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My Kiki Topper

Discussion in 'Styling & Hair Care Tips for AGA Sufferers' started by Peony, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. Peony

    Peony Guest

    Hi Everyone,
    Just wanted to give you all an update on my topper situation and my new Kiki topper. I am very happy with it, and I have to tell you, it looks great! After agonizing over cutting bangs into it (the rim just could not be disguised w/out bangs, unlike my much inferior louis ferre toppiece, which somehow magically looked okay w/out bangs), I went for it and I am not dissapointed. This post might be kind of long, but I wanted to pass along all information that I can to you guys.

    I have been wearing a toppiece since May of this year, and my life has gotten so much better that I encourage everyone out there that is experiencing progressive hair loss to go out and get a toppiece before it is evident to the people in your life--you CAN pull it off and you will be so much less paranoid and unhappy that it is worth the occasional problems associated with wearing hair. No matter what, this is better than suffering with toppik every day. NO MATTER WHAT. If I had accepted this and started wearing hair three years ago, I can't tell you how much of a difference it might have made in my life--alleviating a lot of the depression, anguish and general poor self esteem that kept me emotionally and occasionally physically shut inside myself during the height of my 20's.

    The Kiki is an oval base, about 6 inches by 4 inches, and I have to tell you, ordering it with an oval base wass somewhat of a mistake. It still works, but when I order another one, it will be round, probably 6 inches, like Merry's. The oval base limits my ability to part the topper on the side, and while it does limit the overall poufiness of the piece on top, I probably need the additional coverage of a round toppiece in the future. We'll see...maybe a 6 inch by 5 inch oval next time.

    A note about the base--it is nice and breatheable, but not as thin as some of the toppieces out there. But at the same time, it seems quite sturdy and thus able to support the long silky hair attached to it. It has been suggested to me that I could bond this piece with a couple of modifications, and while it is not as thin as some of the hair systems out there, it might not need to be replaced every 3 months in order to look good. Only time will tell, as I investigate bonded pieces. But so far, nothing with a feather light base has had the kind of hair on it that this kiki piece boasts.

    The hair quality is superb. It is fine, smooth, and silky, and has an amazing movement to it. The best reason to go to Brooklyn directly to their office is to get a perfect match for color and texture for your hair--otherwise, if you order over the phone/by mail, I would send a lock of your hair so that they can match it.

    The scalp--is almost perfect. It is amazing. My last topper was only slightly convincing, but this one is difficult to identify from even inches away. With the bangs, my part looks completely real. It's awesome.

    My biggest mistake was ordering my toppiece too long. I thought that I wanted long hair, but 18" was truly ridiculous. Not only did the extra length cost me an additional 200 dollars at least, I found that I don't even look good in hair that long. After agonizing over cutting it, I decided that I would never be able to pull off that long, gorgeous hair (even if i grew my own underneath six inches to match), because I could never have grown it, even as a child. It would have drawn too much attention to my hair, also--but it was beautiful. It was hard to cut it to shoulder length, but I realized that I had to do it, and no regrets.

    BANGS--(no, we're not obsessive)

    I have not worn bangs since I was at least 13 (think curling iron and hairspray, mid 80's woo hoo!), and fringe bangs make me look about 13 (I tried them with a throwaway piece), so I had some serious issues with changing my hair style...for the past 10 years, I've worn my hair parted on the side (increasingly combed over as the years went on) in part b/c I didn't have enough hair for bangs. But after watching 6 feet under intently this season, I decided that I wanted bangs just like Claire, and they look awesome...long and parted a bit to the side, sweeping across my face with a kind of 70's style wings. They hide the rim really well, and make my face look much softer.

    I am going to take pics and I'll post them on wig support when I can...have to have a friend take digital pics soon--I'll let you know.

    Issues that I see--I wore my old toppiece swimming and to the water park, and I managed to keep it on my head and looking okay...the new kiki is much further back on my head from my hairline than the old one, and I have yet to test it in the water--I will get in the shower soon with the piece on and see if I can detect the rim when the bangs are wet and update you guys, as well...

    The other big problem is the clips--as anyone who has thin hair knows, wearing a piece with those damn toupee clips can be painful. The lady at Amy's of Denmark tells me that I wear it too tightly clipped to my head, but honestly, if it is not tightly clipped on, it can move around and thus look fake. I got a little bald spot (now growing back) from the hair getting pulled out at a pressure point, so the trick is to a) use a lot of clips to distribute the pressure of the piece evenly on your hair and b) change the location of the clips on the piece every month or so.

    Sorry for the length. Of course, if anyone has questions let me know.
     
  2. bayareagirl

    bayareagirl Established Member

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    Hi,

    Thanks so much for the update! And congratulations on getting your kiki piece.

    I am thinking about ordering a LF top piece (4001) from Kathy on wig support. I'm having kittens just thinking about it but feel I want to get my hands on something just to see what's out there.

    Would you say that buying your LF piece as a first piece was a good idea? I feel I don't want to launch straight into getting a kiki piece even though everyone raves about the hair because I know NOTHING about wearing toppers and would rather scr*w up on a less expensive piece.

    Any opinions greatly received!
    Kate
     
  3. Peony

    Peony Guest

    Hi again,
    The LF is the perfect starter piece because it is such a good price. After wearing it for a few months (I got it in May and just switched to the kiki), in the sun/a bit of chlorine it was starting to get a bit frizzy, and my hair started to grow out, so I needed a new piece if I didn't want to cut my hair. But if I hadn't gotten the kiki or didn't have the cash for it, I would have gotten another LF topper and been quite happy with it.

    What color is your hair? How do you wear it styled? Remember that while you may be able to get away with not having bangs with the LF (this probably only works with a dramatic side part), you pretty much have to have bangs to cover up a topper rim really well...The kiki topper was impossible to wear w/out bangs, it was almost good enough but not quite. VA girl suggested putting a piece of flesh toned fabric under the part of the LF to make it look more skin-toned--I didn't find it made too much difference, but my hair color is darker so that might be it.

    So the LF is definitely a good way to go. Remember that it will probably not look right on you just out of the box...wash your own hair, and then blow it dry before trying on the new piece. play around with it, and make sure to set it back a bit from your natural hairline and try to blend the front in. Washing it helps, but you have to be sure that you want to keep it if you're going to wash it. Take it to a wig shop and have it cut into your hair--even if your hair is all one length now, it will look better if it is integrated.

    good luck! keep us posted.
     
  4. bayareagirl

    bayareagirl Established Member

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    Hi Peony,

    Thanks so much for the advice on both my threads. My hair is light brown with lots of blond highlights, so Kathy has suggested a spring honey colour. I do already wear bangs so perhaps that'll be a plus for me in all of this - they are a bit thin and wispy so I actually think I'd look better getting topper bangs cut in to add a bit of volume.

    I'd happily spend the cash right now on a Kiki topper but feel I have a learning curve to deal with in all of this if you know what I mean.

    Do you feel people have noticed a difference in your hair? Was it difficult to step outside wearing a topper in the real world? Do you feel at ease now wearing your kiki?

    My mind is racing ahead to that moment and I'm way too conscious of what people will think.
    Kate
     
  5. Peony

    Peony Guest

    hey Kate,
    of course, i was as paranoid as you. but the first time i wore my LF topper, i went out w/my boyfriend, and at the end of the evening, I asked if he could tell i was wearing a piece, and he said only a little b/c of the color. the trick is to get a short new haircut w/the piece so that you can honestly say, "i got a haircut, it was about time!" and not think anything of it. people might look more closely and wonder--and if they look at pics of me from 4 years ago they'll definitely wonder pretty hard--but who cares, b/c i look SO much better and am SO much more confident.

    it is almost as if as soon as my head was covered and looking good, i didn't care so much about my hair problems...if someone asked, i'd tell them, whereas before i was so ashamed, all the time. the bangs are definitely a different look

    reason to consider just going for the kiki--more convincing scalp, so you don't have some time in between with super thick hair....but it is a good piece to play with and get comfortable with.
     
  6. bayareagirl

    bayareagirl Established Member

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    Thanks Peony. Although I've been considering all this for a while, actually taking the step is still a new idea. But I know that you and others on this site have reported feeling so much better about hair thinning once you've found a cosmetic solution.

    Well, I'll report back what happens.

    Kate
     
  7. Peony

    Peony Guest

    remember that people notice differences in your hair, so the more different you make it, the less it will be about the amount of hair and more about the new color/cut/length. go shorter with the LF and then let your hair grow out and get a kiki--that is what i've done and i'm pretty sure that noone has a clue unless i tell them (or unless they have thinning hair--we're the only people who really notice these things).
     
  8. bayareagirl

    bayareagirl Established Member

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    Thanks Peony.

    My hair is about chin length - it's too thin to grow beyond this. Do you think the LF topper will work ok with this?

    Oh for the days of my childhood when it was way past my shoulders ....

    Moving on!
    Kate
     
  9. Peony

    Peony Guest

    The LF 4001 is pretty much chin length, so it should do the job nicely (and cost under $200). I think it will work perfectly--maybe get it cut to a cute short pageboy, touseled with flowy bangs to make the initial change work--you should also think about getting the piece highlighted with blonde like you have now, might make it look more multi-dimentional. The flesh colored cloth trick will probably help w/the scalp color for light colored hair, too--i cut up the inside of an old flesh-toned bra. I think a chin length kiki for your purposes should cost you around $1000 when you are ready--maybe a bit less. I know you will feel so much better! The most important thing, I'm realizing, is to not let the hairmare keep you down. There's not much you can really do about it other than find a way to get on with your life--and i know that for me, walking around bald is not going to happen. So, get something that looks great on you and move on. You're still better off than about 5 1/2 billion+ people in the world... perspective is key.
     
  10. Merry

    Merry Guest

    Kiki Toppers

    Hi Peony - I'm so happy for you that you are enjoying your new Kiki topper. When my hairloss began, I didn't wait, I ran to have the best toppers made that I could.....it really gives you back your self confidence and lifestyle! Just a couple comments for those who might be contemplating a topper......I agree that the base should be a little larger. Mine is kind of a roundish oval.....about 6 1/2 inches from front to back and almost 5 3/4 inches from side to side. I have six clips in mine and there is no problem with pulling out hair. I really only need to use about 4 at a time. The pieces wash beautifully and are almost tangle free. Just don't soak them in water. I ordered mine in medium density but told them to really cover that front edge well with hair. My second one would have worked well even without bangs. Remember, a great cut is key to making the topper look realistic. I'm getting ready to order one in a little bit darker color for winter.....I'll have Nechama at Kiki add some chemical highlights this time too. Take care and have a nice Sunday, Merry
     
  11. Peony

    Peony Guest

    Hey Merry, thanks for the info. I have a couple of questions--about how long are the pieces lasting for you? They seem pretty sturdy, but it would be good to know how long to expect it to last. Also, is the density what makes the piece work w/out bangs? She didn't even really ask me about what density I wanted when I went into her shop, but I think it would be helpful to have a bit more up front. Have you thought about bonding with them?
     
  12. Merry

    Merry Guest

    Kiki Toppers

    Morning Peony! I am in the process of selecting hair to have my third Kiki topper made. Yes, you can choose density. I will order medium to medium light, but get that front edge covered really well. If for some reason you can really see that front edge, you can send it to Nechama and they are able to add more hair to cover.....but if you've cut bangs into it, it probably looks great. I wear sort of swoop bangs over to the side. Actually, not many of these toppers look really natural without some wisps of bangs. Do you have any hairline left at all? Mine is very thin, but I fill it in with Toppik before I attatch the piece just behind my hairline. From my experience, a Kiki topper should look really good for almost 2 years.....I wash mine every two weeks. The color has held up really well. I take care of mine like they were my children! Be gentle when you wash it.....sometimes washing it while it is on a styrofoam head will help keep the hair running in all the same direction. Use a good conditioner and it should comb out with no problem. I put in a little mousse and then I let mine air dry til almost dry, then blowdry with a large round brush. It holds the body and wave to the hair for at least a week. Then I spritz with water and use round brush and blowdryer for a minute or two and she is ready for another week before I wash again. They are truely the best toppers I've ever had and I've been wearing toppers for 4 1/2 years now. I would LOVE to see pics of you when she is all cut in and styled! So happy for you....now get on with it and enjoy the day! Fondly, Merry
     
  13. Merry

    Merry Guest

    Kiki and Bonding

    Peony, one more thing....

    I have enough hair on top of my head for clips, so I have not considered bonding. I have diffuse Alopecia Areata and lose lots of hair from nape and sides also....so as this continues I might have to shave the whole head in the months/years to come. I just want to use my toppers for as long as possible as I HATE full wigs. Merry
     
  14. dorothy

    dorothy Guest

    Hey Merry and Peony-- Just had a question about Kiki. How long do you think the Kiki topper would last if it was bonded?
    Dorothy
    I think I am going to go up to NYC to order one but I want to make sure I get one that is bondable. There is a lady in my area that knows how to bond and she could do the maintenance. I am just leary because the places where I have had consults have told me that bonded pieces wear out fast-- you will need at least 2 a year, and 3-4 with the thinner more realistic looking options.
     
  15. Merry

    Merry Guest

    Kiki Topper and Bonding

    Hi Dorothy ~ Well, I would certainly agree that if one bonded on a piece it would not last nearly as long......here's why. First of all, I wash my piece every two weeks. If it were on my head, I'd probably wash it every other day. Also, I very rarely sleep in my pieces......if it were bonded, I would sleep in it every night. Also, I do not know if the base material that Kiki used is suitable for bonding. I'm sure, if you knew what type of material is used for bonding, that they might be able to make you a piece.....but it would not last as long. Let us know what you decide. Take care, Merry
     
  16. Prini

    Prini Guest

    Hi

    Guess I'm pretty lucky to live fifteen minutes from Kiki's so it looks like that's the place. There's another place called Claires on Avenue M in Brooklyn, anyone hear of it??

    I called Kiki's on Monday, and asked the girl about Toppers, she acted like she didn't know what it was. I said, perhaps it's called fillins (I wasn't sure), and she said it takes six weeks to make up. They have them in the store too. Is ordering one custom the better way to go? I would think so.
    I would never order a wig or topper over the Internet. I feel it's like shoes, should be put on your feet then walk!

    Thanks for all the important information Peony.Also, someone else told me that Remy Hair is the way to go.

    Thanks again.

    Prini
     
  17. Merry

    Merry Guest

    Toppers

    Hi Prini - If you go to Kiki, call ahead and make an appointment with Nechama. Talk to her directly before you go. She knows what a topper is.....use my name, Merry, and she will know. Now, I would guess that she has never sold one to a customer who bonded it on....so in a previous post I said just be sure that the base material is suitable for bonding if that is the route you will take. Kiki uses european hair....which is caucasian hair.....and it is definitely the best hair you can buy....far different from remy hair which is processed Indian or Asian hair.....remy hair is better than non-remy however, because the cuticle is left on the hair which is very important. And yes, I have used Claire's Accuhair.....I've not found any better hair, anywhere, but the cost will be at least $2,000 for a topper and I didn't like the cap construction as much.... you can get a Kiki for half or less. Hope this helps, Merry
     
  18. Peony

    Peony Guest

    Hey Prini,
    Visiting kiki wasn't quite the nurturing experience I was hoping for, but it was okay. Nechama said something like, "you girls always look so good" when I came in, and took off the LF I was wearing. It was kind of awkward, and there wasn't much for me to try on (no toppers in the store, only custom order), but the hair felt great and the scalp on the wigs they had looked great, so I figured what the hell. They are located in a very orthodox part of town, and make wigs for all of the orthodox ladies. If you want great hair, go to kiki, no doubt. Can't wait to hear how it goes!
     
  19. Prini

    Prini Guest

    Peony, the store is located in Boro Park, very religious Jewish section. I'm Jewish, but not Orthodox or nearly half as religious as the people there. I always look at the women in amazement, especially during the summer with the hot wigs and long skirts. I also try to figure out who has a wig on, because some of the youngER girl's are not wearing them. I joke to myself maybe I should move there, I'd certainly fit in :lol:
    What's a LF?


    Merry, do you live in New York? There's two Nechama's at Kiki, but I will drop your name when I go in. Thank you.
    I don't think I'll be bonding it, - I don't really know, I'm in the VERY early stage with toppers and wigs, but I had hair loss for six years. I probably will go to the store this winter. I will be going alone, so I'm a little intimated, but I'll be okay.
    I'm thinking I'll check Claire's out as well, it can't hurt.

    Thanks so much!!

    Prini
     
  20. Merry

    Merry Guest

    Kiki Topper

    Hi Prini - Yes, there are two Nechama's. One is the secretary/receptionist....but you want the owner! Take care, Merry
     

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