Thu 6 Jul 2006
There really is no method to hide the fact that you’re losing your hair other than cover it up with a hat or a hair piece…or is there?
A concealer is basically a make up-like substance that is applied to the hair, scalp, or both to create the illusion of more hair. Sound hokey? Well, it may – but some of these products work very well. Hollywood has been using products to disguise actors’ thinning hair for decades. It was only relatively recently that products have become available to the general public. Unfortunately, like so many other things related to the industry, the first appearance of a concealer to the public was not an appealing site. Remembers the “GLH” Hair-in-a-can spray that was advertised on infomercials in the early 90′s?
Times have changed. Modern concealers can be a very viable solution for hair loss sufferers that want to cover up a thin spot (usually the crown) while waiting for their hair loss treatments to thicken up or while they ponder a surgical alternative.
I’ll make a post about each of these concealers later on, but for right now I’ll give a quick synopsis of the ones that seem to work the best:
- Toppik – Tiny “microfibers” that you shake out of a small can on to thin spots. It works particularly well on the crown but the user needs to be very careful if using it near the hairline. If too much accumulates in one spot it can be very noticeable and can look like dirt. You need to have a fair amount of hair for this to work. If you have a completely bald spot then count this stuff out. When used with the “FiberHold Spray” (basically hair spray that keeps it on) it stands up well in wind and can look amazingly natural. Don’t even think about swimming or going out in the rain, though. Toppik washes out easily with shampoo. See how Toppik stacks up against a similar product, Nanogen.
- DermMatch – Looks a lot like something that would be in your wife or girlfriend’s make up bag. It’s a small disk of a powedery substance rubbed on to the scalp and hairs using a small applicator. You will need a fair bit of hair for DermMatch to work, but since it adheres to the hair shaft it does a great job making the hair seem much thicker. It also colors the scalp to match your natural hair color to reduce the contrast between hair and scalp, thus creating the illusion of more hair. DermMatch holds up remarkably well to wind, rain, and even swimming but washes out easily with shampoo.
- Couvre‘ – Touted as an “alopecia masking lotion.” This toothpaste-like substance is applied to the scalp to match the scalp color to your hair color. It can be messy until you get used to it but works remarkably well if you have suitable hair coverage to work with. Like the other two, it will not work on completely bald spots. Couvre’ stands up rather well to rain and swimming and washes out easily with shampoo.
There are more concealers than these but, in my opinion, these are the best. If you are considering a concealer, a solid way to see which one works well for you is to just buy it and try it out. Make sure you practice with it a couple of times before making a final decision, though, as it may take you a few times to get it to look natural. Additionally, mixing and matching them can be very effective as well. Couvre’ and Toppik work excellently together as well as DermMatch and Toppik.
Editor of the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.