Budget wig TRANSFORMATION and unpaid review!

My first 360 lace wig….

I’m a bit of a silk top snob… but I admit, they just don’t lay as flat as I want them too, even when I pull out all the stops. There’s nothing like that scalp though.

I decided to try something different. Knowing that it might not work out for me, I didn’t want to spend big bucks on it. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know that I’m always up for a challenge to customize my own pieces. DISCLAIMER: I am not a stylist. I learned how to customize by watching a gazillion YouTube videos. If you have never done any dying or bleaching before, please take time to learn before you just have at it because you have to be very careful not to stain the lace or over process the hair. You’ve been warned!

Usually when I am looking for a new piece, there’s lots of back and forth with a vendor, generally through Instagram. But this time, I was impulsive, and impatient, so I wanted to order something that was ready to ship, and I wanted to add to cart and checkout without the back and forth.

I had heard of China Lace Wigs before, so I decided to get in on their summer sale action. I saved an extra $35 off their already low prices, and shipping was free. They also accept PayPal which is a MUST for me.

Here’s my full, unbiased review. This review is in no way sponsored or endorsed by China Lace Wigs. I purchased this wig and all products myself. I may, however, receive a small kickback as an Amazon Associate if you use the links below to purchase the styling products I’ve recommended below! Using my links helps me earn a small amount of money so that I can reinvest it to test out and review more products for you guys. So, if you’re buying these items anyway, PLEASE support me by using my links (THANK YOU!!).

The piece I ordered is SKU ZCF423 from www.chinalacewig.com

Here’s the specs:
China Lace Wig Brazilian Virgin Human Hair Body Wave
360 Lace Frontal with HD Dream Swiss Lace CF423
Colour as pictured on the site
14 inches
150% density
Size large cap (22.75)

It came to $170.56USD plus import fees of $24CAD (about $17USD)

I recorded an unboxing and these were my initial impressions:
-Nicely packaged
-Quickly shipped
-Soft hair
-Nice density
-Baby hair
-Preplucked hairline
-Came longer than expected (the ends look thin, but I ordered a 14 inch so the length is actually pretty generous, even after I get the ends trimmed)

-It was orange (colour can vary on a screen, but the picture on the website appeared vastly different than what I received)
-Uneven colour- the roots were lighter than the body of the hair shaft which had residual colour from before the hair was processed in the factory
-the lace is light, but still a bit too dark for my skin tone which will make it hard to conceal when summer is over
-the knots were unevenly coloured
-very dark strands throughout the hair
-wefting visible along the edge of the frontal
-the cap is quite large but I did order a large size so I cut the lace back a bit above my ears and may make some further adjustments to the cap

I always, always, ALWAYS do a test wash when I get a piece assuming that it’s one that I’m planning to keep. When I test washed it, some colour was observed in the water (not a big deal). There was minimal shedding. I was pleasantly surprised with the body wave texture after washing.

This was not the colour I was expecting. Also…this is a regular occurrence in our house…hair laying around wherever. My poor family haha!

I bought 2 boxes of Garnier Belle Colour in colour 50 (about a level 5 neutral brown). The hair took the colour process well but it needed another round of colouring so I bought 2 more boxes. I paid 4×6.99=$27.96CAD plus tax so let’s say $30. You can find it here–> https://amzn.to/3jO0uY3

The roots were a different colour than the length of the hair… but… $179 people!

After 2 rounds of colouring, it was a nice rich, warm medium brown colour (bye bye pumpkin!).

I gave the hair a deep conditioning with Garner Fructis Nourishing Treat hair mask which smells like a tropical island vacation and made the hair super soft. It is very affordable. You can find it here–> https://amzn.to/3g0WjWC

After air drying the piece, I decided to bleach the front knots and the knots along the part line. I used 20 volume developer and BW bleach powder which you can buy at Sally’s. I should have left the bleach on a little longer, but it did lighten most of the knots (some remained black). I then added a touch of powder foundation to further mask the knots. The result was surprisingly good. I added a strip of medical tape to the part line as well after I took the photo below. It helps to hide the appearance of the grid pattern on the lace and prevents my bio hair from showing underneath since I refuse to wear a wig cap.

Knots bleached + makeup

I added OGX Quenching Coconut Curls Curling Hair Butter to which added beautiful moisture to the body wave of the hair and smells similar to the hair mask I used.  You can find it here–>https://amzn.to/39wpsql

Then I topped off the beautiful air dry finish with some good ol’ Moroccan Oil. I like this one here: https://amzn.to/32V7rRg

I really dig this style of wave

I installed this wig myself, which was the first time I have ever worn a lace top. You need adhesive for this. Here’s what I used: https://amzn.to/31bZ2WT and https://amzn.to/39N4PGl

These got2b products are very commonly used, easy to find, cheap and you can find so many tutorials on how to use them with your wigs and toppers. They remove easily with water, and when I removed this wig, I rinsed the front lace with warm water to get rid of the residue.

For the price of this wig, I am absolutely shocked by how soft and fine it is! It’s been washed 3x and is still really manageable. No tangling noted. It is overall much longer than 14 inches. I knew from watching CLW live on Instagram that I should order a higher density as their pieces did not appear to be that dense. I would say this 150% density piece is closer to a typical 130% but of course this varies amongst different vendors.

The area where the 13×6 lace frontal meets the wefting proved to be problematic. It needed some finessing so that it was not visible. I used my curling rod to smooth down the hair over the wefts to adequately cover them and used hairspray to hold it in place. If this was going to be my daily driver, this would really bother me but since it will only be a piece for occasional wear, I don’t really care if the wefts are at risk of poking out, especially in the era of physical distancing.

It took some heat styling and hairspray to fix the wefts that were showing

The hair is a bit poofy on the top, so that will be remedied with the curling rod as well. It is also in need of a trim but as I said before, it came way longer than 14 inches so that is okay with me. I actually really like wigs and toppers with “whispy” ends as I find they look the most natural. I have done NOTHING to the curls below except adding the products mentioned above. I scrunched the hair a tad after applying and it dried just like the photo below. If you’ve seen the photos of my biological hair, you will know why I like an undone wave/curl pattern… my own curls are WILD!

This wave pattern makes the hair look very natural. Perfectly styled hair doesn’t look as natural on me
This is apparently “HD lace” but I have nothing to compare it to. I did NOTHING to this hairline except bleach the knots and added some powder foundation. It came preplucked with baby hairs. None of my natural hair is showing. This is not glued down here.

The lace lays SUPER flat. Like unbelievably flat. “I can’t believe it’s not growing out of my head” flat. This is virtually unachievable with a silk top.

It’s so flat! And those baby hairs are EVERYTHING!

Next time, I would be sure to communicate more with the vendor prior to purchasing. And I would go for a full lace cap next time, meaning that there is no wefting. No wefting= no risk of the wefts poking out.

I will also note that the vendor and I have different opinions on the definition of “virgin hair”. I did not clarify with them prior to purchasing (my own fault) but did reach out afterward inquiring about the colour variation in the hair upon receipt of the item. They denied that the hair was anything but virgin and explained that virgin meant “quality” so in all fairness, they didn’t claim that virgin hair was unprocessed. I did express to the company that I feel this should be more clear for customers, as when I think of virgin hair, I think of my bio hair which is untreated and uncoloured. I spoke with some other hair loss ladies about this and learned that there are wide variations of how manufacturers define “virgin” hair. So do your research prior to purchasing. For the price, I can’t complain. And now my next purchase will be better informed.

If you are on a budget, prepare to invest time learning and doing the work to make your pieces your own. There’s a reason that high end wig companies charge what they do for customized pieces. It’s a TON of work and being a stylist/colourist is a skilled trade. I’m NOT a stylist but I have done enough of my own pieces that I see the beautiful colour work stylists do and know how much time they pour in. So, if you’re paying $200 for a wig, don’t expect it to look like the pieces you see everybody drooling over!!!!!!!!!!

Overall, I really can’t complain about this piece. Would I consider buying from this company again in the future? Maybe. This piece was a lot of work. Since the terminology can vary from one vendor to another, it is hard to know exactly what you’re getting/what processes have been done to the hair. I will be sure to clarify that before purchasing next time. I also want to see how the hair holds up before considering another order so expect an update on this piece.

Drop your questions below if you have any!

I did NOTHING to this hairline
What lace?
I think I could get used to this length on me but the piece does need a slight trim

Kristina teaches us about bonding

Everybody meet Kristina! She is a fellow hair loss sister and the DIY bonding QUEEN! Read her story, then check out her additional resource if you want to learn more about semi-permanent, non-surgical hair replacement!

“I am wearing hair for 7 years now, after I willingly decided to stop being depressed about my hair loss and do something about it.  For five years I have tried almost everything under the sun -Minoxidil, Toppik, different natural hair growth treatments, pills, vitamins… Spent most of my savings as a student on products and doctors, listened about numerous different diagnoses and speculations. All of which did nothing to come to solution how to stop the hair loss or tell me what is wrong in the first place.

“Doctors, family and friends all said this is in my head and it will get better. Right…

“Hair loss just kept getting worse and worse while I started panicking more and more as how to hide it. And I hid it well. Spending an hour after each showering, putting Minoxidil and painting my thinning scalp with DermMatch. Still, hair continued to become thinner and thinner.

“In the final year, I haven’t worn the hair down at all, because it just felt like an old lady hair, it didn’t behave like healthy hair and I just hated it. This wasn’t me and it occupied my whole world. I started feeling depressed as nobody seemed to understand the fact that I WILL indeed lose hair. I even stopped talking about it to anybody as they would perceive it as being vain as superficial as they could not see what I see.

“Fortunately at the time, I have found my tribe at a few hair loss sites, where I connected to women like myself. Women who have shared their similar stories. This opened my eyes to the scary truth that there is a huge amount of women losing their hair. Severe hair loss DOES happen to women which confirmed my fears, but also made me more and more comfortable seeing how they cope and the solutions that exist. So at that point I have started focusing more on the solution and have learned a lot during these years before diving into hair replacement.

“I had one major precondition in choosing my solution – it had to be able to support my active lifestyle. This is what hair loss robbed me of – I stopped doing sports and would just lay and sleep as much as I could to forget and escape the reality. Always being known as optimistic and cheerful person, I was becoming depressed without sport. So I figured my most suitable solution would be the hair replacement – giving me that freedom to be active and not to think about hair for days. This was my only way out if I wanted to continue living my life being only 25 at the time and not accepting to spend my years being depressed.

“I have managed to research online about the toppers and bonding, contacted several vendors, calculated costs in the long term…I had to. Being a student in a country where hair replacement was almost never heard of (Central Eastern Europe) and the living standard is not as high as in the other countries. If I were to do this – it had to be financially possible in the long term. After a year I was ready for my first order. Made a custom head template, sent it to chosen vendor and ordered my first hair piece. Bought all the supplies I needed – some online and some locally – and prepared myself with a shot of strong alcohol 🙂

“On my first day of bonding, I had a very close friend by my side who knew what I was going through. She was my support to go through this. My hair piece was beautiful but I felt so scared. Still, seeing my hair and seeing that hairpiece that is soon to replace that wispy thin hair just made me positively nervous and excited. We took our time, following my written script word by word, step by step. Trimming the hair was the hardest part but I decided firmly and just hated my hair so much and said: “Goodbye bio hair, if you don’t want to serve me, there is another one willing to. I am taking the steering wheel in my own hands and nobody will control my life but myself!”

“Just that act alone was such a burden coming off my chest and made me a stronger woman I am today.”

A HUGE thank you to Kristina for sharing her story with us. If you want to learn more about bonding, whether you’re considering having it professionally done, or doing it yourself, or maybe just curious to learn about the process, Kristina’s e-Book is a MUST READ! She also invites you to check out her private Facebook Group “Bonding Sisters”.



Kristina’s story is a reminder to us all that we can choose to let hair loss slow us down, or we can find ways to adapt. She is a true inspiration!

Kristina adapts her hair to her lifestyle, not the other way around

A call to action: Tell 1 person about your struggle

I cannot stress enough that whether or not to and how you tell your loved ones, friends, family, acquaintances, coworkers, strangers, about your hair loss is a completely individual choice.

Here’s a bit about where I’ve been, where I’m at now and where I’m going in this sense, as well as my call to action!

You’ve learned about me that I am a private person. I don’t like others to know when I’m struggling with something. I’ve also got a bit of “it’s nobody’s business” sass to me (this goes for more than just alopecia!). So while I’ve cracked open a bit with being vulnerable, I’m still of the mind that my personal medical information is NOBODY’s business unless and until I choose to share it. I don’t HAVE to tell anybody anything. The grocery store clerk or my coworker have no practical reason to know about my alopecia or why I conceal my hair loss in the ways that I do.

So why am I sharing so publicly about it now then? My target audience is HAIR LOSS SUFFERERS who are where I’ve been! There is solace in sharing a common bond with somebody who has had so many similar thoughts, feelings and experiences. My hair loss is not a deep dark secret anymore but I don’t broadcast it to everyone I know in my physical world. Maybe I will get to that point and I admire those who do. I think it is important for hair loss to be as normalized as someone needing to wear glasses and for others to be as comfortable talking about it as we are in our virtual community.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that a few days ago, I shared a bit about my journey with some friends and family members. Here’s how it went:

🌼Friend A- said she knew I was always sensitive about my thinning hair but didn’t know that I had alopecia. She took a scroll through my blog and now is following along on my Instagram page (HI BABE!).
🌼Friend B- a total cheerleader for me doing the blogging biz. She was nothing but supportive and was happy to give my stuff a read.
🌼Friend C- disclosed experiencing her own hair loss after having her baby and was relieved that she was not the only one.
🌼My beautiful sister-in-laws said they had NO IDEA that I was ever experiencing hair loss because of my hair magic 🙂
🌼My brother- totally unexpectedly cool about the whole thing. I don’t handle awkwardness that well but he totally breezed through the whole conversation about it without making me feel awkward at all.
🌼My Mama Jo- she’s been there through it all. Came to the dermatologist with me all those years ago… I told her when I got my first hair piece. But she didn’t know I was sharing publicly. She even wants to guest blog on here about her own hair! Are you guys down for that?

I may not have told many people but this felt light a HUGE step for me and I feel a little lighter. Maybe the day will come where I respond to a compliment about my hair with a “it’s a wig” if I feel like it. I’m unpredictable like that so we will see if the mood strikes.

How will I get there? Slowly but surely, with support, patience and self-love. The more people I open up to, the less ashamed I feel. The more we talk about it collectively, the less alone someone may feel if they are where I was all those years ago first facing my diagnosis.

This is my call to action…. Whether you are experiencing body image issues or insecurities about your hair, your weight, your nose, infertility, feelings of inadequacy, a personality trait, WHATEVER it is… I challenge you to tell ONE person you trust about it. Once we are aware of our own insecurities, we can hide them, or we can face them head on. Telling one person we trust is a good, non-threatening way to reach out for that support we need and to have at least that one person on our team.

Don’t worry if your person doesn’t know how to react. Send them to my previous blog about supporting someone with hair loss. TELL THEM WHAT YOU NEED FROM THEM! Do you need them to commiserate with you? Do you need them to listen? Do you need them to snap you out of your funk? We cannot expect that the people in our lives are mind readers so it is on us to be clear about our needs. It is a good idea to be clear about the type of support you need before you go to your trusted person. If you’re not sure, think about the following:
-What is it about my insecurity that is bothering me the most?
-Am I concerned about the way other people are looking at me?
-Do I need to feel loved and accepted?
-Do I need validation?
-Do I need to hear that the way I’m feeling is normal?
-Do I need to know I’m not alone?
-Do I need to vent?
-Do I need a shoulder to cry on?
-Do I need someone to hold my hand while I’m working through this?
-Do I need a push to get back to doing the things that make me ME?

Your friend can’t solve these issues for you but reaching out makes you more accountable to start working on these issues Your support person can’t do the healing for you but they can be there for you while you do it. Maybe they can help you process some of this or they can steer you toward a professional to help you work out the rest. Or maybe telling that one person is just a cathartic release that ignites your healing.

Who knows about your hair loss? How did they react? Who has supported you?

While my hair loss started before I met my husband, he was the first person I told about buying my first bottle of hair fibres, and then, years later, about buying my first hair piece.
While my hair loss started before I met my husband, he was the first person I told about buying my first bottle of hair fibres, and then my first hair piece. Side note: PROTECT YOUR SCALP!

The golden rules for supporting someone with alopecia

Working in mental health, I greatly appreciate one’s need for proper support in managing difficult health conditions or facing issues related to body image.  As a longtime alopecian myself, I want to offer my insights on how you can support your friend, loved one, partner, spouse, coworker or acquaintance experiencing hair loss.  Here’s how you can help.

#1- Don’t mention it until they do!
There are different views on this perhaps.  In my 15 years since I was diagnosed with Androgenetic Alopecia, I received several unwelcome comments about the thinness of my hair.  Without calling out anyone specifically, I will tell you that someone closest to me felt the need to point out my thinning (on my 20th birthday no less) and this had a deep, long lasting negative impact on me.
If someone’s hair is thin enough that you’ve noticed, chances are, they already know!  There’s really no need to point it out.  It isn’t helpful.  I know that this can come from a place of genuine care and concern, but it can be very hurtful to the person on the receiving end. Think about it this way, what if someone you hadn’t seen in a while let you know you had packed on a few pounds since they last saw you? Probably wouldn’t sit so well with most people.

If the conversation happens organically, there is  no reason to point out that you had “noticed but didn’t want to say anything.”  This isn’t helpful either. Something like “do you want to talk about it?” would be sufficient (see #2 below!).

#2- Let your friend talk about their concerns
Vulnerability can be uncomfortable both for the person disclosing, and the person on the receiving end.  Don’t shy away from the conversation because it makes YOU feel uncomfortable.  Imagine how uncomfortable your friend is living with hair loss, feelings/suspicions of people constantly staring at their bare scalps, feeling insecure, and now feeling the need to have to explain it to everybody.  Be sure to actively listen to their concerns.  Ask questions if you are unsure about something.  It is perfectly okay if you don’t know how to respond, as long as you let them know that you are willing to listen.  There is already so much shame experienced by a hair loss sufferer that they don’t need you to make them feel even more ashamed in opening up just for you to shut down the conversation.   Don’t change the subject just because you don’t think hair loss is important. 

#3- Do NOT minimize or be dismissive about your friend’s feelings
Many people I confided in told me my hair “didn’t look that bad” or that they couldn’t tell that I was losing it.  This is well-meaning, but unhelpful.  It makes your friend feel as though you don’t care about the changes they have noticed in their own hair.  You know how your own hair feels when you run your fingers through it- so does your friend.  They KNOW their hair is less dense than it once was.  It can also be tempting to turn your friend’s “negative” into a “positive” by saying things like “well at least you don’t have to spend hours drying your hair” or “it must be nice to just throw on a wig and go” or “well at least you look good in hats.”  If somebody said those things to me, it would most certainly be met with a sarcastic “well gee, I hadn’t considered that.”  🙂

It is easy for someone with a full head of hair to say “it’s just hair”, or to jump straight to “at least it’s not something life threatening.”  There is no need to make your friend feel silly or guilty for being upset about their hair loss.  How we feel about hair is intrinsically intertwined with societal perceptions of beauty.  Our hair may connect us to our culture, family, or remind us of things in our past. It is often the first thing people notice about us whether consciously or unconsciously.  While long, lush locks are not inherently symbolic of femininity, we as participants in our current society have been conditioned to feel a certain way about how a woman “should” look.  

Side note: there is amazing work being done challenging these ideals of “feminine beauty standards.”  But that discussion is for another time!  The point of the matter is, if your friend is confiding in you about their hair loss, obviously their hair means something to them, and it is painful for them to see it coming off of their head.

Your friend has confided in you.  Now what?  “Wow, that must be really hard” is an easy statement to show you are trying to understand from their perspective.  This will help them feel heard.  Some other things you can say: “It sounds like that is really troubling you.””It seems like your hair loss is really impacting the way you feel about yourself.””I’m so sorry you’re going through this; I’m here to support you.””Tell me what it has been like for you dealing with hair loss.”

#5- Do not jump to solutions/problem-solving
Instead, ask how you can be supportive.  Maybe your sister’s friend’s cousin’s boss tried this new shampoo that totally worked to grow their hair back, or they used this supplement or that serum to stop their hair fall.  DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT MAKE THIS SUGGESTION (unless you are a qualified dermatologist, in which case, you can feel free to bring on the evidence based, scientifically proven and independently validated, clinical treatment recommendations)!  Allow your friend the opportunity to research their own options and make an informed decision.  It would be fine to ask them if they have a plan about how they will handle their hair loss after they have had a chance to talk to you about their feelings and experiences and have felt heard.  You can also follow up with your friend later if they’ve mentioned something specific they would like to try to see if it’s working for them.  Or, if you really want bonus points, offer to go with them if they talk about trying helper hair or getting a big chop.  It can be scary to take these steps to take all on your own!

#6- Thank them for sharing something so vulnerable with you
As I said above, it can be extremely embarrassing and difficult to talk about hair loss.  Your friend has entrusted you with something they have likely been struggling with for a while.  Let them know that you will continue to support them, and that no matter the state of their hair, or what options they choose to deal with their alopecia, you won’t think differently of them.  

#7- Respect their privacy by keeping it to yourself
If and when your friend is ready to be more open about their hair loss, THEY will do so on their own terms.  You do not need to tell everyone you know about a person’s condition.  Respect their privacy and do not share unless they give you their express consent to do so.

#8- Celebrate with them
Now that your friend has found an option or options that works for them and their hair loss, it’s time to CELEBRATE! Be happy for them. Let them know if you notice a positive change in how they carry themselves. And if they buy a bomb new wig, for Pete’s sake you better notice and “ooooh” and “ahhh” with them. She might even let you try it on some time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you have broken any of these golden rules, revisit the subject with your friend and take ownership.  Saying “I’m sorry I dismissed your concerns when you spoke to me about your hair loss” can go a really long way (see VALIDATE!).  


My husband tries desperately to notice when I’m wearing new or freshly styled hair. They all look pretty much the same, but he still gets credit for trying 😀

Wide headbands: A hair loss girl’s bff

Here’s one thing I’ll bet most women with hair loss have in their arsenal of hair products: a wide headband.  These are also known as “boho headbands,” “sports headbands”, “tube headbands”.  Whatever you call them, they are a godsend!

You can find just about any style, pattern or colour.  Some are “turban” style or knotted.  I personally prefer a flat, wide style so that I can give it a gathered appearance on the top.  You will also find a wide range of prices depending on the brand, the quality of the fabric, or the complexity of the construction.  My favourite, beloved, teal tube headband was an eBay purchase for under $5CAD several years ago.  She has, sadly, been through the ringer a few too many times and is showing signs of wear.  

So why might you need or want one of these?

With so much fabric, the provide GREAT coverage for thinning. This is especially important in the summer months so that you don’t burn your poor scalp.

They are versatile.  There are so many variations and so many ways to wear them and they fit with a lot of different looks.  You can dress them up or dress them down.

They can help you to ease into wearing hair if you’re nervous about blending your hairline with a wig or topper, or if you are self-conscious about your lace showing (PSA: even if you know nobody is looking at your lace, you can STILL FEEL SELF-CONSCIOUS ABOUT IT!).  It can also help if you’re worried about POOF- you can use your headband to help flatten the poof or just to disguise it.

They are great for active lifestyles that might not mesh well with some helper hair.  I would worry much less about ruining my $5 headband at the beach than an expensive hair piece.  It also keeps hair from falling in your eyes while you’re running.  

These are practical and functional to have as part of your wardrobe, affordable and easy to find in stores or online!  

BONUS: A tube headband can double as a face mask if you’re in an area where you have to wear one!

Elle’s Hair Loss Story

I’ve had a rocky relationship with my hair since late childhood when my hair turned from straight and blonde to curly and brown.  I didn’t know how to care for it.  I got teased for rocking a “tomboy” look because I would slick it back in a bun everyday because I didn’t know what else to do with it. 

Fast forward to high school when I learned how to tame my fine but plentiful curls, but resented them.  I would straighten them, colour them, bleach them, anything to try to change them from what they were to something else. 

When I finished high school, my hair started to slowly thin. I didn’t suspect it at the time, but I now wonder if there is a connection between taking birth control and my thinning hair.  By halfway through my 18th year, the thinning was noticeable enough that I went to my doctor.  He minimized my concerns but ran a blood panel.  When I went for my results, I distinctly remember him telling me that my iron was low which was likely the cause but sent me to a dermatologist.  I waited months to see the dermatologist who took one look at my labs, blurted out the words “Androgenetic Alopecia”, words that I had never heard before, and told me to take iron and start minoxidil and my hair would magically grow back. Spoiler alert: it didn’t.  I followed up with my GP about the treatment plan and diagnosis and he simply told me, “at least you will never be completely bald” as if that was of any comfort to, at the time, 19 year old me.  I did this treatment (iron tablets and minoxidil drops) for a little while, but I reacted adversely to the minoxidil and decided to stop. The medicated treatment made my scalp itch unbearably, most likely an allergic reaction, according to the dermatologist. I switched to the minoxidil foam and used Nizoral shampoo at his recommendation and continued for another year with my hair continuing to rapidly deteriorate. I decided not to pursue any additional pharmaceutical treatments due to the need for lifelong commitment. I also knew that any gains made would be at risk if I stopped treatment, and knowing that I wanted to have children in the future meant that I would need to stop the use of minoxidil during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

In the meantime, I tried other crazy remedies that Dr. Google suggested: onion juice; Nioxin shampoo; Hair Skin and Nails vitamins; scalp massages; low ‘poo/no ‘poo methods; micro-needling. I considered accupuncture and scalp micropigmentation but did not pursue these options.

I spoke to family and friends about hair loss and they simply minimized it.  They told me it looked thin because I was keeping it cropped short, but in reality, I was keeping it short to make it look thicker.  I remember experiencing unwelcome comments about my thin hair throughout my 20s.  A family member poking fun at me on my 20th birthday about it was truly devastating. Then, away for a wedding, I noticed just how “see through” my hair had become in the harsh bathroom lighting at our hotel.  That’s when I began obsessing over my loss.  I was frantically looking to Google for answers. My part was widening, my hairline was thinning, and my hair was overall much less dense than it was in my teens.  I started disguising my thinning using dry shampoo, creative styling (aka back combing the heck out of it!), using a deep side part, wearing wide headbands, hats.  There came a time when I couldn’t look people in the eye because I didn’t want to catch them staring at my sparse hairline and crown.  I even obsessed about it on my wedding day!

I became cautiously optimistic when I was pregnant with my first child as my hair looked a bit better throughout. If you don’t know, the hair cycle changes during pregnancy due to hormonal changes there is less shedding that occurs until about 3 months postpartum.  I went for a trim right around the time of my first postpartum shed.  The stylist commented “wow, if this is what happens to your hair after having babies, I’m never having any.”  This impacted me for a very long time, and I struggled to regain any confidence after this.  I forced myself to muster up the courage to go to a new stylist and was up front with her about my thinning and told her about the horrible experience I had had prior to that. I started seeing her every 6 weeks for a trim to maintain my chin length angled bob. This made the thinning less bothersome for me for a while but required a lot of maintenance.

Since my hair wasn’t taken from me all at once,  I grieved, albeit slowly, for a long time.  Marriage, motherhood and a professional career slowly chipped away at my insecurity and grief about my hair loss.  I started to see that there were more important things in life, and that the people in my life didn’t care if I had any hair at all.  You will hear more about this shift in my thinking in later posts. My hair loss still bothered me, but I knew I had to carry on.  I experimented with fibres, and then a combination of fibres and scalp makeup and kept my hair cropped short for quite some time.

My hair was in rough shape after the birth of my second child.  I decided to experiment with alternative hair after much research.  I took to YouTube to learn all about different options (I can’t wait to share all the YouTubers and Instagrammers that first inspired me with you all!). My hair was too thin for extensions at this point, so fortunately, I stumbled upon toppers.  With my husband’s support, I bought my first  relatively inexpensive topper to experiment with.  When I took it out of the box, I was devastated because the colour didn’t match .  I was too embarrassed to take it to my stylist to have her colour match and cut it so I took to Youtube once again to learn to do it myself which turned out okay.  I learned a lot from this piece about my likes and dislikes.  I knew I needed a bigger base and a different type of cap.  So I kept doing research before ordering my next piece. 

I finally opened up to my stylist about wearing hair when I bought my second piece.  She colour matched it beautifully for me.  The confidence this gave me was overwhelming!  I was suddenly welcoming of having my photo taken, of going to gatherings, of letting my hair down at the beach.  It was truly freeing.  I finally felt like me again!

When I returned to work after maternity leave, I was too embarrassed to wear my piece. This seems to be an all too common fear amongst women taking the leap into the world of alternative hair.  It wasn’t until I took a new job in a different department that I decided to go for it.  Sure, it has raised a couple of eyebrows here and there, but it was better than the alternative, and made me feel more confident. 

Now, I’m off work after having my 3rd baby, so most days, you will find me, with or without my helper hair, on the trails with my hubby, 3 kids and a dog in tow.  I am blessed!

I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of the wonderful online hair loss community. There is something profound about the shared experience of hair loss that builds one’s confidence in and of itself. This has led me down this path of sharing my journey more openly. I am proud of how far I have come with acceptance.  If only I had found the type of support this hair loss community offers sooner in my journey!  I would have spent so much less time obsessing about my loss and instead, looking at solutions.  A year ago, I would have never considered showing ANYONE (except my husband…maybe my doctor) my scalp, let alone having photos and videos posted on Instagram. My hope is to inspire even one person, wherever they may be on their hair loss journey.  I have gained so much from connecting with all kinds of amazing Alopecians near and far and for this I am truly grateful.  

There is no cure for androgenetic alopecia. There are treatments but I’m focusing my efforts on other things. Professionally, I specialize in helping people cope with mental health disorders. I want to use my professional knowledge and personal experience as my contribution to the hair loss community.

My kids are 100000% worth any extra hair I’ve lost due to pregnancy and postpartum shedding

Meet Elle

Meet Elle, the creator of Elle’s Hair Corner

Welcome to Elle’s Hair Corner.  As you may have seen, “Elle” is for Laura- that’s me!  Laura’s Hair Corner just doesn’t have the same ring to it!  Why the corner?  That is literally where I store my hair…in the corner of my bedroom.

For a very long time, I allowed my hair loss to define me… so before we dive into my hair loss story, let me tell you about some of the other things that are important to me and have a presence in my life.

I am a mother of 3. I have a wonderful husband. We are nature enthusiasts with a spirit for exploration and adventure (more to come on that soon!). I love yoga, cooking and baking, dark chocolate, wine, the beach, comfy clothes, thrift shopping and green tea. I’m a strong advocate for self-care, self-acceptance, and self-love.

I have a fulfilling career in the mental health sector.  I spent a good chunk of my life in school and have achieved an undergraduate and a master’s degree.  Being in the helping profession was a calling for me, and has helped me to grow as a person.  I learn and have learned so much from the people I serve.

I’m an empath and introvert through and through.  I believe in authenticity, which is why I am working on being more vulnerable and putting myself out there a bit more. I find joy and feel called to help others.  I am open-minded.  I think of myself as accepting, but I recognize and acknowledge my privilege and inherent biases. I am very practical, and focus my efforts and energies on practical things.  I strive for balance in all that I do. For reference, I’m a cis female with she/her pronouns (if you don’t know what that means, please look it up!).

I do not enjoy washing dishes or looking at them piled in the sink (you see the conundrum?).  I HATE folding laundry but for some reason, I don’t mind washing it.  If I start a task, I do not like setting it aside and coming back to it later unless it’s one of the aforementioned undesirable tasks.  I hate when people show up unannounced, though I have done the same my fair share of times. I dislike conflict and don’t take criticism well. 

Now, the biggie, and probably why you’re here- I have Androgenetic Alopecia. I won’t bore you with the medical mumbo-jumbo because if you found my page, you certainly can find this information on Google! While you’re at it, you can read up on other forms of Alopecia as well!

 I began losing my hair noticeably at the age of 18, just after I finished high school.  By the middle of my 18th year, the thinning was bad enough that I sought medical advice.  I saw a dermatologist at the age of 19 and was diagnosed.  I was told that if I took iron and used minoxidil, my hair would grow back.  It did not.  I know this diagnosis is a tough pill to swallow and it has taken me many years to come to terms with it.  Hearing from my doctor that I “would never be completely bald” was of little comfort to me at the time of diagnosis.  I have endured countless negative comments about my thin hair, as well as comments from well-meaning loved ones minimizing my hair loss. I’ve tried many different methods and products for “concealing” hair loss.  I can’t wait to share more about my favourites with you!  I won’t try to sell you on any magic potions for regrowth, because I’m not a dermatologist, and what I’ve tried for regrowth hasn’t worked for me.  What you will find is my honest opinion about any products I discuss. 

I want to hear your hair loss stories too! I would love to have diverse experiences represented on my blog. Whether you’re a woman, man, elsewhere or nowhere on the gender spectrum, a child (with your parent’s permission), person with a disability, person of colour, if you’re experiencing hair loss or wear hair for other reasons and want to share, please email me at elleshaircorner@gmail.com and let me know if I have your permission to post on this blog.

While I have come to terms with my hair loss, I know many are at a different phase of their journey. I will do my best to commiserate with you, empathize with you, lift you up, or hail your self-acceptance. What I won’t do is try to diagnose or tell you how to treat your own hair loss….you’ll need a physician for that!

What else would you like to know about me?

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