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Sometimes your aim is to stand out. To wear those killer heels, to apply that statement lipstick, to be the one with the interesting hair that begs people to ask your story.
Then again, sometimes you just want to blend in. We all do. No fuss, no attention, just the ability to go about our business. Something that a magic spray to cover bald spots might offer.
Blending in doesn’t come very easily for alopecians; especially if we’ve made the decision to avoid hair-wear products. And it’s a particularly distressing thing for women because, for some reason, hair loss is generally more accepted in men.
Hair loss can reduce our self-esteem, lead to depression and make us scared to socialise, even with our closest friends.
So in my book, anything that can alleviate the fear and shame of alopecia – even if only for one night – is always welcome.
In this post, I’ll get into how a hair concealer spray helped me get through the festive period. But if you’re in a hurry, check out the 5 products I recommend here!
A couple of years ago, I needed to blend in at some Christmas gatherings – a work party, a girls’ night out, a family reunion… you know, festive stuff. Back then, I still had a relatively full head of hair, aside from one medium-sized patch at the back. And while I wasn’t looking to be the belle of the ball, I just didn’t want to bear my baldness to the world.
The thing is, I hadn’t quite worked up the courage to tell people about my alopecia yet; so I was relying on strategically placed hairclips to keep my secret safe.
Of course, at that time of year, the weather had other ideas.
As soon as I stepped out the door, a gust of wind would send my hard work out with it. If I wore a hat, I couldn’t just take it off when I arrived at the restaurant like a hairbearer could. Instead, I’d have to beeline it to the bathroom, where I could remove the hat in peace before carefully rearranging my clips.
Sometimes, I ended up sitting through the entire evening in my party dress and woolly hat. Bit of a strange look.
It was like Christmas had arrived early. I came across a product by L’Oréal that’s actually made to cover greys between colouring treatments. It’s also designed to help those with thinning hair, starting at the ‘root’ of the problem. (Sorry. Had to.)
When I saw it in the pharmacy, I wondered if I could use it to hide my bald patches, too. A quick Google told me that yes, yes I could. It somehow seemed different from the cover-up sprays of red-faced men in cheesy Rogaine ads. This appeared to be something that lots of women used – and praised – so I was willing to give it a try.
The clever concealer is much more than spray paint for your head. It’s a collaboration of dyes and nanofibres, which entwine with the hair you’ve already got. It works its magic to plump up and thicken your existing strands, providing coverage where you need it most.
It’s instant. And effective. And pretty subtle, if you know how to use it.
Note: Since the concealer is designed to cling to existing strands, it’s probably best for those with thinning locks rather than those with extensive bald spots. However, if you have a small patch of alopecia that you want to hide, it can work wonders. At least, it did for me. 🙂
Plus, Magic Root Touch Up is built to withstand the elements like wind, sweat and rain… so you can feel secure that your bald spot is covered, whatever the weather.
Plenty. L’Oréal’s range of patch-covering sprays provide the following:
L’Oréal actually have a range of these babies available. The one I used was called Magic Root Cover Up and it’s available in 8 different shades – so just pick whatever one most closely matches your hair colour.
I went for the Medium Brown colour. Ok, so it wasn’t a perfect match for my auburn hair. (I should’ve chosen Red. Doh.)
But it created enough of a scalp stain to make my shiny baldness fade into the background. If wind sent my curls flying around my face, or if taking off my hat lead to a big reveal, it wasn’t such a big deal.
There’s a lot of great things about this particular bald spot concealer spray. Which is why I used it for pretty much all of the festive season.
But for each pro there was a definite con. Which is why I stopped using it altogether! 😉
+ It’s very effective. The colour didn’t quite match my natural shade, but it still did a great job of camouflaging my bald spot – even when my hair was too short to layer over it.
– It’s fine from far away but… close up it might look a bit like you’ve turned to the shoe polish for help. It also dries in quite a matte, chalky fashion… and can therefore be prone to flaking. So if you do have very short hair and are covering a large patch with the spray, don’t let people get too near your noggin! Let mystery be your mistress.
+ It lasts for ages. Until the next time you shampoo your hair, in fact – so if you don’t wash it every day, you can enjoy its benefits for longer. Especially useful for summer festivals!
– Unless it’s a rainy festival, of course. Because the spray is more “water resistant” than “waterproof” and if your head gets soaked, you could be dealing with a streaky mascara effect. All down your face and neck. Not the look you intended for those party pics.
+ It comes off easily. Fortunately, there’s not much scrubbing involved when you do want to remove it. A quick shampoo or a dab with some baby wipes and it’s bye, bye dye.
– It comes off a little too easily. Like all over your bed sheets. Because even though the spray lasts a couple of days, the residue still rubs off on your pillow – which is why I’d normally recommend taking it off at night. And remembering to wash your hands after fussing with your hair. And being very careful when putting on your festive clothes (wear an old headscarf, if you need to). Because beauty doesn’t always have to involve pain. But it often demands attention.
Shake the can well. At first, hold it 8 inches from the patch and spray lightly before patting dry any excess residue. If you want thicker coverage, hold the can an inch or two closer and hit the scalp as directly as you can.
Again, get shaking. Then hold the can 4–6 inches from the scalp, before spraying both the root and partly up the length of the hair to blend the colours. Pat dry.
Et voilà, as those Parisians say – L’Oréal to the rescue!
BTW, I’ve no connection to L’Oréal other than being sick to death of those “You’re Worth It” ads and their made-up “science bit”. I just found this spray to be really useful, for a short time anyway. But the other products I’m about to mention could be equally as effective, if not more so.
If you don’t fancy going for L’Oréal, there’s a couple of factors you should bear in mind when searching for your own “festive best friend”.
You don’t want the world to know you’re wearing a spray concealer, just like you don’t want people to know you’re wearing a wig to hide your hair loss.
This one ties into the above point. Because if you’re a pale blonde with a big ol’ patch of mahogany on your head, you ain’t taking the subtle approach! A lighter skin tone will match lighter sprays and so on. So look for a spray that gives you a wider palette.
To avoid damaging your existing hair, look for a spray that’s made from natural ingredients. The best ones have natural hair fibres in them (like human hair and Keratin) that blend easily with the rest of your locks.
The best sprays cover bald spots for an entire day… or even two. You want to have to scrub it off at night rather than it disappearing in the midst of seducing your crush from work. So always look for one that’s long-lasting, and waterproof.
Magic Root Cover Up is the only bald patch concealer I’ve used. And it worked out just fine. But there are other plenty of other products available, some of which get glowing reviews for their ability to mask alopecia.
Hair loss powders get a pretty good rep nowadays for disguising bald spots, thanks to some serious static electricity bonding by negatively or positively charged fibres. (Ooh, magic!) Here’s a powder that comes highly recommended in hair loss forums.
These products usually dye the patch and contain hair fibres to give the appearance of thicker hair.
If you’re worrying about thinning hair and a visible scalp, mineral makeup could be your key to covering those bald spots. Its ingredients help it to stick to the skin better, even if you’re sweating – so goodbye, streaks and flakes! Simply apply it to the patch using a makeup sponge.
Oh, and some hair loss forums rave about using black eyeshadow to hide patches of alopecia, too. Although I’m not sure how waterproof it would be… so skip this if you live in a very rainy or sweat-inducing climate!
Although Magic Root Cover Up worked for me, it may not for everyone. So here are some other popular options to help you say bye bye to Baldielocks:
Recommended by alopecia forums, Toppik looks like one of the best options out there. Just sprinkle or spray the Keratin fibres from each can directly onto your patches or around your hairline. It’s super easy to apply and the result is like you’ve just sprouted new roots! Toppik doesn’t simply dye the patch like some other products; instead the electrically charged fibres bond with your existing hair upon contact. And even though some reviewers complain about a) the price and b) the fact that the fibres can come off easily, others seem more than satisfied with their instant fake hair.
This one works in the same fashion as Toppik – you sprinkle fibres directly onto your head. Caboki’s plant fibres are completely natural and it’s hypoallergenic, too… so you don’t have to worry about an irritated or itchy scalp drawing unwanted attention to your noggin. Plus, according to the manufacturer, the negatively charged fibres create a stronger bond and eliminate the risk of the flat, dull hair that positively charged fibres – found in other concealers – can create. It’s all terribly technical, really. But it sounds good to me!
Reviews are really positive about this fella – but they do advise to cover most of the applicator with tape for a smoother distribution (as apparently its new design makes it harder to apply). Alternatively, you can watch the incredibly cheesy product video to perfect the art of application.
Another massively popular product in the fibre-sprinkling field is XFusion Economy. Like Toppik, the Keratin fibres bond with existing strands in some sort of romantic chemical plot. You can sprinkle to your heart’s content or use the spray applicator if you prefer – just make sure to hold it at least 6 inches from your scalp. Reviews suggest that for even better results, get the finishing spray to help the powder stick and to give a nice ‘n’ healthy sheen to your locks.
Of course, maybe you don’t feel like using a concealer for your bald spots at all. In these cases, I can offer up a few ideas:
Easier said than done, right? Obviously. Otherwise Lady Alopecia wouldn’t exist.
But by making a few dietary changes (like avoiding caffeine and eating lots of iron-rich foods) and a few lifestyle changes (like getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night and choosing gentler exercise over high-energy, stress-inducing forms), you might start to see regrowth as a result.
And don’t neglect your scalp, either. Use the best products for its health and go for a head massage as often as you can. You deserve it. (Or should I say, “Because you’re worth it”?!)
It’s what I did for years and although I eventually got sick of styling and wearing them, wigs gave me an enormous confidence boost at the time. Whether you choose synthetic or human hair wigs, full headpieces or extensions, you can cover those patches entirely with hair… even if it ain’t yours.
I now have a full drawer of headscarves, for when I need to cover my baldness all day long. They give me a splash of colour and there are some really fun styles to try out, too!
If you’re sick of constantly worrying about your bald patches showing, do something that puts you back in control. Shave all your hair off, like I did. Nothing to hide, so no need for a concealer. ’Nuff said.
OK, so the Magic Root Cover Up spray served its purpose; it covered my bald spots and it got me through the holiday season with confidence in my appearance. But I made sure to nip it in the bud come January, as I didn’t want to rely on it as a crutch.
Why? Well, just like I wouldn’t recommend teasing and freezing your hair into place with hairspray on a continuous basis, I can’t advocate daily use of these products, either.
Because with all the chemicals they contain, you’re not doing your existing hair any favours. And although the Magic Root Cover Up is ammonia and peroxide-free, and the other options use natural fibres, I still don’t like what they could do to hair that’s already in a weakened state.
Dousing your scalp with spray is not the best way of showing it the TLC it needs. And it’s not the recipe for regrowth. So no, I wouldn’t recommend root concealer spray as a long-term solution for covering bald spots. But it does make a great quick fix in times of crisis!
My advice? Keep a bottle in the bathroom for emergencies, those occasions when you just don’t want to worry about your hair for a change. The rest of the time, let those bald spots breathe!
Forget about blending in, prepare to stand out, and let yourself shine.
Not satisfied yet? Need more advice about alopecia treatments? Then check out these posts for size!
1. Nioxin Shampoo Review – Read about my personal experience with the shampoo.
2. Aloe Vera and Alopecia – Can one help the other?
3. Other Hair Loss Shampoos – Lather, Rinse, Repeat as needed.
4. Folexin for alopecia – do hair supplements work?
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