am ok with just using that; and I won't be able to get a facial or a massage. I guessing backpacking through Costa Rica like I did in my younger days before my hairloss was too noticeable would be out of the question too. Then again, I can't do these things the way I look now anyway so I am almost not sure if it can be viewed as a limitation. What else? Do those of you who wear hair that's not bonded feel like you are limited by the topper more than by crappy bio hair?

    And lastly, transitioning from no hair to hair - I know I will not be fooling anyone. I became a complete recluse as a result of hair loss, so it's not so much friends I worry about because I have very of them. Sad but true. The few that I do have, and my family - I don't mind telling. It's the vultures at work that really worry me. Somebody will want to touch it, ask where I got it done, what I did to it... How do you deal with that?

    Sorry this got long, ladies... any advice and wisdom would be much appreciated.
     
  2. mycurlyhair

    mycurlyhair Experienced Member

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    I just wanted to say Good luck with it. Hope it works out great for you! I also have curly hair and have been scared to even think about a topper with my curls and how my hair changes color in all lights. I can't wait to see it! Where did you go? Once I get "there" I think I will go to Flora since it is a few hours from me and there is nothing where I am. I think it is good that you went and not ordered online, that is how I would do it also. Did you try on anything there with clips to see how they will feel?
     
  3. Lost

    Lost Guest

    I'm not sure where you live by the lady that runs wig support Kathy Tonkin has a shop in waterbury ct. Tonkins wigs, I know alot of the girls on wig support that work with her from a far send in hair samples to match with toppers , you could even contact her about your piece I'm sure she would answer any questions you have. good -luck. D.
     
  4. Blahblahblah

    Blahblahblah Member

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    Thanks, Mycurlyhair! Believe me, I was and still am scared too, but I've reached a point in my hair loss where I can no longer hide it effectively and I am determined to not let it rob me of life any longer. I live in MA - if you are from the area, feel free to PM me and I'll be happy to share where I went. The place seemed legit and they've been in the business for a number of years; I am hoping that means they can't be liars who rip people off but you can never know...

    Clips - again, really hard to tell. For the few minutes I had the topper on my head, they didn't bother me but that's hardly indicative of what would happen if I wore the unit for an entire day....

    If I lived any closer to Flora than I do (5 hours) and/or didn't have a young child who I can neither leave behind for a weekend nor bring with me, I'd definitely go with her. We may be in the area (well if 80 miles can be considered "the area") over Xmas, so I might try to take a trip there. But all of that is a maybe and I know I can't put this off much longer.
     
  5. eb80

    eb80 Guest

    Hi Blahblahblah, I am absolutely not an expert, but I would suggest you to search on this forum for QDHair Beauty. It is a website selling custom made topper around $300. I am planning myself to buy my first topper there.
    Good luck
     
  6. Lily

    Lily Senior Member

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    I have been wearing a clip- on topper for about 5 years after unsuccessfully treating my Androgenetic Alopecia with everything out there and then some. I just paid $800 for a custom topper which included the cut in. It was dyed to match my bio hair (which is also colored since I'm very gray) but not permed. So $2800 seems like a lot to me. Rotating the clips is very simple since they are sewn in and easily removed and restitched. If I'm around the house I often undo a couple of the clips esp. the one in front since I feel there is the most tension there. With my first toppers I had 4 clips, now 6 which I think is better. I'm fairly active - exercise, walking, golf, yoga - and none of those present a problem. The golf visor does the trick and for yoga I wear a headband or fold a bandana in a strip and tie it around my head, knotted at the nape of my neck. I'm not a real water bug but did buy a cute (sorta) cloth cap that works well. It will work when I snorkel on our next trip. Amy's Presence makes a wig for sports activities but I've never seen it or tried it on- supposed to look good when you come out of the water, once it dries. The facial and massage are doable but you would have to be upfront with the provider. When I transitioned to wearing hair, I told a partial truth - that I had a new hairdresser who did a much better job of cutting and coloring my hair. In retrospect I would say something like "I have a genetic condition that hasn't been kind to my hair and decided to help Mother Nature out a bit." We just did a Western Med cruise with lots of walking, wind etc. I had to perk up my topper afterwards with a spritz of water, some Velcro rollers and a hair dryer. We own a boat and frankly wind directly in my face is the worst problem. With a clip-on topper the edge is not at all natural looking and I don't have enough bio hair in my bangs to conceal it when it blows straight back. The visor works best here - my stylist (from whom I purchased my toppers and who has been working with hair replacement clients for 20 years) and I are going to try something with tape to see if we can find a solution since we will be going on a cruise again next year which will involve hiking, snorkeling and wind on a ship. I alternate toppers, bought two new ones recently and one is my "clean" "dress" topper and the other I wear to do yoga in and walk with my group. I have some older ones that I use for golf since a lot of sun fades the color. I have never ordered on line because I ordered directly from the stylist who also was trained to do a cut in. Cutting a wig or topper isn't like a regular haircut so you want someone who is experienced in dealing with hair pieces. I will be glad to help in anyway I can so PM me if you like and I can send you my email.
     
  7. mycurlyhair

    mycurlyhair Experienced Member

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    Blahblah, We are neighbors!:) Lost, I didnt know there was a well known shop in CT! Do you think they are as good as Flora?
     
  8. Joann

    Joann Moderator

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    Hi B,

    I agree with Lily. That's a lot of money even if they are doing a custom for you.

    Unfortunately in the hair business there are too many wig salon owners or replacement centres that overcharge for what they are giving you. I learned that the hard way myself. Especially when you are new to the whole process and you're at the point that you really need to supplement your bio hair.

    Sometimes you pay the high price as I did just to be able to go in, try them on and get something that you can wear. As time has gone on I know what styles and colours I can wear. I order online. I have bought several wigs from Kathy long distance. I'm in Toronto. I have also bought a short human hair wig from Flora long distance as well. It was a 1,000 less than the price you've been given for your topper.

    I'm not sure where you're located in CT. Kathy is in Waterbury. You can send me a PM for her address if it is driveable for you. I can give you the link to her online store just to give you an idea of what she carries in the way of toppers:

    http://www.galleryofwigs.com/ecommerce/catalogsearch/result/?q=Toppers

    I would also take Lily's kind offer to PM her for help. (Thanks Lily :) )

    As to how to deal with the transition here is the inspirational story of a good friend of mine who I first met on the NAAF boards. She was a member here as well:

    http://www.heralopecia.com/interact/showthread.php/604-New-member-s-story

    Remember we're all here to help you with this transition. It's not an easy step to move into hair that is not all your own but you do reach a point when it becomes part of your daily routine.

    Hugs,
    Joann
     
  9. Josie's mom

    Josie's mom Guest

    Hi...well live and learn I guess. I bought 2 toppers for my daughter at the same place, both really expensive, the first 2800 and the secnond 2400...they weren't even silk tops from what I can see, they were more like a mesh. The first one lasted 6 months and then we had to start needling more hair in and color it. After 8 months it was no longer patchable. The second one lasted two months, she went to a water park and when she came back it was tangled beyond repair...some hair also got stuck under the cap :/. Luckily her hair had regrown to a place that she could leave it as is, she was just starting highbschool, she would have prefered to have thicker and longer hair...but...
    I am still waiting for a reimbursement.
    And yeah the clips do hurt after a while but they are super simpleto change around.
    When I went to buy the topper I had no clue what I was looking for, had never faced hair loss before... hair was going fast and we needed something soon. So I went to a reputable place that offered many different options for hairloss of any kind. The guy simply said...ok this is what you need and this is the cost. I just said ok. He ordered, received, we went back for the initial styling and voilà, very beautiful even if color a bit yack but we colored it.
    I really didn't think I had other options, I felt better physically going to a salon vs buying online and close to home well there are not that many options. I found this site recently and did I ever learn...from others experience I see that I can get a beautiful, probably better quality hair topper online for more than half less the price. I have a very active teenager, so for sports it is either bandanas over her hair to keep the topper in place or for other sports she has to put on a helmet so I don't expect the toppers to last overly long so I will absolutely never pay that amount of money again.
     
  10. Lost

    Lost Guest

    This is who I was talking about !! THANKS Joann :) D.
     
  11. verbatim

    verbatim Guest

    Hi Josies!
    Sorry for your experience. Im pretty sure the topper wasnt remy hair. That's why after a water park day it turned tangled everywhere.
    Please ladies, if you are going to pay about 2.800 dollars for a topper get assure: virgin remy hair (that means one donnor = one topper, and the ventilation tips with tips, roots wiht roots).

    People use to think virgin means no dyed hair, but in my two years experience, most of chinese vendors mix hair of different people and call it remy. It doesnt matter the ventilation tips-tips roots-roots if hair comes from different people with different textures and differente cuticle shape...
     
  12. styling products

    I appreciate all the wonderful advice and comments. Got 1st topper yesterday. Beautiful match. But it is too flat. It needs some volume. The bangs won't stay out of my eyes. What products can I use? Can I tease it? How can I make it look more natural...more like me?
     
  13. Lily

    Lily Senior Member

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    Have you styled it yet. My hairdresser gives my topper a shampoo and conditioning when I come in for a cut and color. She blows the topper dry (on my head) then uses a flat iron. She gives it volume in the way she works the iron.
     
  14. styling products

    What is the difference between a flat iron and a curling iron?
     
  15. brambles92

    brambles92 New Member

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    A flat iron generally means a straightener, although if you use it a certain way (by twisting it as you pull down), you can create waves/curls/add more volume to the hair. I've never been able to perfect the method personally though hahaa. A curling iron is usually the type that has a barrel of various sizes that you wrap the hair around to create a curl.
     

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