Hairdresser Madeleine Fisher is rapidly becoming known by rural women for her personalised consultations for the fitting, care and colouring of beautiful toppers and wigs.
Tackling hair loss
She is based at her Orange salon, Solo Tu Bespoke Hairdressing, but travels by appointment as far as Wagga Wagga to fit toppers and wigs for thin or thinning hair. Clients see Madeleine for many reasons and may be genetically predisposed to hair loss, be receiving treatment for an illness or having a reaction to a stage in their life.
“I first dabbled in toppers through a clinic I attended some years back,” she said. “Then, one of my clients in Orange came in wearing one and asked me look after it for her, which I did and continue to do. I just loved doing that for her and she said I should do more of it, so I took it on and realised there was a lot of calling for it.”
In good hands
Toppers are for anyone with any type of day hair loss caused by conditions like alopecia where the hair will grow back. There are many conditions that people put a topper on for, whereas someone with permanent global hair loss would be more suitable for a wig, she explained.
“There is no particular training to do what I am doing with toppers, but I guess that being a hairdresser for 32 years has me tuned into that space with clients and in particular the confidentiality side,” Madeleine said. “It’s more about the scalp and the conditions around losing the hair, so people are coming to me to treat the side effects of their condition. I’m not a doctor or a psychologist, I just help with the aesthetics of the hair loss.”
Madeleine says she has found her true calling after years of searching within the industry and loves doing this niche work while running her salon.
A special place
“With my clients we laugh, we cry, we hug – and we change their lives. I have a discreet room to the side of Solo Tu for consultations so clients can view the extensive range of toppers we have in stock and/or discuss other options, including how I can colour-match or cut and style theirs to suit,” she said. “I do the magic and when it’s all done it looks great.”
The timeline for acquiring a topper is quite short, so if clients buy from Madeleine’s stock they could be ready in one sitting. Other clients may need two or three visits before they and their topper are ready to go. It can depend on their own confidence levels, their hair type and colour too, but she finds most people buy off the shelf.
“I keep a large range of toppers. Some are very small and I’ve got very long ones, too,” she said. “They’ve come a long way since the old toupees! Mine are all made with human hair. I see no point buying synthetic because they don’t last as long, they’re poor quality, and you can’t style or colour them so you’re very restricted with them.”
Her topper business, Infinite Hair, is now integral to Madeleine’s plan of creating a foundation that funds toppers for women in hardship using profits and/or monetary donations, and takes pledges from people knowing someone in need of one.
“Price-wise they are definitely a luxury item, and someone in need may not be able to afford one, so through my foundation we can help change their life,” she said. “And I liken them to a pair of glasses. Once you buy them they will last you a long time if they are looked after well.”
For optimal care Madeleine recommends maintaining toppers every two to three weeks by filling a container with water and adding a few drops of sulphate-free shampoo, then waving the piece through the water a few times, followed by conditioner and styling as normal.
“Alternatively, I’ll put a treatment on my client’s topper when they’re getting their hair done so it can go back on looking shiny and feeling new in the one appointment, and they walk out with fresh hair feeling like it’s part of them,” she said.
Stay local, feel lovely
As Madeleine is the only provider of this service west of the Blue Mountains the nomination is immensely important to her for the exposure it has provided about her service to women challenged with hair loss and looking for accessible ways to address that.
“You don’t need to go Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane for a topper service anymore. These excellent quality life-changers are available conveniently by appointment throughout the Central West and Riverina.”
Visit Infinite Hair
Our 2023 Outreach Program of the Year is sponsored by The Fitting Studio