When a man starts to notice the first signs of hair loss a common initial reaction is to try to hide them.
There are a number of cosmetic products designed specifically to conceal hairloss, such as microscopic fibres and ‘hair in a can’ spray. But do they work?
BuzzFeed filmed four men with varying degrees of male pattern baldness trying out these products to find out how successful they were and what they thought of the results…
Spray-on hair and microscopic fibres
Of the four men involved in this experiment, two tried spray-on hair and two tried microscopic hair fibres, both by the brand Toppik. In each pair, one of the men had a receding hairline whilst the other had thinning hair along their vertex and at the crown.
One pair tried spray-on hair – a coloured hairspray – to see if it could make their hair appear temporarily thicker and fill in thinning edges.
“At this point it just looks like black spray paint,” says the first volunteer – a brunette – whilst applying the spray-on hair to his scalp and, inadvertently, his forehead. “It’s just getting everywhere now,” he laughs, his face and hands covered in dirty marks, before confirming that this is not a product he would try again.
The second of the pair is more obviously thinning on top, and seems surprised by the ferocity of the spray which matches his lighter hair colour. He has a little more success with the application, but is less than pleased with the results. “It feels stiff and dry… it left my hair a little bit too pouffy and frizzy for my taste,” states the unnamed participant. Continues below…
The second pair tested Hair Building Fibres, a shake-on powder-like product that is rumoured to be used by footballer Wayne Rooney. This is designed to conceal hairloss by creating the illusion of thicker hair, using fibres that cling to existing hair using a static charge in order to mimic the look of fuller strands.
First up is a tester who admits he has seen “hair in a can” advertised on TV but his “pride” wouldn’t let him order it. Again, there are issues with messy applications which, as you can see from the video above, lead to amusing results for the second participant. Both did note that they could see a difference, however, with one noting, “It’s kind of cool – but to have to do that every day would be a pain in the ass.”
Dealing with male pattern hair loss
Colouring in the scalp to make the hair appear thicker is an old Hollywood trick that make-up artists have used on celebrities for decades. However, whilst it may work in photographs and on TV, in the close-up reality of everyday life, this approach can look quite unnatural. One of the Buzzfeed volunteers actually says, “it looks good on camera and I always just wondered if it looks good in real life” – and now he has his answer. “It definitely fills in the place where I actually have hair,” he says, “but I tried to move my hairline forward and that did not work at all.”
Making thinning hair appear thicker is something that can be done to give the hair a temporary boost but it is not a long-term hair loss solution. Anyone concerned about losing their hair to male pattern baldness would do well to research their options for actual hair restoration, rather than relying on cosmetic products which are unsuitable for people with larger areas of thinning hair or baldness. This is because genetic hair loss is a permanent and progressive condition which causes gradual balding around the top of the scalp and hairline.
There is no cure for hair loss when it is genetic, but the condition can often be successfully managed through the use of a hair loss treatment course – especially when help is sought before it becomes too advanced. Male pattern baldness has two MHRA licensed and FDA approved medications – finasteride 1mg and minoxidil – which have been clinically proven to stabilise existing shedding, promote hair regrowth and prevent baldness with on-going use.
Pharmaceutical hair loss solutions can include one or both of these recognised treatments. Appropriate applications of high strength minoxidil, which comes in a number of formulations, is used topically to help promote hair growth and prevent further hair thinning, whilst the oral tablet finasteride 1mg is a DHT-inhibitor taken once per day to stabilise shedding and help in preventing further deterioration of the affected follicles.
These can be further supplemented with additional hair growth supporting products where desired.
Whilst hairloss concealers certainly have their place in a man’s hair regimen, a more effective solution may be to treat the underlying issue, rather than simply masking it – while it is still possible to do so.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies 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 Form from anywhere in the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.