Hair loss in men and women comes in varying degrees and patterns. It might be an overall thinning, as women tend to experience, or most often at the crown on men. Fortunately, for those who wish to combat sparse follicles there are several different approaches for doing so.


But not everyone wants to initially jump into such hair loss treatments as medications, hair restoration surgery, or hair replacement systems (wigs, weaves, extensions, toupees, implants, and the like). Sometimes, addressing thinning hair might be a matter of simply dressing up for special occasions, such as a wedding or reunion. Those are times when hair loss concealers might be appropriate.


The good news on hair concealers is they are easy to try. Also, they are relatively inexpensive, can be applied by the individual or friend (no professional skills are required). If the results are displeasing, use of hair concealers is reversible simply with a quick shampoo.


Different kinds of hair concealers


There are three types of concealers, categorized by the form in which they are made. The most common are fiber concealers, which cling electrostatically to hair and the surrounding scalp and are typically applied with a spongy applicator. Another form is liquid concealer, which are dyes sprayed on the scalp itself (some come in a cream or gel form). And the third is powder concealers, which are applied with a sponge or brush to the scalp.


The fiber versions of concealers are variously made of cotton, human hair, keratin (the protein that largely makes up human hair and fingernails), or wool. Keratin concealers appeal to many users because it’s basically adding hair protein to your own hair protein. It’s effective at thickening the hair, and if the right color is selected it, will likely be undetected by the casual observer.


Concealer made of components other than keratin can also be effective in their primary purpose, however some people have allergies to those ingredients.


Risks with concealers?


The concern some would-be users of concealer have is that it might be damaging to scalp health, even possibly leading to additional hair loss.


What helps alleviate this concern is all concealers by their nature are a short-term solution, removed with the next shampoo. Fiber concealers largely attach to hair and have minimal contact with the scalp.


Excessive use of concealers that essentially dye the scalp might cause some irritation and possibly infection. In the worst case, folliculitis might occur. But that would be fairly clear at the outset, so a user should be able to recognize the need to discontinue using the product.


A misplaced worry is that use of a concealer while waiting for a medication such as finasteride or minoxidil to take effect. In fact, a concealer is often recommended to patients using these products as an instant solution that will eventually be unnecessary as the hair thickens over a period of months.


Bottom line: Thin spots don’t need to ruin your looks. The concealer you buy today at your local pharmacy is something you can use tonight – without worry.