Sometimes you want to stand out: with those killer heels, that statement lipstick, the interesting hair that invites questions. Other times, you don’t want any fuss – you just want to blend in. In which case, a spray to cover bald spots is VERY handy.
Hair loss can reduce self-esteem, trigger anxiety/depression and make you scared to socialise, even with close friends. So anything that can alleviate the fear and shame of alopecia – if only for an hour – can be a real gift.
Here’s how a hair concealer spray helped me get through the festive period a few years back, plus some other popular cover-ups. Enjoy!
Emma’s ‘not a doctor’ disclaimer
Hi there, I’m an alopecian, I’m not a doctor! Any advice I give is based on my own research and personal experiences. This site is however reader-supported. When you buy through external links, I may earn a tiny affiliate commission. Learn more here.
A few years ago, I needed to blend in at some Christmas gatherings – a work party, a girls’ night out, a family reunion… y’know, festive stuff. I still had a relatively full head of hair then, aside from one medium-sized patch at the back.
I hadn’t yet worked up the courage to tell people about my alopecia; 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 take it off when I arrived at the restaurant like a hair-bearer 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.
Christmas came early when I found a L’Oréal spray that’s made to cover greys between colouring treatments. It’s also designed to help those with thinning hair, starting at the ‘root’ of the problem.
I wondered if I could use it to hide my bald patches, too. It seemed different from the cover-up sprays of red-faced men in cheesy Rogaine ads. This was 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 mix of dyes and nanofibres, which entwine with the hair you’ve already got. That plumps up and thickens 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 clings to existing strands, it’s probably best for those with thinning hair rather than those with widespread bald spots. But if you’ve got a smallish alopecia patch, it can work wonders. At least, it did for me.
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. But the other products in this post could be equally as effective, if not more so.
L’Oréal’s range of patch-covering sprays give you:
+ It’s very effective. The colour I chose 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 can also be a bit flaky – so if you have very short hair and are covering a large patch with the spray, don’t let people get too near your noggin!
+ 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. So take it off before bed, and wash your hands after each use.
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.
Shake the can, then hold it 4–6 inches from the scalp. Spray 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!
If you don’t fancy L’Oréal spray, bear the following in mind when shopping for a bald spot concealer.
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!
Check out these top cover-up options and say “bye bye Baldielocks”!
Toppik tops the list in many alopecia forums. It’s super easy to apply – just sprinkle the Keratin fibres directly onto your patches or around your hairline – and watch your new roots sprout! Toppik doesn’t merely dye the patch like other products; instead the electrically charged fibres bond with your existing hair upon contact.
Caboki uses natural plant fibres for a hypoallergenic product that saves you from an irritated or itchy scalp. Apparently, these 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!
Caboki reviews are really positive – but they recommend covering most of the applicator with tape for a smoother distribution. Alternatively, watch the 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 inflammatory foods) and a few lifestyle changes to lower stress, you might start to see regrowth.
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 I always get compliments for them! I love them so much, in fact, that I started making and selling my own.
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.
My concealer spray covered my bald spots and helped my confidence during the holiday season. But I made sure to nip it in the bud come January, as I didn’t want to rely on it too much.
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 those chemicals, 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.
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 special occasions, when you 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.
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Alopecian. Yoga Teacher. Copywriter. Here to share information, offer support and show people the adventures that can lie in hair loss. I’m proud to have alopecia and I want to help others embrace their baldness, too!
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Great site!!! Great information!!! Thank you for all that you do to help us fellow AA sufferers. I just ordered some Revita, hopeful that it will help me get thru this latest episode that started 14 months ago at Christmas (worse one in 25 years). Im also on second week of the peppermint oil, as The standard steroid shots just dont seem to be working well like they always did in past episodes- so, decided trying recommended different treatments. Thank you again and drive on with the mission! James H.
Hi James, thanks so much for your positive feedback – I really appreciate it. (Psst…if you wish to support the site, you can do so here!) I hope Revita works as well for you as it did for me, and good luck with the PEO, too! A great call to go more natural, instead of with those steroid shots. Good on you! And wishing you all the very best with your journey, take care!
Emma / Lady Alopecia 🙂
I’m 55 and experienced hairloss after the pandemic hit. I thought it was just stress, but it’s a year later, and no change. It’s made me feel depressed. Then I feel bad for feeling that way when people have died, lost their jobs etc… its ‘only’ hair, right? I’m looking into PRP or PRF therapy right now as its shown some promise for hairloss. Thanks again for all the great info!
Thanks so much for your comment and I’m very sorry for the late response…I just had a baby a few months ago so I’ve been taking a little break!
My heart goes out to you for your recent experience. It’s been a tough enough 2 years, without having to deal with hair loss also! As I wrote in this post, rates of hair loss have risen higher than ever as a result of the pandemic, so you’re not alone. And try not to beat yourself up about feeling depressed about it…sure, I can look back now and say it’s ‘only’ hair, but I wasn’t always that way! You’re totally entitled to your feelings and emotions and they are very real. There’s absolutely no suffering scale here, just our own experiences and yours is no ‘less’ than anyone else’s. So please be kind to yourself, and to your body as much as you can.
Wishing you all the very best with the therapies you’ve mentioned and if you’re interested in a holistic appraoch, feel free to check out my post on nutrition and this one on oils.
All the very best, Tracy. Take good care of yourself.
Emma /Lady Alopecia xxx
I have alopecia for 21 years the only thing that works is the Rogaine extra strength for men I’ve tried everything for my alopecia my dermatologist said thats the only thing that works a little Rogaine
Hi Roberta, thanks for sharing your experience! I personally wouldn’t advocate the use of Rogaine products as they contain minoxidil, which can have pretty nasty side effects (headaches, dizziness, thinning of the scalp and long-term immune system problems). Unfortunately, so many dermatologists will prescribe minoxidil as it can be a ‘quick fix’ – but at what cost? These products only address the symptom (hair loss) rather than the root cause – which could be anything from hormone imbalance to gut inflammation to stress. I only share this because I used to use minoxidil – and wish someone had told me about its negative side effects before.
Unfortunately, your dermatologist is being a little narrow-minded to say ‘the only thing that works’ is Rogaine. That’s simply not true. Alopecia can be triggered by lots of different things so it will take different things to encourage regrowth. A few examples: I’ve heard personal accounts from plenty of alopecians who’ve found that switching to an AIP anti-inflammatory diet has reversed their symptoms. Nioxin worked for me in the past. Plus, if you read my post on peppermint oil, you’ll see it can be just as effective as minoxidil, without the toxic side effects.
I just share this with you to offer up some more natural alternatives, or a holistic approach, rather than using something that’s so chemical-heavy. But of course, you have to do what feels right for you!! Thank you again for sharing your experience and wishing you all the very best.
Emma / Lady Alopecia
I absolutely LOVE Loreal Root Cover For hiding my scalp. However, I truly believe it has caused increased hair loss. I have decided to only use it on special occasions.
Hi Louise, thanks so much for your comment! Yes, I see your point – I didn’t love using so many chemicals on my bald patch, either. But I did love having it as my “secret weapon” for special occasions like you said! 🙂
Love that I found this site. Recently diagnosed with alopecia (they are guessing stress induced) it has been a very emotional month for me. I am trying and learning to be more accepting of it to hopefully help reduce the even greater stress I have from going through this… but I think I’ll feel more comfortable disguising it with sprays for now. Baby steps 🙂 Thank you for this though…. it’s comforting to know that I’m not a “lepper”.
I really appreciate your lovely comment, thank you so much! It’s why I’m here. 🙂 And I’m so sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis, I know how frustrating it is to be told it’s stress-induced and feel like there’s little you can do to stop it. But rest assured, the hair will often grow back independently without any treatment – and to feel like you have some control over the condition, you can always treat yourself to a nightly scalp massage with coconut, neem or castor oil! And there’s nothing wrong with disguising it for now while you’re not comfortable. Do what works for you, you’ll get there! Never feel like you’re alone or that there’s something wrong with you – alopecia is in fact incredibly common and since starting this site I’m realising just how many people – even some close friends of mine – either have it or know someone who has. Chin up, you’re doing amazingly. And thanks again for your message, it means a lot. x
Really helpful to have found this website. I’ve had alopecia areata for many years now but it’s currently in the worst condition it’s ever been which is becoming harder to disguise. Just wondering if you have ever tried Chinese medicine herbs or acupuncture? I’m currently looking into this option as not keen on going back to the gp for a dermatology referral. I had a successful round of steroid injections a few years ago but the patches are so large and joined up now around the whole bottom of my head that I’m not sure what other options would be available to me. It definitely impacts on my stress and anxiety levels.
I’m so sorry to hear about your AA getting worse. I know how bloody frustrating it is – I myself was perfectly happy with my teeny mohawk until postpartum hair loss took even that away from me! Yep, I’ve tried acupuncture a few times, but it didn’t make any difference, unfortunately. I did get some medicinal herbs when travelling in Indonesia before and they helped out in the short-term but the patches came back eventually. For me, the most beneficial thing was going to see a Functional Medicine doctor, who took a holistic approach to treat the root cause. I’ve long favoured natural remedies (as I mention here) and had terrible side effects from those steroid injections you mention…also don’t think they’re a long-term solution as you’re not meant to get more than a couple of rounds without them damaging the scalp. I was diagnosed with gut dysbiosis, meaning I’d inflammation present and a couple of food intolerances. Since starting an anti-inflammatory diet and taking key supplements, I was able to reverse this and saw a lot of hair growth (but I fell off the wagon when pregnant and started having gluten again).
I’d advise exploring other options as you suggested. Like going to an FM doctor, a nutritionist, taking up a stress-relieving activity to lower inflammation or using all-natural products like Revita (full post here!) You can start to treat your AA with a gentler, more long-term strategy than with the ‘quick fixes’ your dermatologist recommended. I’m not a doctor, I can only speak from my experience, but that’s an approach I’d recommend for you, especially if you’re feeling stressed or anxious. And in the meantime, there’s always my headscarves, or my yoga for alopecia course, if you like!
Take care Laura, all the very best.
Emma / Lady Alopecia xo
Hey, just want to say you’re great! I have traction/stress alopecia. Been bald at the sides of my head 15 years now. I’m 38 now. I am still trying to convince myself it’s not that bad I’m not that bothered about it but the truth is I am. As I’m getting older it’s bothering me a lot more, plus I’ve noticed it’s starting to spread into my hairline at the front of my head so it’s getting a lot more noticeable. The sprays are great but like you said I was getting into a habit of wearing it every day and knew it couldn’t be doing me any good. I am thinking of getting a nice cut to stop me from wearing my hair up but I just can’t help it. I don’t think I look good with my hair down, my face is small and round so in my head I look thinner when it’s up, jeez I can’t win with myself 😣 anyway sorry for the rant
Hi Emma! Thank you so much for your lovely comment and for sharing your story. I know what it’s like to watch the patches spread and to feel helpless about it. And even though I’ve come to terms with it, right now my hair is going through a serious shedding phase and it can be so frustrating (not to mention, seriously annoying to clear up after – my poor bathroom floor! 😉 ) I would say go for the chop if you think it would cause you to worry about it less during the day. Talk to a hairdresser about a funky style so you can wear your hair down while emphasising your best features. They know what they’re doing! And it might give you huge relief to not have to tie it up every day or to apply sprays. I know I’m much happier now that I stopped trying to hide it…but that’s just my experience. I wish you all the best with whatever you decide!! x