Toppik Review: Don’t Buy Before You Read This!

 toppikWhat is it?

toppikToppik is a hair fiber brand that’s made for both men and women. It’s described as being a safe and natural way to make even thinning hair appear much thicker and fuller.

The company website also mentions how it’s discreet and won’t appear artificial in any way.  Toppik is the most reviewed hair fiber brand on Amazon.com, with a current 2,044 customer reviews available.  The official website describes it as being a concealer, and it will not regrow hair; instead it will cosmetically enhance any available hair. Toppik is available in 9 different colors including:

  • Black.
  • Light brown, medium brown and dark brown.
  • Light blond, medium blond and Auburn.
  • Grey and white.

Colors can be mixed in order to achieve a different look. It’s advised to mix the following to achieve the described look:

         Salt and Pepper: Mixing black and white.

         Strawberry Blond: Auburn and medium blond.

         Platinum Blond: Light blond and white.

Colors can also be mixed to reach a more natural look that matches your hair color. The FAQ section adds:

“it is often encouraged to mix different shades in order to find the closest match to your own color, especially when working with blond or grey hair”

Therefore, people would benefit from purchasing two different colored bottles of Toppik.

There are also 4 available sizes which are made to be sprayed on and stylized to meet one’s preference. This can be added to ethnic, curly, flowing, and shorter hair. The topical spray is made to help resist against being altered by the following:

  • Wind.
  • Rain.
  • Sweat.

It’s also said to last until one washes it out with shampoo. So it can be used all day and night with no worry of suddenly falling out. Only a few shakes to dry hair are required. A spritz of spray is also advised in order to make sure that stays in place. It can also be mixed with hair growth drugs for those who are looking to regrow their hair.  The company promises:

“Toppik will change the way you feel about yourself every time you look in the mirror”

They also offer YouTube videos in where they apply this to both men and women with instant results.  The stated benefits of this brand include:

  • Ability to conceal hair loss.
  • Works as a root-touch up or can be added in between colorings.
  • Makes even thin hairs appear thicker and fuller.
  • Can cover up extensions, part lines, and resists against losing its form.
Toppik Ingredients and Side Effects

Toppik does provide the ingredients list on their official website, here are the active ingredients:

Keratin Ammonium Chloride Silica Aqua DMDM Hydantoin

Depending on the color of hair chosen, there are different color additives such as:

C1 15510 C1 15985 C1 17200 C1 61570 C1 45380

Keratin: Natural protein which makes up hair strands. It’s the main key active ingredient in many hair fiber brands. The makers of Toppik charge it with static electricity which is attracted to the negative charge of hair, thus binding to it and making hair appear thicker. It appears almost instantly and its quality can depend on how it’s treated, what other ingredients are used alongside it, and whether or not it’s sufficiently charged.

Keratin is known for being lesser in size as well as dustier and rougher than cotton. This makes them potentially easier to wash and dust off. It’s often taken from animal products and can be extracted from hoofs, horns, feathers, claws and other sources.

The Keratin in Toppik is made from organic protein, and they add:

“The Keratin protein comes from a natural wool source, which is  the closest match to human hair”

Not all hair fiber brands use a wool derived Keratin source. Wool has the capability to be charged much easier than other similar ingredients. It’s likely to stay when added.  When applying this ingredient to hair it’s known to promote a realistic looking head of hair. The official Toppik website also mentions how this main ingredient works:

“will disperse thousands of tiny hair-like fibers that will match your existing hair color, and bond with your own hair to conceal thinning and create a more natural-looking, thicker, fuller, head of hair”

Keratin made from wool has a more robust look to it, and it’s costlier than other forms of Keratin.

Ammonium Chloride: This ingredient is extracted from nonliving matter which can be sourced from different things. It’s often added to fertilizer and to add flavor to licorice. It is a thickening agent which can help dyes stick together and it has many known additional uses.

It can potentially cause irritation to the eyes, lungs, and skin. It’s also known to act as a diuretic and a reducer of coughs.

Silica: Also known as silicon dioxide or quartz. It is a mineral which can also be made artificially. There are many known uses to this ingredient. When added to other ingredients it makes them more free flowing, so they can distribute other additives easier.

It’s naturally absorbent and helps diffuse light. It can be hazardous to eat, but when added to things like cosmetics it’s unlikely to be absorbed. There are bagged up amounts of silica added to things like food in order to prevent moisture from causing any tainting.

DMDM Hydantoin: An antimicrobial preservative that is made up of formaldehyde. This is known to potentially increase the risk for allergies.

The EWG who is an organization which provides research on cosmetic ingredients has listed this ingredient as having a HIGH concern for:

“Irritation (skin, eye or lungs)”

It’s also described as being a:

“Known human immune toxicant or allergen”

Because of this fact, there is:

“Limited evidence of immune system toxicity or allergies”

In Japan it is currently restricted due to safety concerns. There’s some evidence which shows it may produce cancer.

Due to all these potential issues it has a rating score of 7 out of 9 on EWG, making it a highly hazardous ingredient.

Yet another study featured in the Wiley Online Library sates:

“An increase in the use of DMDM hydrantoin in cosmetic products will also inevitable increase the risk of cosmetic dermatitis in consumers allergies to formaldehyde.”

It releases formaldehyde and due to this fact it may be potentially dangerous, especially in certain people who are more sensitive.

It’s difficult to determine whether or not this additive will produce side effects in people however. Not all ingredients that are FDA regulated or approved are known to be safe.  Cosmetics Info.com has said that in the amounts added to cosmetics, it shouldn’t have any unwanted side effects. They add:

“The CIR Expert Panel has reviewed the safety of formaldehyde in cosmetics and personal care product and conclude that it was safe to a great majority of consumers”

“If the concentration of realized formaldehyde exceeds 0.05% in the finished product it must be labeled “contains formaldehyde””

Therefore the amount of DMDM Hydrantoin added to Toppik has mixed studies on whether or not it’s truly safe to use.

Since it does not come with a formaldehyde warning, it’s likely that in the amounts found it’s unlikely to produce side effects.

C1 15510: Also known as Acid Orange 7 and monosodium salt. It’s added only to add a unique color to the other dyes. The EWG mentions there’s a HIGH concern for:

“Persistence and bioaccumulation”

This means it builds up in the body and can be potentially toxic.

A moderate concern mentioned by the EWG group is that this ingredient can lead to:

“Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)”

Still, because this ingredient has a low rating on the EWG scale of 2, it would take a lot of it in order to promote ill effects. So it’s unlikely to be unsafe when applied to the scalp in small amounts.

C1 15985: This cosmetic dye is also known as Yellow 3 and Sunset Yellow. It is considered safe to add to skin, and has a EWG rating of 1, making it unlikely to cause irritation.

C1 17200: This red colorant is known more commonly as Red 33. It is added in low doss in cosmetics and has a low risk for any potential irritation or side effects.

C1 61570: Known as Green 5 it is commonly extracted from things like petroleum and coal tar. It can also be extracted from animals, plants, and certain kinds of chemicals.

The Environment Canada Domestic Substance List has reviewed this additive and has said it’s:

“Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful”

This ingredient seems likely safe, especially in the small amounts added to this brand.

C1 45380: The scientific name for D&C Red No. 21. It can be extracted from animals, plants, coal, petroleum, and other sources. The EWG has found that it has a moderate concern for:

“Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive”

It has been rated as a 4 for moderate concern due to the possibility for side effects. There are many other color additives which can be found in Toppik depending on what color one chooses to add.

They all have the same similar effect which is that it’s only toxic in high amounts, which is not found within this brand.

Toppik Quality of Ingredients

As far as the main ingredient in Keratin, it’s one of the most used hair fiber ingredients for a reason. It can work if it’s extracted from a good source. This main ingredient is what gives shape to hair to make it appear fuller. The rest of the ingredients are either for color, to make the ingredients flow better, or to improve overall texture. The electricity charged wool found in Toppik is a far better Keratin source than other hair fiber brands. It’s likely to stick and not be altered by things like sweat, water, or wind.

There’s also DMDM Hydrantoin which is known to be a potential allergen. This additive has the most potential for causing side effects, and it has a high risk rating according to the EWG. This is why it’s heavily regulated in Japan. It may potentially cause irritation and damage to the organs, as well as increase the risk for allergies and rashes. This is because it releases formaldehyde at a slow pace. A massive 287 page review conducted by the US Department of Health and Human Services found:

“Formaldehyde is carcinogenic to humans”

“There is evidence that formaldehyde is genotoxic a

“A single study reported cytogenic abnormalities in the bone marrow of rats”

However, this is in higher amounts of formaldehyde. The DMDM hydrantoin added to Toppik is unlikely to release this additive in any meaningful amounts which may cause damage.

Most of the ingredients offer no risks, and only one has a moderate yet still unlikely ability to cause side effects.

Many other hair fiber brands also contain similar additives which may be potentially harmful. The quality of ingredients in  Toppik can be considered safe in the amounts that are added.  There’s no cause for concern when using this brand and in researching customer reviews, only a very small amount of people experienced any allergies or rashes.

However, this small amount is nowhere near the majority of users who failed to notice any negative effects. Judging from the clinical studies on the ingredients and the customer reviews, it uses ingredients which are unlikely to be harmful.

The Price and Quality of Toppik

The official website sells Toppik for a range of prices depending on the size chosen. Listed on the official website are the following sizes and prices:

  • Travel: $7.95 for 0.11 ounces.
  • Regular: $24.95 for 0.42 ounces.
  • Economy: $46.95 for 0.97 ounces.
  • Giant: $79.95 for 1.94 ounces.

Standard shipping is free for all orders, expedited shipping for 2 to 3 days of wait is $16.95 to $21.95, and Next Day Air is $29.95 to $34.95. An additional comb and spray are also sold which are not necessary, but highly advised to make one’s stylized hair appear vibrant and to make it last longer.

It’s difficult to give an estimate as to how long each bottle will last, as the length of use depends on the total demand which can vary for men and women.

First time orders can receive a $10 discount if one signs up for an auto enrollment plan. This means customers are sent Toppik automatically and charged without having to authorize each order. While this is potentially risky when dealing with an unknown company, there haven’t been any negative claims against the company’s practices. In reviewing the company there wasn’t anything to suggest they don’t honor their guarantee or have shady practices.

A regular size bottle of Toppik with a spray applicator and comb sell for $35. This is the bundle package which is suggested as it has all of what’s needed to stylize hair and make it appear a certain way. The company describes it as:

“A 3-piece starter set perfect for anyone who is new to Toppik Hair Fibers and is looking for a cosmetic solution to cover thin, thinning, or fine hair”

Overall, the main ingredient in Keratin is a good way to make hair appear thicker and fuller. However, it’s common to many other hair fiber brands. Keratin extracts can come from many different sources, luckily Toppik uses wool and is charged in order for it to stick better.

The only ingredient one should worry about is the DMDM Hydrantoin. This additive has shown the possibility for serious side effects. It’s only function is to make sure the other ingredients are preserved. There’s a possibility for serious long term organ damage and skin irritation. The potential for organ damage would take a long time to show, and would be hard to pinpoint back to Toppik. So it’s something to be aware of for consumers who are concerned of this potential risk.  A Dr. Frank Lipman has added:

“they are derivatives of the formaldehyde, which is what scientists and mortician sue top preserve corpses and body parts”

“These chemicals are linked to allergies, chest pain, chronic fatigue, depression, dizziness, eat infections headaches, joint pain, loss of sleep, and can trigger asthma”

Other issues can include:

“weaken the immune system, and, surprise surprise, cause cancer”

In reviewing this ingredient there have been mixed studies on whether or not it would be safe to use. It’s difficult to say what one should expect from it due to the mixed science.

One major concern that you’ll read about in the “Customer Opinions of Toppik” section is that many had issues with the price. It’s one of the most expensive hair fiber brands available. It does have a more favorable Keratin source however, and whether or not one believes its worth it can only be seen with use.

Business of Toppik

Toppik is owned by a company of the same name, and they have operations in both Australia and the US. Their contact information is listed as:

Phone Number: (800) 844-2536

Address: 16 Yazaki Way, Carrum Down, Vic 3201 Melbourne

Email: support@toppik.com

Calls can be made Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM EST, and Saturday through Sunday, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM EST. It’s advised to wait a minimum of 24 hours before hearing a response back if one chooses to email.

A full 30 day money back guarantee is offered on all purchases bought from the official website only. Their guarantee is described as:

“If you don’t think Toppik is as effective as we have said it would be then simply return the container, even if it has been used, within 30 days of receipt of your order and we will refund the purchase price, no questions asked

The return policy is very good and is available with no questions asked if returned within 30 days of when you receive this product. So one can try it for a long period and decide then whether or not it meets your needs. All one has to do is ask for a RMA number and send back the bottle even if it’s completely empty.  The only thing not covered is shipping charges.

The company currently has an F rating on their Better Business Bureau page due to 2 unresolved complaints. One customer left a review which stated:

“To date, I have yet to receive the items”

“When I call (which I have done about 6x) they state that the item has, yes indeed, NOT been shipped

“They do not respond to my emails”

Another customer had a problem with either the service or the product itself, but they did not explain what the issue was.

It’s difficult to judge the entire company on 2 single reviews. No one complained about the money back guarantee not being honored however, which is a good sign. Other than this Better Business Bureau page, there are no complaints about the company from any other organization or website.  No FDA, FTC, or lawsuits have been an issue.

The company’s website also offers a lot of information to help answer any and all questions. They’re upfront about what they offer and they back up their claims with a solid money back guarantee.

Customer Opinions of Toppik

Toppik is the most reviewed hair fiber brand out of any other product on both their Amazon.com page, and their official website. This is likely due to their advertising which is seen in many national magazines. Here are some positive customer quotes about Toppik:

“One word MAGIC !!!! MAKES ME FEEL YOUNGER !! Thank you soooo much !!!!!”

“This product is perfect for my thinning hair. Just shake it on, follow with the spray (sold separate), style, and go. The color matches perfect. It is easy, I do truly love it”

“The product was excellent and the service was excellent as well”

“If you just want a fuller looking head of hair without the false promise of shampoos and hair transplants, this is a very natural and easy way to get it”

There are a total of 2,047 reviews at the time of this review, with 1,687 users leaving positive reviews, and 360 complaints from people who did not share the same results. Overall, this is a fairly good ratio of satisfied users to unsatisfied.  Here are a few of the negative experiences customers had:

“Terrible!!! Don’t buy …. Burned my scalp and I lost a large amount of hair after first use. I would give it no stars if I could . Not sure what’s in it but I wasted my money on this junk”

“All I can say is that its feels like you dropped a black powder or coal dust coated on your head”

“Don’t even bother to buy it your hair will look fake and cheap don’t waste your money”

“The fibers don’t stay on when applied, nor does it come with instructions.”

Those who didn’t like this brand often added it was because it was too expensive for the size of bottle offered, that it did not look good and in fact was artificial looking, and that they wish they would have purchased directly from the manufacturers since it’s cheaper there and offers a money back guarantee.

Customers who had a positive experience added that it looked natural, was better than other hair fiber brands, requires only small sprits to apply, and that it matched their hair color.

Since most people said it looked real and only a few thought it looked artificial, this means by no means is Toppik a brand made for everyone. It may not fit everyone’s needs, but it was the most highly rated out of all hair fiber products.

The official website also has a comment section where users can leave reviews. It currently has 558 out 580 or 96% of people who recommend Toppik.  There are different criteria with a 1 out of 5 rating with a 5 being the highest and 1 being the lowest. Toppik scored the following on their official website:

  • Effectiveness: 4.6
  • Reliability: 4.6
  • Ease of Use: 4.6
  • Discreteness: 4.6
  • Overall: 4.7

With the 558 people tallied up here is the amount of people who gave this brand between 5 stars to 1 star:

  • 5 star: 454
  • 4 star: 108
  • 3 star: 15
  • 2 star: 6
  • 1 star: 10

Judging from all the available comments reviews and tallying of possible criteria, it’s clear that most people had a good experience with Toppik.  Another website called Ulta Beauty also has compiled reviews with a grand total of 109. The following positive and negative labels show how many of the 109 customers that left a review agreed with what’s said here:

  • Easy to use: 84
  • Effective: 82
  • Good value: 43
  • Lightweight: 32
  • Gentle: 12
  • Not effective: 4
  • Poor texture: 4

One isn’t required to add a label, so although there are 109 reviews, not everyone commented on the above criteria.

There are also many online videos of people using this to help improve the sight of their hair. From all the available data it’s clear that many people have experienced positive results.

How does Toppik Compare to other Brands?

Toppik is one of the pricier hair fiber brands, and it’s also the most highest rated. So you’re paying for a premium but you’re also getting a top ranked product.

Toppik is also backed by a full 30 day money back return policy if purchased direct, and not all other brands have this kind of support.

It also uses a wool derived Keratin as its main ingredient which is not often found in other hair fiber brands.

Many other hair fiber competitors will often add potential irritants and carcinogens, but this one has an ingredient in DMDM Hydrantoin which is especially concerning. The rest of the ingredients are fairly safe and unlikely to cause any issues.

Toppik is found in many stores as well including Target, Wal Mart, Cosmetics Now USA, Sally Beauty, and other online retailers.

Overall, Toppik is the most reviewed brand and seems to be a reliable, high pried yet often enjoyed hair fiber brand according to most customer reviews. The company also seems to be transparent and they offer a lot of support and a full FAQ section.

For people looking for a hair fiber brand with a quality Keratin source that can make hair appear fuller and thicker, Toppik was the most favorable out of all other products.

Conclusion

The  brand that closest offers comprehensive well-rounded benefits is Toppik. Customers will have to pay a premium for this product as it’s one of the most expensive hair fiber products, but there are also mostly great reviews to support its use. It is also the most popular brand of its kind as of this writing.

You can purchase this brand direct and it’s intended to give the real appearance of hair in 9 different colors. It’s also supported by a full 30 day money back guarantee, so you can try it without risk if you purchase it from the manufacturer’s website. This is with no hidden penalties or fines, simply return the empty bottle and ask for a return number from  the customer service staff within the 30 day period.

The only real concern is the use of one ingredient which is known to have a high risk for serious organ damage. It’s unknown if the small amounts added to Toppik might have any real potential for damage, but it’s certainly something to be aware of.  Judging from the small amounts used and the lack of side effects from customers, it’s unlikely to be at all harmful in the amounts used.

Certain users have complained about its ineffectiveness, but this was from such a small amount of customers that the majority of positive reviews make it appear likely to be an effective product for most.

The company also seems to be legitimate with only 2 complaints against their business practices online.  There isn’t a perfect hair fiber product available, and it of course can’t regrow any hair, but Toppik seems to be the most comprehensive hair fiber brand available now.

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