Why I Chose a Wig Over a Bonded or Clip-In Topper & Other Wiggy Inquiries

by admin on August 1, 2012

A gal from The WHLP sent me an email that asked some questions that seem to be on a lot of ladies’ minds, so I’m going to answer her questions here :)

What Stage Is My Hair Loss? I consider my hair loss advanced, but still passable in the world. I started off with A LOT of hair, my bio hair had more density than my wig actually has so I’ve luckily been able to get by year after year still looking like a person with “ok” hair and then eventually maybe just looking like a gal with naturally thin hair. This past year it sort of crossed that threshold into real super sparseness that I couldn’t completely conceal my hair loss in the way I had been doing in the years prior. Having said that,  I can still wear my bio hair in a ponytail and go to the grocery store and for the most part nobody would be none the wiser, except for another thinning hair gal perhaps. If I washed my hair, blow dried it, pumped it up with volumizing products and then flat ironed it, it would probably be still “acceptable” hair by many people’s standards. To me, it’s yucky, crappy, stringy good for nuthin’ hair that I’m tired of being a prisoner to.

Why Did I Decide To Go With a Full Wig Rather Than a Topper? The clip-in topper was never an option because my hair is too thin and fragile to withstand the pressure of the clips, even though topper clips are typically very small they still cause me quite a bit of discomfort, so that was out. This issue was rearing it’s ugly head  yet again when I was looking at wigs, because wigs are typically kept in place with the use of clips and combs (or glue) as well. Only I found the situation to be worse with a wig because the wig is heavier than the topper adding even more pressure and discomfort. Thankfully I found the WiGrip so that saved me and my sanity.

So the question really is why did I choose a full wig over a bonded topper? I have seen enough bonded toppers in the WHLP network to know that when they are done right, they are amazing, but they also require the guts to shave the top part of your head. I personally think if you’re going to bond, the best way to have it done is on a clean shaved surface, and while you can bond to the top of your hair, I think that would tug your bio hair and be way more messy and frustrating. Also the topper hair wouldn’t lay as flat and naturally as it could if it was on a bald surface. If I was a braver person I would have just gone for it, but alas I’m a chicken and couldn’t make that chicken leap to bonded-hair-landia. So it was either wait until I get the moxi to bond, or start looking at WIGS. I honestly never thought I could or would wear a wig, I think I had some massive negative image built up in my mind about it – like an image with a granny in a rocking chair knitting, whose crown is covered by a powered gray wig.  You know THAT kind of wig, I was about to bust out my rocking chair when I realized that good wigs are pretty earth shatteringly wonderful.

I was able (surprisingly) to emotionally accept wearing a wig, being a “wig wearer.” I am now able to see all the pluses it has where before I only saw the negatives. The wigs have one negative for me, I am not able to wear them comfortably to workout in. I’m talking about a hardcore sweat to the bone type workout, not like jazzercise at the YMCA. I could definitely wear the wig for jazzercizing :) This *shouldn’t* technically be an issue for me since I still *can* wear a ponytail and headband and go out into the world to get my sweat on, but a funny thing happened when I started wearing my wig… I started to never want to be without it when I was outside my home, ever. I wake up brush my teeth and put on my wig, I go to bed brush my teeth and brush HER hair. It’s routine. The wig makes me feel whole again, makes me realize I’m still alive… it gave me back my life. So I joke that my wig is making me fat because ever since I got it I have not gone to the gym once!  Finally, last week I woke up and broke routine, I put my hair in a ponytail and let the “girls” have the morning off. I worked out, it was fine, I survived, all is well.

Yes you can technically work out in a wig, it’s just not something I’m comfortable with at this point. But bonded hair… oh sweet bonded hair, it’s BONDED so that hair is going with you wherever you go no matter what. You get to “live” in your hair, sleep in it, shower in it and enjoy it every moment of the day. That’s the beauty and allure of the bonded hair. I thought I would never be happy till I was a proud member of the WHLP bonding team! But I have found much peace and happiness in wigs. I like the ease of them, the versatility, and I like being able to take my hair off at night if I’m tired of it :) I enjoy choosing whether I’m going to have shorter or longer hair on any given day. Eventually I will probably have different colors and then I’ll make that choice as part of my getting ready for the day routine. Black blouse, dark denim, sexy sandals, and red hair… no blonde, no red… get my drift? Each day I grow leaps and bounds in my acceptance of wearing a wig, and as time progresses and I get even more comfortable, and once I’ve informed my whole family of my new wig life, (all of them except my parents who I told, still have not realized I’m wearing a wig) I will begin to be more bold with it.

So why did a choose a full wig? Because I’m a chicken. That’s the short answer.  LOL, but I’m glad I did, it was the right step for me. I also feel that in time if I do choose to dip my toes into bonded-hair-landia that I will feel even more secure in making that leap because I will know if it doesn’t turn out well for me that I can always just go back to wigs. There is a lot of comfort in that.

What Do I Do With My Bio Hair When I’m Wearing the Wig? I just leave my hair as is underneath the wig. The way I do it is, I make a ponytail (holding it in my hands) and then comb down the front part of my hair, sort of in a way like I was going to have some Zooey Deschanel bangs (only minus ALL the density) Then I tie the ponytail once I’ve separated the front “bangs.” I tie the WiGrip around my head and then let my hair out of the ponytail. That’s it. It ends up looks like a 60′s type hairstyle with the headband. I then put on the wig and leave it a little distance back from where it will reside and I part my own hair, that section I pulled out earlier, and I match the part of the wig to the part I made on my own hair and bring the wig forward to lay directly on and slightly behind my hairline. You can see it more clearly in this video: http://www.womenshairlossproject.com/wigs/wheres-your-hair-wheres-the-wig/

Did I Have To Cut My Hair When  I Started Wearing a Wig? I didn’t have to cut my hair because my hair was a tiny bit shorter than my wig, If it was longer than my wig, then yes I would have definitely needed to give my own hair a bit of a trim (which it needs anyways). I can probably let it grow an inch beyond the wig, but after that I’d be pushing it because my hair looks very thin compared to the wig hair so I think it would stand out.

How Long Is My Bio Hair? My bio hair is just about the same length as my medium Lifestyle wig, I’ll embed a video from a different post showing this.

If I missed any questions, please feel free to ask and I’ll add them to a round 2 of Q & A for a future post.

Happy Wednesday!

XOXO

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine August 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Thanks for the info! Reading this felt like I was reading a description of my own hair. I am right there with you. I’m getting to the point of wanting to check out wigs/toppers (not sure which will work best for me yet), but am scared of the initial wig shopping experience. Hearing about your experience is really encouraging! Thank you so much for sharing it! :)

Mycurlyhair August 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm

You really are a inspiration!! I am really new to this site so sorry if this has been answered…What type of HL to you have and also, does everyone know you wear a wig? You really have no problems for comfort with “her” with having your own hair under?

suki August 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm

love being along for your ride (while working on one of my own) wherever it takes you. thanks so much for sharing all this. knowledge is power!

lizzib4u August 2, 2012 at 7:07 am

Thanks so much for showing us your wig experience. You really look great. I do have my reservations though. Don’t you find the wig takes awhile to get used to0? I am not sure if you experienced this, but I found trouble wearing a wig because it was too much volume of hair. My hair was short and already on the thinner side. I never could get used to having that much hair. My hairdresser cut it two times, but it stil did not look natural. I tried to incorporate my own hair in it too, but it was not doing it for me. You are lucky. You must have long hair and your thinning hair is probably nowhere near mine. When you have short hair it becomes a challange. My hair loss is not only thinning on the top, but now is starting to show up on the sides and back of my hair. Did you have an option of different thickness of hair?

phillygrl August 2, 2012 at 8:39 am

Having a horrible morning until I read your new entry ! Thank u Thank u for getting me through another day ! :D :D
Just when I think Im the only one with these crazy thoughts and routines I read your site and I swear it’s like you are my separated at birth twin ! haha ONLY now you are free and Im still waiting for…..what?? I go to bed each night, after another day of making excuses to not leave the house, and I get all cocky and SWEAR that Im going to go to a wig store and get “started” ….but then the morning comes and “bawk-bawk” chicken out again !
I will try not to bombard you with too many questions when I finally go ! Its so frustrating because Ive always been a strong person, a rock for eveyone else, but this hair thing has brought me to my knees !
Thanks again for finding your answer but not abandoning this site. You help more than you can imagine :D XOXOXOXO
P.S. Is that picture one of your “girls”?

EllieBrooknix:) August 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Hey Girl, thanx 4 ur post! I’ve done the shave thing ever since i started wearin hair. I just couldn’t stand cryin, watchin, and seein all the hair fall like a heavy rain. My hair was similar could getta way w a pony. The sufferin from watchin a head full of hair enough for a family of five shed for years was more than i could take. I had it shaved, put in small ponies so i can use it to make a wig outta when i have the funds. It made the wigs stay on snuggly, but no option 4 not wearin hair when ur head is shaved ha-ha:) gone to the trash snd almost left 4 work a few mornins wout my hair on:) i too like the option of takin that dang hair off sometimes! I’ve heard from lots hair wearin gals those clips are like torture:( i’ve also heard bonded hair smells awful after a while and the glue is messy and stinkie, don’t know if thats true. The wigs r way comfortable and when their not, you are able to go home and pull the darn thing off, so u can think:)
Thanx so much for ur website!!!! U rock:)

Jen August 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Thank you for posting this! It is perfect timing! I just got my WiGrip in the mail today, and was curious how you use it. Your description is really helpful! I’m trying to get used to the idea of getting a wig. I figured getting the WiGrip is the first step, so I’m ready when I go on my first wig shopping trip once I get the courage. Hopefully soon. It is so hard to come to terms with losing my hair, especially since I have had very thin hair my whole life. To now start losing it just seems cruel. I have always struggled with my hair since I was a kid, constantly trying to add volume and keep it from looking so limp. I now have added hiding the balding spots to my morning routine. But, I feel as though I have come a long way in the past year since officially being diagnosed with androgenic alopecia. I feel as though there is something I can do about it instead of just feeling hopeless. It is so great to see that there are solutions out there that look awesome and are actually possible. Before, wigs just seemed overwhelming and out of reach. Thank you so much for sharing all of your experiences. It is so helpful to know wearing a wig is not only possible, but can look fantastic!

Tania August 3, 2012 at 8:46 am

I so admire you for adressing this topic. As you know I have a blog and I would really like to talk about it, but I have not really found the nerve. Yesterday, I talked about menopuase and how it causes thinning hair and that’s as far as I have been able to go. I go back and forth with my wigs. Somedays I’m fine. Other days, not so much. Right now, I am dealing with a positive and a negative (or challenge). The positive, as I have gotten older (48), I don’t have the patience for all the hair-preparing things I have done since I was 13 or 14 years old, so the wigs allows me to just plop one on a go. The challenge, on any given day, when I feel that I look cute in my wig I don’t like having to come home and take it off. I still want to look cute while walking around my house with my husband (and other actvities :) , nd having to pull the wig off (to preserve it) makes me feel like I lose my sexy -so to speak. I heard P Diddy say that once ;) . Anyway, I have started to experiment with scarves around the house, but still not altogether satisfied. Hey, glad to have found some good wigs though and feel normal when I go out, so I’m grateful for the victories!

admin August 5, 2012 at 11:10 am

@Christine – I’m so glad to hear the post has helped you! It is a bit intimidating to even think about the process of looking for a wig, I think if you can enlist a trusted person to come along it will help greatly and also finding the right wig place is key in making sure your experience is a positive one.

@Mycurlyhair – I have androgenetic alopecia, aka female pattern hair loss. Up until yesterday the only people that knew I wore a wig was my parents and 2 close friends. As of yesterday I decided to include my brothers in on this little secret I’ve been keeping. I have no comfort problems at all, and my own hair is pretty thin (Albeit still enough that I could wear ponytail out of the house and not draw any odd stares) so it doesn’t cause me any discomfort being under my wigs. If i had a lot of hair still it might make it bulkier which could possibly be hotter and perhaps cause some discomfort.

@Suki – :) Indeed, knowledge IS power

@lizzib4u – I think getting used to wearing a wig definitely takes time, but if you have the right wig for you I think that duration of time will be a lot less than if you had a wig you were forcing to try to make it work. We fight enough with our own bio hair, we shouldn’t have to fight with the hair we buy. I know what you are talking bout in regards to a wig having too much hair. The wigs I wear are a very light type density which I love. Some companies pack way too much hair into their wigs, but even if you do get a wig that is too voluminous you can always take it to a skilled wig stylist and have it professionally thinned out. A regular hair stylist would be the right person to take the hair too, it has to be someone who knows how to work with wigs. My bio hair isn’t long (slightly past shoulders I think) and it isn’t that thick, I think it just works well with the wigs I have. I wasn’t sure what your last question meant by options for different thickness of hair (?) please explain and I’ll try to assist the best I can.

@phillygrl – When you have questions feel free to bombard away! :) I know how scary and confusing the process is, I’m still learning myself. Yes that pic is 2 of my girls on my nightstand, was to lazy to get their heads out LOL

@EllieBrooknix – I think if you don’t wait to long to detach and reattach bonded hair that it wouldn’t be a smelly issue, you probably are hearing stories of people that go 30+ days before they take their unit off to rebond. If / when I bond, I will put myself on a 7-10 detach / reattach cycle. But for now I do enjoy just pulling my hair off at will!

@Jen – Congrats on your new WiGrip, they are fantastic! I think it’s wonderful that you are preparing yourself and arming yourself with the things you’ll need to make your wig wearing life a reality and easier transition. Wearing a wig has changed my life for the better, my only regret is not having made this choice sooner!

@Tania – I soooo feel you on the downside to wigs being having to take off your hair when all you want to do is wear it 24/7. I actually wear my wig at home MOST of the time, I don’t wear it at some points of the day sometimes, like on a major house cleaning day. But I’m home now, on the couch and my wig is comfortably on my head, I typically put it on very first thing in the morning and take it off around 7-8pm if I’m not going out anymore for the day. I think scarfs are great and look amazing, I’ve seen them tied in so many amazing ways, I have no idea how to tie a scarf, I can only tie it in the way that women tie a bandana to clean house LOL Not my forte for sure.

XOXO

Rachael Jean August 5, 2012 at 1:14 pm

You sound wonderfully happy Y. So thrilled for your experiencing life so vivaciously :) )
I’m thinking of getting a human hair topper from Paula Young to see if I will use it enough to warrant the cost of one of your quality. My hair is medium length and spiral curls (perm). I need the full topper. My scalp shows but I still have enough hair that a hat makes it all look normal. Any thoughts?
Xxooxxo

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