By Paul Taylor
Using Toppik hair fibers can cause some side effects. This review explains potential disadvantages of the ingredients in keratin hair building fibers.
The information below should help you decide whether or not this hair loss concealer product might be a bad choice for your hair and your health.
Toppik is very similar to Nanogen (reviewed on the previous page). Tiny keratin fibers are shaken onto your hair where they attach and then firmly stay put thanks to electrostatic charge.
However, you still need to use the Fiberhold Spray product to keep the fibers in place.
Then there's a Hair Fattener product which aims to do just that by penetrating deep into the hair shaft and add more thickness and body to your hair.
And finally, a Hairline Optimizer can be used as you shake the
fibers onto the hairline. The aim is to get a more natural look
rather than the straight line which might otherwise occur.
First the good news: using Toppik hair fibers does not* cause hair loss.
* Note though that Problem #4 in the Mane Hair Spray review explains how concealer products might just make your hair loss worse.
As for the bad news, research from forum comments state that Toppik hair building fiber ingredients contain ammonium chloride, and that this substance has caused side effects in some people.
Like many chemicals, ammonium chloride can be dangerous if a significant amount were to enter your body.
So, potentially, repeated exposure over time might lead to ammonia poisoning, with the following possible symptoms (1):
As you can see, ammonium chloride is not something you really
want to keep putting into, or onto, your body in large amounts. Your
risk probably depends upon:
Forum posts have also reported complaints which include: aching muscles, heart palpitations and persistent headaches. And for what it's worth, some users also said it smelt a bit strong.
As for the official website, the only details they give on fiber ingredients is that they contain pure, organic keratin and are completely safe. There’s no mention of ammonium chloride.
This, of course, strongly suggests that there shouldn’t be any side effects from Toppik at all, but also strongly contradicts those forum comments and complaints I found.
So I wrote to the manufacturer about the fiber ingredients. Here’s their reply:
"The ammonium chloride is a very small % of the product and used
as a preservative for the product. It’s a topical solution that will not
be inhaled or digested in large quantities."
Even so, the website itself does have some mixed product reviews (including the report of an allergic reaction from the Hair Fattener product causing a rash on the skin).
And another problem is that, whilst the Fiberhold Spray is supposed to hold fast when you sweat, some reviewers state that this isn’t always the case – the fibers can fall out, mix with water and turn green, etc.
This leads on to my final two reasons for not using hair loss concealer products. Following on from the previous page:
Suppose you go for a run. Well, unfortunately, some concealer products can start running with you!
In other words, the dye used to give the spray, powder or fibers their color, will leak out into your sweat (green in the case of Toppik as you’ve just read) and can then run down your face. And that's not a good look!
Some men and women who use concealers might be a bit scared to touch their hair after they've applied the product. Even though some manufacturers say that you can touch, comb and style your hair, many people will still be reluctant to do so for fear of combing out or dislodging the product.
Personally, I believe regular daily scalp massage exercises are one of the key ways
to stimulate hair regrowth and maintain strong healthy hair. But that's
not going to happen if you "wear" artificial hair fibers on your head
for hours on end every day and totally avoid touching your hair or
But regardless of the product type or method of application, I believe all hair loss concealers have disadvantages due to one or more of the eight reasons I gave in this review (spread over four pages).
These products might be sophisticated enough to give a natural looking result, but this approach to hair loss couldn't be less natural in my view.
So if you’re thinking about using one of these concealer products, I hope you found this review helpful.
This is page 4 of 4.
Read previous page? Say No to Nanogen?
(1) Possible ammonium chloride exposure symptoms:
The following page refers to: twitching (muscle spasm), irregular breathing, arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat), bradycardia (slow heartbeat) and coma. Source: https://www.drugs.com/pro/ammonium-chloride.html
The following page* refers to: eye and skin contact, inhalation, and asthma-like allergy. Source: https://nj.gov/health/eoh/rtkweb/documents/fs/0093.pdf
* This Hazardous Substance Fact Sheet from New Jersey.gov also gives ammonium chloride a rating of "2", which means it poses a "moderate" hazard to health.
Updated: 19 June 2019.
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