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What Are Bonded Toppers? The Pros and Cons

July 9th, 2024 | 9 min. read

What Are Bonded Toppers? The Pros and Cons

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Are you struggling with hair loss and considering a topper to add density and volume? Perhaps you're thinking about a bonded topper but feel uncertain about the commitment it requires.


With so much information out there, it can be overwhelming to decide which option is best for you.


At Daniel Alain, we don’t make or sell bonded toppers, but we are experts in the alternative hair industry. With years of experience in crafting premium human hair wigs and toppers, we are dedicated to helping anyone new to wearing hair make informed decisions.


In this article, we'll guide you through the pros and cons of bonded toppers, so you can determine if they're the right fit for your needs. By the end, you'll have a clear understanding of the commitment involved, and you'll hear from a topper wearer who has first-hand experience with bonded toppers.


We hope to help you make a confident choice about your hair journey.



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Understanding Bonded Toppers

What are bonded toppers?

Bonded toppers are a type of hairpiece that attaches to your natural hair using a strong adhesive. They are designed to add volume and coverage to thinning areas, giving you a fuller, more natural look.

How do bonded toppers differ from other types of hair toppers?

Unlike clip-in toppers that you can easily put on and take off, bonded toppers are semi-permanent and require professional application. They are attached to a shaved track in your natural hair, providing a more secure and long-lasting solution compared to other temporary toppers.

Application process of a bonded topper

The bonding process involves a professional shaving a small track into your natural hair. Then, a strong adhesive is applied to both your scalp and the base of the topper, securely attaching the topper to your head. This ensures the topper stays in place without slipping.


The application process typically takes about one to two hours. Once applied, the topper can stay securely in place for four to six weeks. After this period, the topper needs to be professionally removed, the adhesive cleaned from your scalp, and the track in your natural hair reshaved before the topper is reapplied. 


Daniel Alain customer, Kim, began wearing a bonded topper several years ago after experiencing stress-related hair thinning after a serious car accident. Not seeing the results she was hoping for with Minoxidil, topicals, and red light therapy, Kim felt that a bonded topper was an instant, guaranteed fix and a temporary respite from her hair loss struggles.




"Even though the bonded topper required monthly salon visits, it really boosted my confidence. Having that extra hair coverage made me feel more like myself again,” says Kim.



The Advantages of Bonded Toppers

Advantage #1: Natural Look and Feel

Bonded toppers are fantastic for achieving a natural look. Because they are attached directly to a shaved track in your hair with a strong adhesive, they sit close to your scalp, making them blend seamlessly with your natural hair. This close fit means no one will be able to tell you're wearing a topper, giving you a confidence boost in your appearance.




Kim explains, "My bonded topper looked incredibly natural. It blended so well with my own hair that no one could tell I was wearing it.”


Many bonded toppers are made from human hair, which mimics the texture, movement, and shine of your natural hair. This means toppers can be styled just like your own hair, whether you want to curl, straighten, or color them. The result is a topper that enhances your look without anyone noticing the difference.

Advantage #2: Secure Fit

Bonded toppers stay in place thanks to the strong adhesive used to attach them to a shaved track in your natural hair. This method ensures the topper is securely fastened to your scalp, preventing it from slipping or moving around. This allows you to go about your day without worrying about your topper shifting or falling off, no matter what you’re doing. 


“With my bonded topper, I never had to worry about it slipping or shifting, even during my most active days. The security gave me the confidence to go about my day without constantly checking my hair.” - Kim



The Disadvantages of Bonded Toppers

Disadvantage #1: Regular upkeep required

Bonded toppers do require a fair amount of maintenance. Every 4-6 weeks, you'll need to visit a professional to have the topper removed, the adhesive cleaned from your scalp, and the track in your natural hair reshaved. This routine upkeep is essential to keep your topper looking fresh and natural, but it does mean committing to regular salon visits.




"Having to shave my head every month to reapply the bonded topper was really tough. It was a painful and time-consuming process, and seeing my scalp so exposed was quite traumatic. It was something I never really got used to,”  explains Kim.

Disadvantage #2: Initial investment and ongoing costs

Bonded toppers can be quite an investment. The initial cost can be high, especially if you're paying for high-quality hair and a professional bonding service. Beyond the initial expense, there are ongoing costs for the regular maintenance appointments. This can add up over time, so it's important to budget for these recurring expenses.

Disadvantage #3: Risks of irritation to natural hair and scalp

One of the significant downsides of bonded toppers is the potential for damage to your natural hair and scalp. The process of shaving a track and applying adhesive can be harsh on your hair and skin. Over time, this can lead to hair breakage or thinning in the bonded areas, and even skin irritation or sensitivity.


Kim attests, "The strong adhesive used for the bonded topper caused a lot of irritation and damage to my scalp. Every month, when it was removed and reapplied, my scalp would feel sore and sensitive. It wasn't a pleasant experience at all."



Bonded Toppers vs Clip-in Toppers


While bonded toppers may be a great option for some people because they offer a secure and natural look, they can also be a burden for others. The need for regular maintenance appointments, the high ongoing costs, and the potential for scalp irritation can make them inconvenient and expensive. 


For people who find these drawbacks overwhelming, there are alternatives available. Clip-in toppers, for example, offer a flexible and less invasive solution that doesn’t require the same level of commitment, making them an excellent choice for people who aren't ready for the commitment of a bonded topper.


For Kim, the monthly salon visits, scalp irritation, and the process of having her head shaved were eventually just too much. She decided it was time for a change.


Kim now wears a clip-in topper and has been amazed by its advantages. It was much easier to use—she could put it on and take it off in seconds without any pain or hassle. The clip-in topper also didn't cause any damage to her natural hair, allowing it to grow back healthier. The freedom and convenience of the clip-in topper made a world of difference for Kim, and she’s never looked back since making the switch.




"Switching to a clip-in topper was a game-changer for me. It’s so easy to put on and take off, and it doesn't damage my natural hair at all. I love the freedom and convenience it gives me, and my scalp feels so much better without the adhesive."



Is a Bonded Topper Really Right for Me?


If you're considering a bonded topper but aren't sure if you're ready for the commitment, we understand your hesitation. A bonded topper is a significant decision, and it's wise to do thorough research before making such a commitment!


In this article, we've explored the pros and cons of bonded toppers to help you understand their benefits like a natural look and secure fit, as well as the challenges they can bring, such as regular upkeep and ongoing costs. 


We also discussed clip-in toppers as a versatile and less irritating alternative, providing flexibility and ease of use without the same level of commitment.


If a bonded topper seems like too much of a commitment, consider exploring clip-in toppers. We invite you to book a consultation with us to learn more about our high-quality clip-in pieces. Our experts are here to help you find the perfect solution for your hair loss needs.


Whatever method you choose, we hope you discover how the right hair topper can make a positive difference in your life, just as Kim did.


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