In times of desperation men with thinning hair will do anything to hide their hair loss, even, it now seems, allowing their hairdresser to dye their scalp so that it becomes the same colour as their remaining hair.
While it sounds an extreme approach, it is perhaps not without its merits, as a series of Instagram videos and photos posted by Detroit-based barber Ali Alhashemi is gathering a growing army of fascinated followers. His approach to faking fuller hair means that men can rather convincingly conceal hair loss… even if it's only for a week or two at a time.
Talking to GQ magazine, Alhashemi says his magic cuts began with a client who had lost some of his hair during chemotherapy treatment. The barber told GQ: “He felt really insecure about his hair. Other barbers would have just not taken the time to figure out how to make his hair look full; I had him guide me in the direction and style he wanted it, but I cut the sides down to emphasise the hair on top.”
On the top, says Alhashemi, he added hair dye and blow dried it. “Once I did that and saw his reaction, it inspired me to do more of this kind of haircut,” he says.
Since then there has been an explosion of requests for the same service from other men with the genetic hair loss condition Male Pattern Baldness, as well as people with the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata, which leads to sudden, patchy hair loss. “It’s just like a random bald spot,” says Alhashemi. “Most of the time I can fix that.”
The Michigan-based barber says that adding dye to the scalp obviously doesn’t bring hair back, but he says that it stops the scalp from showing so much. This cosmetic quick-fix is similar to one used by celebrities whereby a powder - such as an eyeshadow - that is colour-matched to their hair is applied to the scalp and hairline to create the illusion of thicker hair in photographs and on stage or screen.
What Alhashemi is doing is employing two well-known temporary concealment techniques that have been employed by many men with thinning hair for decades. The first involves choosing a hair style usually short that takes the focus away from thinner areas and bald spots. The second involves adding colour/volume, which some men do with off-the-shelf powder-style products which add nanoparticles to the scalp and hair to disguise what Mother Nature has been up to. This is something footballer Wayne Rooney has been rumoured to be doing despite his famous hair transplant operations.
While such methods can give men a short-term confidence boost, they can be expensive, time-consuming, difficult to maintain and they often look less convincing close-up. Accordingly, many men prefer to tackle their shedding more directly - by addressing the cause of male pattern baldness, rather than simply masking its effects. They can do this by following personalised hair loss treatment courses featuring clinically-proven components that can stop hair thinning and also encourage new hairs to grow. It is even possible to use concealing fibres whilst using minoxidil until the regrowth starts to come through and they are no longer needed.
Belgravia is acutely aware of how sceptical men often are when they first hear that products exist which have been proven to be able to stop genetic hair loss. Following a consultation, however, clients often leave feeling reassured and greatly comforted - not just by the fact that a dedicated hair loss specialist will work with them and monitor their progress, but also when they see their hair start to grow back again.
High strength minoxidil - which is applied directly to the scalp, usually once per day - can also be used to great effect in mild to moderate cases, as a treatment for alopecia areata.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.