How to measure your head for a wig or topper

If you are able to try on a piece in a wig shop before you commit to buy then you can tell how well it fits, how comfortable it is to wear, if the colour suits you and also the coverage and blend with your bio hair (if you are trying a topper). You will also benefit from fitting advice from a trained professional.

At the time of writing, this is unlikely to be possible in the UK due to COVID-19 restrictions. Regardless of lockdown restrictions, many of us simply do not live near to a wig shop and are having to order blind from online retailers. I have been buying toppers and wigs for the past three years and I have never been to a wig shop – all of my pieces have been online purchases. I have made a few mistakes along the way, but I can safely say that the most important thing you can do before making that online purchase is to measure your head.

How to choose a topper base size

These come in different base sizes depending on the amount of coverage you need and the extent of your hair loss. These start from the smaller parting pieces (around 2.5×2.5in), which are good for minimal loss around your parting and for tying up hair in a pony tail. These can add a bit of volume for women with fine hair, but won’t give a huge amount of coverage around the sides or back of the head.

I tend to wear average size toppers (sometimes called mid/progressive), which are anything from 5x5in or 5x6in to 7x7in. These tend to give good coverage of the top of the head/crown area and some coverage on the sides and back. If you have advanced or more severe hair loss, but don’t want to wear a full wig, you can get much larger toppers that are 9x9in and 10x10in. Larger toppers can also be useful if your bio hair is shorter than the topper hair and you want to cover it up, rather than blend the two together.

I found this video from Lusta Hair useful as it explains how to choose the right size topper base and how to work out how much coverage you need.

How to work out your wig cap size

While most wigs come with adjustable straps, you will want to get one that is a comfortable fit for your head. Sizes are usually petite, average and large. Note: different brands work out their wig sizes differently, so it is important to check the exact measurements of their petite, average and large cap sizes. They should have this information on their website.

There are three key measurements you will need to take to work out your ideal wig size: circumfrance; ear to ear; and front to back. The majority of wig wearers will need an average cap, which is between 54cm to 57cm (21.25 to 22.5 inches). Petite wig caps are between 51cm and 54cm (20 to 21.25 inches), while large wig caps are usually bigger than 57cm (22.5 to 24 inches).

Many brands offer custom wig caps where you can submit your measurements and have a cap made that is the perfect size for your head. However, custom wigs are significantly more expensive than ‘off-the-peg’ wigs.

Check out this Jon Renau video, which shows you how to measure your head for a wig using a tape measure.

 

Quick 5: PerfectFringe human hair topper

Quick 5 is a short and sweet introduction to some of the different toppers and wigs I own – with everything you need to know in less than 5 minutes!

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Brand: PerfectFringe

Website: https://perfectfringe.co.uk/

HH or synthetic? Remy human hair

Wig or topper? Topper

Length: 12-14in

Colour: Dark brown

Cap size: 5x6in

Cap features: Silk top, free part, but you can request it styled into a left- or right-side or middle parting on delivery. You can also choose to have it styled straight, wavy or straight with wavy ends.

RRP: This exact piece is no longer for sale, similar pieces are priced at around £300 upwards.

I paid: £0. I won this piece in a competition on Instagram.

QUICK 5: Highline Wigs human hair topper

 

 

While longer and more thorough wig/topper reviews are useful, it is not often that I will sit and watch the whole thing from start to finish. Sometimes you just want the basic info on a piece and to see it on another person.

Quick 5 is a short and sweet introduction to some of the different toppers and wigs I own – with everything you need to know in less than 5 minutes! First up is my Highline Wigs human hair topper.

 

What you need to know

Brand: Highline Wigs

Websitehttps://www.toppersbysharon.com/

HH or synthetic? Human hair

Wig or topper? Topper

Length: 14in

Colour: Lexi with root #4

Cap size: 6x7in

Cap features: Hand tied, silk top, non-lace front

RRP: US $675 (approx £545)

I paid: £400. I bought this piece second hand but in almost new condition from a wig sister in Australia for £380 (including postage) and I paid around £20 on customs duty.

How to remove a comb and add a clip to your topper

Toppers usually come with several pressure clips sewn into them to attach the piece to your bio hair. Different brands use different-sized pressure clips and you might find that smaller or larger ones are more comfortable for you.

In addition, some toppers come with a comb at the front. I find these too bulky and uncomfortable, so I prefer to remove them and sew in a small pressure clip instead.

The video below shows how I removed the comb from the front of my Highline topper and replaced it with a small clip. Apologies for the shaking camera work – note to self that filming with one hand is not a good idea. 

You will need:

  • Sharp scissors or a seam ripper
  • A small needle
  • Light coloured or brown thread (depending on the colour of the hair on your topper)
  • A steady hand!!!

Choosing the ‘right’ colour topper for your bio hair

The ‘perfect’ blend

One of the main issues that women who wear toppers have is how to blend them with their bio hair. A good blend looks much more realistic. You do not have this same problem with a wig, as most of – if not all of – your bio hair is covered by the wig. (I tend to pull out some of my bio hair at the ears when wearing a wig, but this is not necessary.) Wearing wigs means you can be a bit more experimental with different colours.

As a topper sits on top of your head, you will see some of your own bio hair at the front, sides and underneath the topper hair. This can vary depending on how big the topper cap is, how much hair the topper has and how thick it is. For this reason, a good colour match is important. For example, I do not have much hair at the front of my hairline, so I tend to wear my toppers right where my hairline begins. However, for women who have more hair in this area, they often wear their toppers an inch or so back from the hairline and then blend their bio hair with the topper hair. 

If you have jet black hair and you choose to wear a white blonde topper, this is going to be an obvious contrast. However, you can wear a few different shades lighter or darker than your bio hair – especially if the topper is rooted. It is quite normal for the hair at the nape of our neck to be slightly darker than the top of the head and also many women have darker roots than the lengths and ends of their hair. In the above video, I will show you a few of the different shades of brown topper I wear on a regular basis – from light brown with subtle blonde highlights to a dark chocolate brown. 

Toppers featured in this video: