How I Added Roots to My Synthetic Topper (or Wig!)

One of the things I love about alot of the synthetic topper and wigs options these days is that many colors come rooted. While this is most important for blondes (don’t blondes always naturally have some sort of roots showing?), it also lends realism to us brunettes, too.

I’ve seen a few tutorials online on how to add roots to synthetic toppers and wigs; most of them involve using a sort of craft/pen marker that you can get at places like Michael’s or Joann’s. I always wanted to try this method, but I was nervous to do so for a few reasons. One, I wasn’t sure what color to try and I got nervous thinking I’d be faced with a few dozen options to choose from. One tutorial suggested bringing my topper into the store and testing a few strands.

Um, no.

I also was nervous that if I picked the wrong color, it could very well be permanent. The goal for most people rooting a synthetic wig or topper is to have it be permanent, I’m sure, but what if I screwed up?

So, I turned to one product I use every day, that I already had on hand. Enter my liquid eyeliner! I use L’Oreal Lineur Intense Liquid Eyeliner, and I’ve tried it in both Carbon Black and Black Mica. Both of these options have a wet look when applied to your eyelid; it doesn’t look matte but rather has a sheen. I thought this would be fitting for hair since hair naturally has shine to it.

Here is what my synthetic topper looked like before I added roots:
Before Rooting Synthetic Topper

I like this topper without the roots, I really do. But I feel adding just a small root really makes a synthetic topper look more real.

(And yes, I know, the lighting is different here. It always is. I suck at photography. I’d like to say I’ll get better, but I know I won’t. Besides, this is in my bathroom at work.)

How to Add Roots to Synthetic Wigs

See the subtle roots?

Here, I’ve altered the pic a bit so you can see exactly where they are.

Add Roots to Synthetic Topper

What do you think? Kind of cool, right? You can’t tell too much on the parts that were already brunette, but you can see the difference when you look closely at the blond highlights.

Here’s another look:

Rooting a Synthetic Topper

How to Add Roots to a Synthetic Topper or Wig

Step 1: Use the side of the eyeliner brush (I used L’Oreal Lineur Intense Liquid Eyeliner, rather than the tip, to paint roots on either side of your part. It doesn’t have to be perfect — real roots never are. This step took me about two minutes.

Step 2: After you have the roots applied with the side of the brush, use the tip to gently draw over your new roots. Do it messily; the point of this step is to use the tip to extend the roots a bit in a few different places. Unless your hair is super-thick, roots are never in a perfectly straight line since they grow out at different rates. Use the tip to help make your rooting look imprecise.

Step 3: Take a step back and admire your work. :) If you need to add any additional rooting, do so after taking in the big picture.

That’s all there is to it! I never thought adding roots to a synthetic topper would be so easy, but it took me literally three minutes. It’s definitely a subtle change. That works for me since I don’t want people to think my hair grew out a few inches overnight. It’s just one of those things that if anyone were to ever wonder about my helper hair, they’d think, “nah, that can’t be fake hair, she’s got roots”. I consider it insurance, ha!

So, if you’re feeling like doing a little DIY work, try adding some roots to your pieces. It was fun to make my already-real-looking-piece look even more so.

I’ll update this post after I wash my topper. I’m presuming that most of it is going to wash out (no biggie since it took no time at all), but we’ll see!

Roots front view

Damn You, Post-Partum Shed! (Photo)

I ignorantly thought I’d be exempt from the post-partum shed this time. With my first son, I shed profusely between 7-20 weeks of pregnancy, and then again starting at about four months post-birth. With my second, I didn’t shed at all while pregnant–I thought that since I was already pretty advanced with my hair loss that this could be why. I also thought that *maybe* if I didn’t shed during the pregnancy I’d get a pass when it comes to the post-partum shed. Wishful thinking. Around 13 weeks post-partum, it began…about seven weeks later it’s still in full-swing.

If you’ve landed here by Google-search, please know my experience isn’t normal for 99% of women – while many women experience the post-partum shed, the hair loss stops after a few months and it’ll regrow. There’s nothing you can do to stop the post-partum shed. Vitamins and other supplements, special shampoos, hair products, none of that will help the shed; you just have to let it run its course. Supposedly, the hair that is shedding is hair that your hormones made you retain while pregnant. Technically, you should’ve lost it during the normal cycle but since you were pregnant you got to hang onto it a little while longer. This didn’t really work out in my favor with my first because I didn’t keep any hair–I only lost it–and I still shed a ton. But, what I described is what is supposed to happen. What isn’t supposed to happen, however, is a bald spot. Or four. Blech.

So, I was already at a disadvantage coming into this, but it’s now much, much worse. I have bonafide bald spots right now!

post partum shed

How’d I get to be so lucky, eh? The front shot almost makes it look like the very worst of it is at the front, right behind my hairline. While that is true, you can see in the next photo that the loss is actually quite widespread, now.

Post Partum Shed Bald Spots

Whereas I used to be able to comb the hair towards the back of my head back, tease it (to create a little bump/volume), and not use any concealers to help with my hairloss, that’s now totally not going to work.

If I had to estimate, I’d say that I’ve lost anywhere from 15-20% of my hair since the post-partum shed started. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. If I recall with my first, however, it just randomly stopped one day around my baby’s 6-month mark, so I’m hoping I have about another month MAX for this to continue. Fingers crossed.

Note, too, the texture of my hair. I’m not sure if you can get a good feel for it by looking at the photos, but it has turned a weird color (still brown, but much more ashy than ever…and I have ashy hair to being with, but I almost feel like it has less pigment than what it used to) and the texture is like cotton candy.

My concern, now, is that I am rapidly running out of hair in which to clip my topper to. I’m finding it harder and harder each morning to get my topper to grip.

So…guess what I am looking into next?!

Calling Spiro Users, Past and Present!

I know there are plenty of you out there who are using Spiro (Spironolactone) currently or who have used it in the past. I get lots of emails asking about my Spiro experience, and aside from my brief story about how Spiro affected my hairloss and PCOS, I don’t have a ton of experience with it. I do know plenty of people who have used this drug, and the experiences really seem to vary. Sooooo…if you have experience with Spiro, I was hoping you might share your story in the comments. Some things to think about:

1) Why were you prescribed Spiro?
2) Were you already experiencing hairloss? What about other PCOS-type symptoms?
3) Did Spiro cause your hair to shed at a rapid rate in the beginning? If so, when did it taper off?
4) Did you see any regrowth?
5) If you were on it for other reasons, i.e. excess body hair, acne, etc., how did it help (presuming it did)?
6) What dose were you on?

Those are just a few questions off the top of my (hairless) head. If you have anything else to add outside of that list, please feel free!

Seems there are a ton of ladies out there with questions about Spiro, so I’d be so grateful for any experiences you can share. I’m sure they will be, too!

An Unexpected Perk of Wearing Hair

There are alot of things that I started to avoid before I started wearing hair toppers. Slowly but surely, I stopped wearing my hair down. While I might have been able to fake some volume on the bottom of my hair my curling/waving/something it, there was no getting around that I wasn’t able to get any lift or density up top at the crown. My Bumble and Bumble spray helped to conceal my loss beautifully and added a little bit of thickness, but it was never enough to make my hair look what I considered to be normal. So, for the three to four months leading up to me wearing hair full-time, I constantly had it in a ponytail.

I also stopped wearing any clothing that was billowy. No, I don’t wear sacks…I just don’t know how to describe it. :) Big, comfy sweaters were out because they added to much mass to my body. Shirts that weren’t form-fitting had to go. Why? Because the more I added below the neck, the worse what I had above the neck looked. Hopefully some of you understand that as it’s hard to describe. The more I wore on the bottom, the skinnier my hair seemed.

I’m sure there are countless other ways in which I altered my style to compensate for my thin hair, however, I really realized one of them the other day. EARRINGS! I’m not a huge jewelry wearer, but I used to use earrings to pull in pops of color. I didn’t realize how much I avoided wearing most earrings as my hair got worse and worse. I certainly didn’t want to bring any attention to that area of my body. Besides, any earring that was on the large side would basically “cut” through my thin hair anyways. Now that I have some density on my crown again, I can break out the earrings!

These aren’t too large (maybe 2″ in diameter) but I never would’ve worn these–at least not with my hair down–before I started wearing my toppers.

Topper with Earrings
Sometimes it’s the simple things, don’t you think?

Check Out My New Look! (Jon Renau Synthetic Topper)

I’ve been thinking of switching to a Jon Renau synthetic topper for awhile, even though I love my Amore Long Topper #752 dearly. My main reason for exploring another brand is pretty simple: Jon Renau makes a bunch of realistic wigs that come in a color I am interested in. If my hair loss continues to progress, I want the option to switch to a wig in the same color. Amore has wigs, of course, however there aren’t many styles available in the color I usually wear. Jon Renau, on the other hand, makes a ton of wigs in my color.

I’m sure you recall the first time I put on what I fondly call my “mystery topper“–apparently, I got sent a piece of old inventory (who knows WHY this was ever made like THAT!). Kathy, at Gallery of Wigs promptly got to the bottom of the issue and had a new topper sent out to me.

I’m pretty sure the first time I saw this synthetic topper in the box, I was in love. And then, when I clipped her onto my head…ahh, pure bliss.

Jon Renau Synthetic Topper with Mono Top Review

Jon Renau Synthetic Topper Front Hair Additions Mono Top

This Jon Renau synthetic topper is color 8H14 (from their “Hair Additions” line). This means that the base color is an 8 (same base as my Amore topper), but it’s highlighted at 20% with 14. If you check out the Jon Renau color chart, you’ll see they have very realistic colors with plenty of highlights.

The base of the Jon Renau topper is a bit larger than the Amore, also, measuring 6.5″ by 5.75″. One thing I really like about this topper is the silicone that comes on the clips. The grip is great for fragile hair as the clips won’t slip as much throughout the day. It tends to pull less on the hair and be a bit more comfortable, all around.

Base shot:

Jon Renau Synthetic Topper Base

See the rubber on the clip?

Jon Renau Synthetic Topper Clip

Another thing I like about this topper is the mono (monodirectional) top. Having a mono top means that I can part the hair any way I want, and there will always be “scalp” showing. The scalp is a little more realistic than the Amore (although, if you don’t have them both to compare you’ll never know the difference), and I’m not sure why. The Amore scalp looks like “mesh-y”…that’s the best way for me to describe it.

Jon Renau Synthetic Topper Natural Part

The hair fiber feels very nice and silky. Of course, all hair feels like that at first, so time will tell if it starts to feel dry after awhile. The hair is also longer than the Amore…this hair is 17″ in the back. Before I start wearing this full-time I’m going to have to trim it as it’s about two inches longer than my bio hair. As I don’t have a salon yet, I’m likely going to trim it myself (yikes). I feel confident I can cut in a straight line, however, I don’t want the ends to look blunt so it’s definitely going to be a bit of an experiment.

I actually love the clips on this Jon Renau topper so much that I’m considering ordering extra clips. I’d like to sew in a clip on the front-center, as well as one on either side. I figure I can wear the clips as intended for a few days, and then switch to the ones that I’ve sewed in for a few days, then repeat. Hopefully, this will minimize any damage to the hair from being pulled on. I don’t expect this to happen so much with these awesome grippy clips, though!

So…I think this is going to be my new look! I can’t stress enough how much I love the highlights on this piece as it helps it to look so real! Also, I don’t need to use any of my bio hair with this one, for whatever reason. That’s a good thing, as the face framing pieces have the highlights so it might look funny with 20 or so darker strands peeking out.

What do you think?

Jon Renau Hair Additions Synthetic Mono Top

There are No Words for This Topper (Yikes)

Many of you have been so complimentary in your comments about my pieces and have said that once you are ready to take the leap into trying a topper, you hope you have the luck that I have. For the most part, you’re right…for someone as picky as I am (particularly when it comes to color), I’ve had a pretty decent string of luck when it comes to the synthetic hairpieces I own. Until now.

TAKE A LOOK AT THIS BEAUTY! There was no time to fix the lighting, fix the makeup, fix nothing. I had to be sure you could see the look on my face (and really, if I can get past the *awfulness* of this hair all I can think about is the massive wrinkle between my brows).

Mystery Topper

I made this pic nice and large so you can fully appreciate it. :) And no, while it looks like it, I am not naked here!

Although you can see the tag hanging off it, I’m calling this my “mystery topper” for now so as not to scare anyone off; this company does make a few toppers.

I saw this topper on one of my hairloss friends, and it was so sleek and pretty, so I’m not exactly sure what happened here. I contacted Kathy at Gallery of Wigs and showed her a picture of both the rat’s nest on my head, as well as the pic of my friend. She immediately looked into it and found out that there was some issue with the packaging that caused the hair to spiral curl. I’m not exactly sure how that would happen, but I’ll take her word for it. She didn’t address the awful, mega permatease. For those of you that don’t know what permatease is, it’s hair (usually wiry) underneath the top layer to help give the hair lift and body. I could probably appreciate a little volume, however, the bang area on this piece was ready for take-off.

In short, this piece was all kinds of wrong.

Kathy, as usual, was awesome. She contacted the company directly and had them ship her the “correct” topper. She checked the quality and then shipped it to me, along with a pre-paid return label so I could send this one back. She assured me that the new topper was “divine”.

You’ll have to wait until the next post to see if it is.

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