Before and After Pics: My First Topper (Part 2)

At long last, here is part two of my overview on the first synthetic topper I tried, the Noriko Milan. I purchased this online at Gallery of Wigs; it’s been really fun to experiment with and was pretty cheap at less than $150, including shipping.

I wanted to delve deeper into this topper so you understand more about it. First, the base (toppers have bases, whereas wigs have caps). This topper is considered a 3/4 piece, in that it has a bit more coverage than most toppers. The base of this is probably a bit larger than I actually need but I heard such great things about the color choices and hair quality of this piece that I still chose it for my first topper for hair loss. The base measures 8.5″ (side to side) by 9″ (front to back) so the coverage is very generous. It has five pressure-sensitive clips that you just flip with your fingers to get them to shut; very easy! Some has reported that they prefer a clip right in the center of the piece, however, I’ve been ok with the front clips flanking the temple area, as shown.

Noriko Milan Base

Check out those awesome highlights you see, even on the underside. Pretty, huh? The Noriko Milan as some of the most realistic highlights and lowlights, I think.

It always take a little (ok, a lot) of practice to get topper pieces to blend with the front of your hair; lots of ladies wear the Milan right at their hairline but I like to pull out a tiny bit of my own bio hair to help it blend. You can see my bio hair here as it’s a bit darker/ashier than the topper. The base of the topper actually blends pretty well into my own hair. If you need to blend the top into your hair or if you think the rim is too apparent, you can use some dark-colored eyeshadow–depending on your hair color, of course–or some Toppik to help it blend.

Milan Front Up Close

If you DO have a bit of front bio hair to use, you can twist it back to help blend the hair together. This works for me to help blend the color a bit better, too! I probably could’ve used a bit of my Toppik or another hair fiber to fill in the front part of my own hair a little, but I think it looks ok. :) Here you also get a glimpse of the part. It’s a monofilament top, so the scalp of this resembles lace so it does look like your own hair is growing out of the scalp. It’s not going to as realistic as a silk-top topper (more on that to come), but it’s really not too bad. I was paranoid about it at first, but I’ve now been wearing hair full-time for six weeks and no one has ever noticed a thing. With a monofilament top, the part area has to be worn over your natural part so that your own scalp shows through the topper. Obviously, this isn’t a problem if you have severe hair loss on top. Some have reported success by using a light-colored fabric underneath the part if you can’t get it to quite match up to your own, natural part. Folding up some pantyhose, for example, seems to work. For me, it’s easy enough to match it up to my existing part. Since I’m not wearing concealers under my toppers, my part is extra-wide, which makes is easy. :)

Twisted Milan Up Close

And here she is worn down, which feels most natural to me. As you can see, it’s a pretty natural look, don’t you think? Well, it’s one thing to jump from thin (thinning!) hair to this so it’s not natural to me, but on any other “normal” person it would be perfectly fine. I do like the style of the Noriko Milan, I just wish the color more closely matched my own. I know you guys probably think I sound crazy because the color is beautiful, but, I’m trying to seamlessly start wearing hair, so I can’t have my friends & family knowing something is different!

Side note: I also adore the lovely bathroom lights in this picture. Whenever I take photos for posts it’s always a dance around the bathroom to try to figure out the best lighting, etc. Someday I’ll get better at it so I don’t have glaring bulbs behind my head.

Noriko Milan worn down

There you have it. I’ll leave you with a lovely before and after shot of me in my topper. As you can probably guess, I’m not ever going back to not wearing hair. It just enhances my look and mood so much! Finding and wearing helper hair is such a roller coaster as it’s so hard to find the perfect piece. Even so, I’ve never been happier with my overall look. This was my first topper – I’ll have a few more to talk about, soon!

Women's Hair Topper Before and After

Be sure to see my first post reviewing the Noriko Milan – there are photos in outdoor light of this topper.

Comments

  1. First off, thank you for all of your posts. It is so helpful to hear your experiences as I am new to this whole hair loss thing. Your pics in your topper are great, very natural looking. I was wondering what your thoughts were of human hair versus synthetic since you have tried both?

    • They are so different! It just depends on what you are looking for when it comes to hair. What do you want your hair to do for you, Marsha? The feel of human hair is obviously better. Human hair can come with silk tops that make the scalp extremely realistic. But, human hair is expensive! Synthetics are inexpensive and have “memory” which means they retain their style. I LOVE that feature! But, they don’t last as long. It’s such a give and take. I will say this: I’m glad I started with a synthetic so I could practice with toppers in general without spending a ton of money. I’ll post about my HH one, soon, but I wear my synthetic one almost every day!

      • Thanks for the advice. I was just concerned that the synthetic ones would look and feel really fake. When the time comes for me to get one I might try these first since they are less expensive. Are they easy to care for? Also do they feel secure on or are you ever worried about it shifting or coming off?

        • Yep, completely easy to care for! You just wash and condition with sulfate-free products and hang to dry. Since they have memory, the style bounces right back as long as you don’t brush them while yet. This topper has five clips, and I find it to be secure. If it’s not, it’s easy to fix by teasing your bio hair a bit. My human hair piece, however, really could use an additional clip to help keep it in place. At least those are easy enough to put on. :)

  2. Did you figure out how to use it on your own? I am hopeless when it comes to hair stuff, but I really want to try a topper. Is this something I’d be able to figure out for myself? :)

    • Do you mean how to put it on? Oh yes, it’s very easy. You just need to play a bit and figure out if you want a little bio hair peeking out or not. Because it attaches with clips, if you don’t like the placement, you just unclip and start over. It did take me awhile when I first started working with them, but now I know exactly how I want the front to look (what’s most natural to me) so I get it on the first try, every time!

  3. Oh my goodness! This looks so good… and so natural! It’s so helpful to read all of your hair posts… I do not have the same issue you do with hair loss/thinning, but I do have PCOS, and other embarrassing side-effects that accompany it. So it’s really nice to read someone else’s honest account of their own issues. Thank you!

  4. Well, obviously I was out here searching for things like this cuz I found you! If only I had the brains to begin doing something about my thinning hair at your age. Maybe I wasn’t quite there at 31, but I sure was at 41 and I just turned 54 and I’m going into full-blown panic-mode. My thinning is weird. Yes, the top of my head is thinning but it’s really concentrated at my temples moving back a couple of inches into each side of my head with one side noticeably worse. I joke about being unbalanced! So, reading this has been great. I just blasted thru all your hair “pieces” (lol) and I have to say I’m incredibly impressed. You have a clear talent for the written word (do you write for a living?!) and you express yourself in a very accessible and friendly way; and then there’s the really huge part — that you have DONE THIS AT ALL! With PICTURES! Holy, ya know… This is more and better info than I thought I’d find and I’m a bit blown away. You are clearly a very giving person and very courageous. And I thank you. For inspiration and for the avenues to pursue. J.

    • Thank you for your kind words! I know, everyone likes the pictures. Every now and again I wonder what in the heck I am doing putting those out there, but when I first started researching the issue I couldn’t find many real-life cases, so I figured “why not”? There’s no turning back now, I suppose! :)

  5. You are gorgeous! Also, your posts are transparent and life-changing for those of us suffering from hair-loss. Yours is the only site I’ve found with real product information, pictures, and real-talk about a young woman and her hair loss. Thank you so very much!

  6. Heather says:

    Hello, You are such an inspiration and brave to show the whole world this issue. I first noticed my hair thinning about 4years ago and now it’s crazy. I want to buy a topper, but I really don’t know where to start. How to pick the right length or color. Do you have any suggestions?

    • For length, you can likely get away with it being slightly shorter, but I like something that is at least the length of my bio hair. My bio hair has gotten so long lately, though, and my topper is about 1.5″ shorter at the moment. If it’s the same length, it blends right in. If it’s longer, you can trim it to match. If it’s shorter, you’re kind of out of luck. :) In terms of color, I always do a Google image search to see what I find. Wigs.com has alot of videos that show color. Also, reallifewigs.com has pics of actual pieces.

  7. Thank you so much for your blog. I’ve reached desperation point and Im losing too much life to this mess. YRS of life.

    With all you know now, what would be the first piece you’d buy? Also, is it worth it to buy color rings first ?

    I hope you know how much you are helping complete strangers out here :) Thank you !

    • The EasiPart by Jon Renau is a good piece to start with – many have. It comes in heat-defiant synthetic or human hair. It’s a relatively small base and can be a good transition into wearing hair. If your loss is more advance like mine, then the Jon Renau Long Topper might be a good option.

      Color rings are helpful, but it’s still so hard to tell on a little swatch of hair! The good news is, once you do figure out your color you’ll be right guessing about other manufacturers 80% of the time.

      I get alot of my pieces from Galleryofwigs.com – I believe they have a color ring program, where you buy the ring and when you send it back, you get that amount credited towards your purchase. Other places will refund you completely (or almost completely) but their prices aren’t as low as GOW. I do NOT believe they have the Easipart, though, but I could be wrong.

  8. So glad I came across your blog!! Your hair loss is exactly the same as mine. I have had my blood tested 2 times now and the Dr. still doesn’t know whats wrong. But I feel she isn’t really looking into things deep enough. Also I take so many herbel supplements to minimise the hairloss and acne as much as I can, that I’m wondering if they could be messing up my blood test results? I have been shedding hair heavily for about 2 – 3 years now. I have slowed it down huge thanks to herbs, but if I didn’t take them I don’t think I would have any hair left. How did your Dr realize you had PCOS? Also do you find anything medication wise is helping at all?? Thanks so much and I am going to read further into your blog. I just found it now. Makes me feel so good to see someone else going through this as I feel friends don’t get that this is serious and very detrimental to my mental health.

    • I would guess any sort of supplements can be skewing results. The best thing to do would be to come off of them for a few months, and then get your levels tested again on day 3 (I think it’s day 3) of your cycle. I know, it’s such a pain!

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