Help, my hair topper is hurting me!

Another email rolled in today that started, “What am I going to look like by the time I am 50?! Clips and thinning hair just don’t mix well. It’s so painful to wear my hair piece topper. I took my hair extensions out thinking this would save my hair from more shedding and thinning but my scalp actually hurts from wearing it. I don’t want to imagine what it’s doing to my own hair.”

It’s true that traditional hair toppers can feel like miniature torture devices, particularly if you have thinning hair or a sensitive scalp. Medieval-like metal clips attach to your hair and are worn for several hours a day. Your own hair follicle acts as an anchor and holds the weight of a hair piece–sometimes several inches longer than your own hair and with 10x more volume. Rapunzel-like hair is appealing. But, if your hair piece hurts, than “Rapunzel, Rapunzel…Let down your hair!” will take on new meaning. Even so-called pressure-sensitive clips will do damage over time. It is optimistic to think that adding a small strip of silicone to a clip could prevent your hair from sustaining damage. After all, who doesn’t want mermaid long hair in 2 minutes time? The ease of “clip and go” hair sounds appealing until you realize that it is not a long term solution. Traction Alopecia happens when too much stress is applied to the hair follicle. Over time, the trauma on the follicle will cause it to deteriorate and your are left with more thinning and bald patches.

It’s time for a breather. Take a step back and assess a long term strategy. Reconsider using a clipped topper and transitioning to a gentler, clipless method. If you can get away with wearing a hat, that is safe alternative for allowing your hair to rest. For those times that require a more professional or polished look, a no-clip topper is a solution for those who are facing traction alopecia or need to take a break from their hair pieces. The no-clip topper is worn like a headband. It gently hugs your head and is made from a stretchable base. It provides coverage on the crown and sides of the head to create beautiful and natural volume. It does all of this without using pesky metal clips. No-clip really means no clips–at all. Once you have alternative solutions in place, you can focus on healing the broken hair. Castor oil is known to help promote hair growth. However, too much can also clog hair follicles. Consider using a light layer at night on affected areas. It is an anti-inflammatory oil and is believed to help soothe the follicle. One of my favorites is Jamaican Black Castor Oil by Shea Moisture. Above all, be sensible about your thinning hair. Sometimes, in desperation, the desire to apply a quick-fix remedy is appealing. Shampoos, pills, hair pieces or lasers all can have a place in your hair care routine but use caution when weighing short term gains with long-term approaches. Study out the pros and cons and give highest priority to those methods that will help maintain hair health.

Kate M

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