Review: Toppik Hair Building Fibers Starter Kit
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Over the last couple months, I noticed that I was losing quite a bit of my hair. For me, it wasn't a copious amount of daily shedding (like the kind that happens fairly often postpartum as hormones level out) but my hairline started to recede and I started developing those pockets of visible scalp near the temples that you would associate with male pattern baldness. While I'm glad that it's not very visible in pictures, it was definitely something I (and husband) noticed in person. Though I do not base my self worth on my appearance, the seemingly rapid loss of hair was nevertheless distressing. After moping about it for a bit, I looked into Toppik Hair Fibers.
(Medical mumble jumbo: this is a symptom of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I have excess testosterone and androgens and in absence of the birth control pills that mask a lot of the symptoms, I'm slowly experiencing many of the symptoms. The gist of it is that there is excess dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which binds to hair follicles and interrupts the natural resting and growing cycle of the hair. There is a bit of irony in play as another symptom of PCOS is hirsutism; so while I'm losing hair up top, my eyebrows, upper lip hair, etc, are growing to unprecedented lengths and at a remarkable rate. Hah.)
While Amazon had better prices for the Toppik Fibers in terms of $/oz., Sephora had the Starter Kit with the spray applicator and the hairline stencil, the former which was crucial according to reviews.
The fibers look a lot like flocking powder that you'd find at a craft store. Tiny little fuzzy keratin bits, nothing exceeding 2.0mm in length. Now here's why the applicator is important. You could definitely opt to just sprinkle the fibers onto your hair directly from the perforated topper of the Toppik canister, but more than likely you'd end up with clumps of black powder all over your face. Sprinkling does not offer you the precise control to make the fibers look natural.
My hair looks the thinnest when it is a touch oily. Unfortunately my scalp gets oily very easily, so a mere ten hours after shampooing, you can see through to the scalp quite readily. This is especially apparent in my "bangs", they clump together and the front of my head looks like I'm trying to hide the hair loss with a comb-over. Which in fairness, that's exactly what I've been doing. Again, this is something that's hard to show you because it photographs to a lesser degree than it appears in person (I'm sure many of you might be thinking, "it doesn't look too bad to me!" but please trust me on this). Dry shampoo isn't cutting it. Pulling my hair back into any sort of updo or pony tail made the thinning of the hairline particularly obvious.
The best way to apply? Divide your hair into thin sections, no bigger than 1/2" and spray the roots on either side of the scalp divide. Keep the nozzle about four inches from the hair. Then flip over a new section of hair and repeat. When you're finished, take a damp tissue to gently wipe off any lose fibers from your forehead, lightly mist hairspray to set and hold fibers in place. To remove, wash with shampoo, taking time to gently massage your scalp with your fingertips.
I think that the difference, while subtle in pictures, are pretty pronounced in person. Even though I'm not spraying directly onto my scalp but thickening the root area, there is much less exposed scalp and the hairline looks much more robust. There's also a really nice increase in volume. It looks very natural, with the exception of telltale loose dust on the forehead, the fibers are not visible unless you are two inches away from my scalp. With hairspray to hold the fibers in place, I have not experienced any of the fibers falling out (ugh, that'd look like black dandruff, not pleasing to imagine at all), I can run my fingers through my hair with black dust on my fingers. There is however, a limit to what Toppik can achieve; in areas of complete baldness there isn't much that the keratin fibers can latch onto. Much like eyelash extensions.
I do not have any intention to use this on a daily basis, as the careful application process does take up quite a bit of time and I also don't want to go to sleep with Toppik Hair Building Fibers in my hair so I need to be willing to wash my hair out before sleeping. For a fun night out or a nice date, yes, I'll definitely reach for Toppik and I'd definitely recommend it to any individual who is combating thinning hair. While I may not be able to stop hair loss, this is an excellent product to disguise it.
You can get the Starter Kit from Sephora for $35. Pricing varies elsewhere.
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