Help! How do I choose a hair topper or wig?
Honestly (and this isn't a cop-out answer), there isn't a "right" answer—many people can wear and look great in both wigs and hair toppers!
In many instances, it comes down to personal preference and it may even be dependent on the occasion or weather as well. Here is everything you need to know about wigs and hair toppers to help you make the right choice for you.
But first, what is the difference? What is a wig vs. hair topper?
A wig is a hair piece that covers your entire head of hair.
Wigs allow you to wear a hair piece that is different from your natural hair color and wigs also provide more full coverage for your scalp. Wigs are ideal for women with advanced stages of hair loss or women who are bald.
You can wear most wigs without any clips, which you may consider if you don't like clips or you have a sensitive scalp. Some women feel that the clips in hair toppers can cause traction hair loss, which pushes them to opt for wigs instead.
A hair topper covers just the top of your head and adds volume and density to your own hair.
You might think of a hair topper as a push-up bra for your hair! Hair toppers are essentially clip-in hair extensions that have an additional area covering the top of your head. Hair toppers are perfect for women with hair loss concentrated at their crown and parting.
Hair toppers are lighter and less dense compared to wigs - they provide partial coverage for women who have early to advanced stages of hair loss.
What factors should I consider when deciding whether a wig or topper is right for me?
Here are some things to consider:
1. Does your hair match the color of the hair piece?
As mentioned above, if you plan to wear a hair piece that is more than one shade darker or lighter in color than your natural hair, it is usually best to shop for a wig. You may be able to blend slight differences (e.g. you can wear a dark brown topper with black hair), but if you want it to look at natural as possible, wigs are recommended.
In addition, if you have curly hair and don't want to style your natural hair every day (which, let's face it, is a big pro of wearing hair pieces!), wigs are probably more suitable. Most hair toppers usually dry straight or slightly wavy, which may not blend as well with natural hair that has more texture.
2. What time of year is better for your hair piece?
Because wigs cover more of your head and tend to have higher hair density, they are definitely hotter than hair toppers! Many women choose to wear hair toppers in the summertime and save their wigs for cooler weather.
If you live in a hotter climate, you may want to opt for a hair topper or lower density wig. If you are looking for a wig that will be a little cooler, you may consider a lace wig versus a silk top because there is less material in the cap construction!
3. How do you feel about hair pieces that require clips?
Hair toppers are typically fastened onto your head with clips (similar to clip-in hair extensions). Some women may find this irritating or painful, especially if they have a sensitive or oily scalp, or more overall thinning hair.
If you find that your clips are slipping around and pulling, you can try using a hair powder in the area that you are clipping into. Hair powders help absorb the oils and make your hair topper stay put (we recommend the Kristen Ess Styling Powder).
If you find clips to still be painful, wigs may be a better option for you as there are more options that don't require clipping in. Many wigs can be worn without clips and stay put with just a good fit and a wig grip!
What is the best for thinning hair: hair topper or wig?
Most people when starting out with early stages of hair thinning, hair loss, or alopecia opt for a silk top hair topper because it is the easiest to blend and has the most realistic hairline. Silk top hair toppers are best for women with hair loss who have a stronger hairline and their hair loss is concentrated at their parting and crown.
If your hair loss is more noticeable at your hairline, you may want to opt for a lace front hair topper or wig, as traditional silk top hair toppers require your own hair to blend a natural hairline and hide the transition between the topper and your natural hair. A lace front or lace top hair topper or wig comes with a natural looking hairline, which won't require any blending, but may require some taping or gluing down.
If you are at a more advanced stage of hair loss or completely bald, you will likely want to opt for a wig. Many wigs have comfort cap constructions intended for medical hair loss with softer materials and silicone linings.
How do I know my topper will cover my area of hair loss?
When choosing the hair topper that is right for you, you must first measure your head to make sure you get the correct base size.
When you have the correct sizing, the topper will look the most natural and feel the most comfortable on your head. You're unlikely to get any traction pulling or hair loss as long as your hair topper fits correctly!