Have you ever realized after years and years of doing something one way, you’ve been doing it all wrong?
It’s kind of like having realized that you’ve been pronouncing a word or saying a phrase incorrectly your whole life.
Please don’t tell me you say “I could care less”, “irregardless” or “to all intensive purposes”…
That’s how it was for me and wavy synthetic hair.
This whole time I’ve been working with it (drying it, storing it, etc.) as I would my straight hair.
I love my wavy hair as it gives me a whole new look in an instant…and the waves last all day (unlike when I try to curl my wimpy bio hair).
But a part of me always gave my pieces the side-eye, because over time (and not even after too much time) those pretty waves would start to straighten.
I just chalked this up to “helper hair woes”…it is what it is, right?
I realized I was making some major mistakes when it comes to caring for wavy and curly synthetic hair, and I want you to avoid the same mistakes!
We want to keep our curls and waves nice and bouncy, like this:
This wig is Julianne, by Jon Renau, in color Palm Springs FS17/101S18…isn’t she pretty?
There are two major things that I was doing wrong, so let’s talk about each. Read below or check out the video if you prefer to watch.
Don't Make These Mistakes! Keep your Curls and Waves Bouncy (Synthetic Hair) - YouTube
How to Dry Wavy and Curly Synthetic Hair Styles
First up, drying.
I dried all my wavy and curly synthetic hair toppers and wigs the same way I did my straight pieces: I’d gently blot the water from them, and hang them upside-down to dry.
Much like how those with natural curly hair have to dry their hair differently than us straight-haired ladies, the same goes for synthetic hair.
I didn’t realized that the water was actually weighing down the hair as it dried…sloooooowly coaxing it into a straighter and straighter look.
This obviously makes total sense, but it’s something that never even crossed my mind.
If you want volume, gravity is not your friend.
In order to not pull down the hair strand when it’s heavy and wet, the hair has to be supported.
Instead of hanging, after blotting the hair so it’s not soaking wet (carefully! Be sure not to rub!), drape your wigs and toppers over a plastic wig stand…the air will circulate around the piece so that it dries quickly.
But here’s a trick: allow the hair to rest against something as it dries.
If you use the plastic wig stand on your bathroom counter, allow the hair to gather on the counter, supported.
In the below pic, the hair is obviously dry, but I wanted to demonstrate what I mean (and fun fact, this very post is being worked on, in the background!):
Or (and less ideal but it might be a good option for short/lightweight pieces), gently lay the wig or topper belly down onto a towel, with the base or cap kind of propped up.
This way, the hair dries while being supported so it stays more springy, longer!
How to Store Wavy and Curly Synthetic Hair
This is a cool trick and something I never would’ve thought of!
Once the topper base or wig cap is fully dry, you can pin your piece to a canvas head (even if the hair itself it still damp).
You know those pesky hair nets that come in many wig or topper boxes?
The ones that are safety-pinned 492 times to the hair piece? Save those!
After pinning the piece to a canvas wig head, USE that hair net to help keep the hair supported while it sits in your closet.
That way, even if your piece sites in storage for months and months without being handled, it’s fully supported and gravity isn’t taking over to straighten the piece.
You can even try this trick as your curly or synthetic synthetic hair dries: once the topper base or wig cap is fully dry, you can pin your piece to a canvas head (even if the hair itself it still damp), and allow the hair to dry completely while in the hair net.
For drying, this would work best on a shorter piece, so that the curls don’t get all scrunched up. I’m guessing pieces 10-12” or shorter would be good candidates. My wig head here has an extra-long neck and this piece is 18″.
Who knew? I certainly didn’t!
Using these tips and tricks will keep your curly and wavy pieces looking more like-new, longer. Do you have any ideas for keeping your waves and ringlets looking great over time?
Ok my curly-haired and wavy-haired friends…the topper gods have not been very nice to you!
While there are many straight toppers on the market, there are only a handful of wavy styles…and curly toppers are even harder to find.
Let’s discuss some options for wavy and curly styles, so that you aren’t stuck straightening your hair to “match” a straight topper (we all know one drop of humidity is going to cause a major texture mis-match).
We’ll start with the wavy styles, since those are a bit easier to tackle!
I can’t recall any synthetic wavy toppers available until a few years ago, when Top Wave by Jon Renau hit the scene. Top Wave is basically the sister to my every day style (Top Style), and I interchange them all the time since they are available in the same color. She comes in both 12″ and 18″.
The waves are the perfect beach wave, but can actually be dressed up, too; I’ve worn this piece for weddings because the outfit can “dress up” the hair!
Of course, anything that is heat-defiant can be waved or culed using your own heat tools at home…so sometimes we have to think a little outside the box.
Wavy Human Hair Toppers
When it comes to finding wavy human hair toppers, there are more options since human hair typically has some natural texture to it. Depending on that type of wave you are looking for, how a piece air dries could work well.
Note: If a piece is meant to be straight (meaning, there wasn’t an option to order it wavy), I don’t *personally* recommend air-drying. While you’ll get some waves, generally frizz will come with it. Most human hair, unless specifically ordered wavy, benefits from some products and heat to keep it nice and sleek.
For example, Jon Renau’s pieces naturally dry with a bit of wave. Highline, on the other hand, dries remarkably straight. Highline typically will mark on her site if it dries straight (most of her stock dries straight. She CAN get waves as a custom order during the times that she offers custom orders).
Fortune’s toppers are available as wavy or straight (and the stock picture of the wave is quite nice).
True curly hair in toppers is hard to find…and if you have curly hair yourself, this is something you already know!
There are several companies that can match your particular curl pattern via custom orders. Jon Renau, for instance, confirmed that they can match any curl pattern, and any of their reseller locations can help with that (you can find their store locator on their homepage).
HairDirect.com is another company that specializes in matching your exact hair texture. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve heard anything about this company, but I wanted to bring it to your attention, anyways. I did know a few women who purchased from there several years ago and were quite happy with their pieces.
Check into it, but I believe how it worked was you’d come up with your order and then they’d auto-ship you new hair on regularly scheduled intervals…but it would always be to the spec you designed with your “hair designer” (not sure if that’s exactly what they are called). It’s an interesting concept.
I reached out to Highline to see just how curly she can get with her pieces. She explained that the best she can usually get is more of a wave, somewhere around a 2a to 2b on the curl scale. This is closely like the Top Wave photo I have above (the first on this post).
Uniwigs can do custom orders and offers curly hair. In Uniwigs case, the hair is permed (I’m not sure of any companies that source curly hair. It’s something you’d need to inquire about). Here is Charleigh. The length is ordered as 18″, density 130%.
When you are ordering curly from ANY manufacturer/retailer, make sure you double-check that it’s the finished length, and not the hair when pulled straight. Because of the way this curly hair springs up, the hair is really 13-14″ at best, unless it’s pulled taut.
If you are a DIY-er, you can hack your way to a synthetic curly topper from a synthetic curly wig. The trick is to find a wig with a basic cap (that is, a cap this is NOT fully hand-tied). Check out the cap in this video below…fast-forward to about :30.
Friday Night Hair Dupe I Vivica Fox Deep Lace Front Wig "Orlando"I SoGoodShop - YouTube
You can see that the hand-tied portion ends, and there are wefts all around the remainder of the wig. Those can be snipped off.
It’s VERY SIMILAR to this post I did on making a topper smaller…this was obviously a topper already, but all you are doing is removing exactly what I did in the post, complete with the wig band at the bottom. Just the top part, the scalp, will remain. Simply add some clips and you have a custom-made topper.
Just keep in mind that you are cutting off the bottom portion of the wig, so the finished result will be shorter than how it looks in the wig photography. You’ll want to aim much longer on a wig in order to convert it into a topper.
Some great brands to look at for curly hair are Freetress, Vivica Fox and Paula Young. I’m sure there are others!
What Else is Out There for Curly Q’s?
I’m sure there are other great brands out there that cater to our curly- and wavy-haired friends. If you know if any other tips to share, please include them in the comments below. It’s always good to spread knowledge around!
The size of your foam rollers will depend on the size of the curl or wave you are trying to add into your synthetic hair. I used this pack of foam rollers (affiliate link) because it’s dirt cheap and comes with a variety of sizes.
Step 1: Pin a Foam Roller to Your Wig Head
Use a T-Pin to pin an appropriately-sized foam roller to your wig head. I like to do one roller at a time, versus pinning a bunch on one pass.
See that blanket in the corner? My grandma, who passed almost to this day (of publishing!) in 2001, made it for me. <3
You can see in the pic above, the hair on the left is quite straight. This is what we are trying to fix by curling our synthetic hair!
Step 2: Wrap Small Sections of Hair Around the Roller
Wrap smallish sections of hair around the roller. You don’t want to use too much hair, as the steam won’t be able to “get at” all the strands.
Also, wrap the hair in the direction that the curl is already trained to go in. It’s much easier not to fight the curl’s natural pattern.
Step 3: Secure the Ends with Paper
Once you roller the synthetic hair all the way down to curl it, you’ll need to secure them with…something.
I’m using paper towels here (because, well, I’m cheap. You might remember my “how to wash human hair guide” where I used a Target bag as a shower cap. #noshame.
If you have perm papers laying around from the 80s, you could use those, too.
The paper towels I used do two things: first, they help the hair underneath that lays on either side of the pin to lay smooth. Second, they prevent a little kink from forming under the pin.
You can see that kink here, on a spot that I didn’t use any paper:
Step 4: Apply Steam to Your Synthetic Hair to Curl It
I couldn’t quite get a pic of this since I was using both hands, but you can see me demonstrating this in the video above.
Apply steam to the hair on the left side, right side, and underneath the roller. Just do the best you can.
You’ll see the hair “react” to the steam and kind of cling to the roller. You can use your finger (carefully! Steam is hot) or a long comb to help guide/smooth the hair on the roller, too.
Step 5: Allow Synthetic Hair to Dry for at Least 12 Hours
Here’s where patience is a virtue! You’ll need to allow between 12-24 hours for the curl to dry and cool.
If you’re in a hurry, allow it to cool on its on for as long as possible, then take a blowdryer on the COOL setting and apply it to the synthetic hair.
Step 6: Release the Curl and Be Amazed
After you’ve waited between 12-24 hours, it’s time to see the curls you created. Woohoo, it’s like magic.
Carefully unpin the bottom of the hair (be careful, those T-pin suckers are sharp!) and pull the foam roller away from your synthetic hair.
If the curl took a little too well, no worries…we have another trick up our sleeves to relax the curl a bit.
Step 7: Adjust the Curl
If needed, you can easily take a little “oomph” out of the curl you’ve created. Once again, we’ll be using our trusty steamer with this step.
Use one hand to gently pull down on the curl, and use the other to lightly apply some steam to it.
This pic also shows how straight the hair has gotten. Check out the left side!
You’ll see the curl immediately relax after you apply some steam.
Allow the curl to cool for another few hours, just hanging there (I know, I know…and you thought synthetic hair was supposed to save time! I promise the results are worth it).
Here’s what we end up with. The curl on the right is one I relaxed using a bit more steam. The curl on the left is without relaxing.
See how easy that is?
If you’ve spent several hundreds of dollar for a synthetic wig or topper you want those curls and waves to last! Sometime they need a little help.
What I’m wondering with this method is if it might help my friends who have true curly hair. It might be a process, but if you got tiny, tiny rods, I wonder if you could create a crop of spiral curls??
It’s nice to know you can take a straight wig or topper and add curls and waves to it.
What do you think of this method? Do you think you’ll try to curl your synthetic hair this way?
I’ve avoided it for years, but I was so happy to discover curling synthetic hair is not too bad at all!
Just when you thought toppers couldn’t get any bigger… BAM.
Out comes a whopping 11″/11.5″ inch base size – let’s just call this one a half wig, shall we?
Jon Renau’s Top Full has been available in human hair for awhile, but they recently introduced the style in synthetic as well.
The clips are designed to hit in allllll the right places (i.e., not right on top of your head), and because the entire piece is hand-tied, it’s super comfortable.
Check out just how big this baby is!
At first glance, it looks like a wig, doesn’t it?
Let’s take a look at the piece via video, and then we’ll chat a bit about it.
This is right out of the box, by the way.
HUGE TOPPER / HALF WIG! Perfect for Women's Hair Loss & Hair Thinning - YouTube
(In the video I mention signing up for my short email series that details all you need to know when finding your perfect hair topper. The details are in YouTube’s video description, but since you’re here on the blog, you can click here to sign up for that series.)
What you need to know about Top Full:
1) It comes in 12″ or 18″
2) It’s available in human or synthetic fibers
3) It has double-monofilament top (two layers of material at the scalp makes it look more realistic than a single layer!)
4) It’s fully hand-tied
5) There is NO lace front
Due to its size, it’s a great piece for those that need more coverage than other hair toppers provide, OR, are having trouble getting the clips secure around the head due to expanding hair loss.
It also could be an excellent choice for those that have extremely wimpy bio hair and have trouble integrating that into hair pieces.
Because this hair topper is truly a half wig, it completely covers up most (if not all!) bio hair so that you have to worry less about integrating when it comes to length.
Basically, this half wig is a hair loss solution for those that are wanting the ease and coverage of a full wig, but aren’t quite ready to give up the topper life yet.
There is one issue that I noticed, and I point this out in the video: this topper has some elastic and is nice and stretchy all the way around.
And because the piece DOES go all the way around your head, there is a bit of “tension” (for lack of a better word…nothing uncomfortable!) that occurs since the hair topper stretches around your head.
Because of this, I suggest either making sure the front-middle clip is secured tightly (not so tight as to rip out hair, mind you…but you want it snug) so that if the piece is gently pulled back due to normal wearing that you don’t see a gap between the piece and your bio hair.
Does that makes sense? The video explains it better!
Highline, Highline, Highline…seems the hair world has been abuzz with Highline Wigs.
Highline Wigs (owner: Sharon) stocks beautiful human hair toppers and wigs at her store, Toppers by Sharon, and regularly posts her inventory on Instagram @highlinewigs. Blondes, brunettes, auburns, even grays…you name it, she has it, or can make it custom.
I’ve talked to no less than 23,507 girls about their Highline pieces (ok, I kid, truthfully around two dozen), and every one of them has nothing but great things to say about them.
The hair is SO soft.
I can’t believe how pretty the colors are.
The pieces are such high quality but still affordable.
It washes sooooooooooo well.
With that in mind, I had to check her out myself.
Note: If you’re a skimmer, be sure to check out at the bottom 1) why I’m NOT keeping her for myself (boo! She’s going to a good home, though), 2) a discount for my readers, and 3) who I think this topper would be perfect for (some final pros/cons).
I bought a custom piece that took a while to come in (ordering custom is not for the faint of heart, y’all, it can take awhile at no fault of the seller!), and as gorgeous as it was when Sharon sent me pics, I knew it would be too short.
So, Sharon showed me a stock piece that I fell in love with. I kiiiiind of thought it may still be too short, but I went with it anyways, and that’s what we have here.
I’ll throw this video in here if you prefer to watch, and/or you can continue with the post below!
Highline Wigs: Human Hair Topper Review (+ Discount!) - YouTube
One thing you probably notice is the comb at the front of the piece. Most times, Sharon places a comb at the front center of her pieces to help protect delicate hair.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I would like it.
Some ladies have reported that they can’t get the front to lay quite as flat as they would with a clip there. If that’s the case for you, you can easily remove the comb and replace it with a clip (it’s just attached with a bit of thread), but I found–and this is weird–because I glue my toppers down in the front, the glue really helps!
Let me explain.
I wouldn’t glue this piece down, not with the pretty silk top (to do that, I’d need to add a poly strip to the front—I think you can buy these on Amazon).
When I was playing with this piece, I had a bit of glue dried on from the day prior. The comb kind of anchored underneath the glue and the hold felt pretty firm.
Something to think about…however odd it may sound. ?
Highline Topper Photos!!
Ok, let’s take this puppy outside so you can see her in natural light.
Argh, so pretty!
She’s not too far off from my everyday color of 10H16 from Jon Renau.
This next pic is with indirect sunlight (I’m right in front of a window on an overcast day).
She is really to-die-for.
Those of you that prefer a sleeker look will appreciate a silk top – it’s naturally not as voluminous as what you’d find with mono top or lace top pieces.
Is She a Keeper?
I want to keep her, I want to soooooo bad.
However, if you checked out the video above, you’ll see that even at 18″ she is far too short for me.
My hair is probably 22-23″ right now, and while I could definitely cut my hair to work with the piece, Sharon has so many beautiful pieces that I’m sure I’ll be able to find a better match, soon.
I’m so excited to share with you that you can save $25 off any stock piece by using code HOPEMANE25. Must use caps!
If you purchase a piece I’d love to see it! Either drop me a note here on the blog or tag me on Instagram when you show it off.
Community members: Check out your special discount inside our members’ area!
Final Thoughts on this Piece
Pros: She’s GORGEOUS with natural, highlighted coloring. The density is a lower density and will suit those looking for realistic hair loss coverage. The hair feel supremely soft and supple and holds curl well. While I haven’t washed her yet, I feel confident in saying that she washes and dries straight (you know how some pieces dry kinky no matter what?) and wears very well. I’ve personally gotten first-hand accounts from SO MANY women who rock her daily that tell me she wears, over time, like a dream.
Cons: The comb may be problematic for some, but that’s easily remedied. The overall look is sleeker at the scalp, which most women prefer, but those who prefer more volume will need to work some volume into her by styling. All silk bases will have this, no matter the seller/manufacturer…but I wanted to call it out.
So what do you think? Have you had your eye on Highline for awhile? What type of piece are you most interested in? Let us know in the comments. ???
I think every women with hair loss should have both synthetic hair and human hair in their arsenal.
Why, you ask?
I don’t think you should limit yourself and wonder “what if“, so if you can swing it budget-wise, I recommend trying different fibers so that you can fully understand what works best for you.
I’ve done that.
Over the years, I’ve tried it all (or a TON of it).
And no matter how much I try human hair, I keep coming back to synthetic.
Someone explained it to me once: It’s like going back to an old lover….predictable and comfortable.
(Maybe some of you can understand this. I was married young so that phrase is somewhat foreign to me. I definitely would not want to go back to the boyfriend prior to my husband. He couldn’t spell or use grammar properly and for this reason alone, I knew it couldn’t possibly last. Plus, the last time we exchanged gifts he bought me film from the drugstore for a camera I didn’t own. #truestory #1999 #byekevin)
I’m going to let this video do a majority of the talking here as I touch on the 5 main reasons why I prefer synthetic over human hair.
I’ll summarize below the video, if you’re a reader over a watcher (feel free to pop closed captions on in the video, though!)
First, if you’re deciding between synthetic and human hair and you want a FULL list of pros & cons for both synthetic and human hair (I reference this in the below video), input your info below and I’ll send it to you ASAP via email:
Ok, now on to the video!
5 Reasons I Prefer SYNTHETIC HAIR over HUMAN HAIR - YouTube
Here’s a recap of the reasons I discussed in the synthetic vs. human hair showdown:
It’s soooo hot here in Texas, and I wear my hair up almost constantly for several months out of the year.
It seems a shame to mangle human hair up in my updo, so I prefer to do this with my less-expensive synthetic pieces.
This goes along with the heat, but the sun can be brutal (no matter where you live!).
Human hair will fade and oxidize over time, so the color countdown starts ticking the second you open the box/walk out of the salon: you should expect to re-color over time to remove brassiness and refresh the color.
Of course, all of this equates to more cost.
If you love warm and reddish tones, then there will be no shortage of options for you when it comes to human hair! Reddish is everywhere.
If you’re like me, and prefer neutral or cool-toned colors, ooof, that’s harder.
With synthetic hair, you can get it in every shade and color of the rainbow.
If you want to achieve ash/neutral with human hair, you might need to do a full color overhaul with an experienced helper hair colorist — there will likely be a lot of toning involved!
Human helper hair, right out-of-the-box, tends to leave a lot to be desired.
Sad, but true.
It’s often sent all-one-length and with no style or thinning.
Granted, synthetic hair can need thinning, too (in fact, it usually does!), but human hair is just about as blank of a canvas as you can get with hair.
You really need to have a vision to see the potential.
When I’m faced with color that’s not exactly right, hair that hangs in my face, the need to get it cut…the list goes on and on…I get overwhelmed and often just put it aside.
I’m not saying that’s the right thing to do, but I’m just being honest.
Which leads me to my last reason…
You Can’t be Lazy with Human Hair
From the get-go, human hair is just going to be more demanding than human hair.
You’ll need to customize it, in most cases.
It’ll take much more time to wash and dry it, style it, and touch up the style between wears.
You’ll need to actually CARE for it, by stocking up on special products and deep conditioners.
You’ll need to trim it over time as split ends are going to happen (so err with more length with human hair!), as well as re-color it to keep the color looking vibrant and fresh.
Good helper hair stylists and colorists are tough to find, but you’ll want to have a good one on-call.
And lastly, because human hair comes from a human (or, likely, several humans), no two hair pieces or wigs are going to be exactly alike.
If you fall in love with a human hair topper and go to re-order, you should expect there to be slight variations with the next piece…when hair pieces aren’t mass-produced and/or not sourced from the same individual, it makes sense this could happen, right?
As GORGEOUS as it is, I don’t want to spend time dealing with human hair.
I just want to watch Netflix.
So What Do You Think?
I know we have some diehard synthetic fans, as well as some diehard human hair fans! What’s your take on why you prefer one or the other?
Or, do you prefer both?
Let us know in the comment! Bonus points if you share your favorite piece.?