The main techniques of non-surgical hair replacement today involve the use of hair systems and hair loss concealers. Various types of hair systems such as full wigs, hairpieces, toupees, hair extensions and weaves can look extremely authentic and have been used for ages to cover bald spots and typically with good rates of success. However, their main weaknesses are high maintenance costs and, in many situations, the discomfort of wearing them.
Concealers on the other hand have been around for a shorter period of time and have often been looked down upon for being incapable of withstanding adverse external conditions and for appearing unnatural. This is no longer true as many of them have greatly improved recently, both in terms of their authentic appearance and their resistance.
There are three basic types of hair loss concealers: those that simply paint your scalp to match your hair colour, then there are hair thickeners that thicken your hair by coating and penetrating the hair and trapping moisture and volume-building proteins inside the hair shaft and, lastly, there are concealers that apply microfibers that cling to your hair like branches to the trunk of a tree, increasing the hair density.
Some products combine two of the aforementioned approaches and paint your scalp and thicken your hair at the same time. All of these products come in various forms, toupee for men such as a powder, cream or a spray. Concealers do not contain any ingredients that would combat hair loss but some of them allow you to continue with a topical hair loss treatment such as minoxidil.
Microfibre-based hair loss concealers can be typically applied in as little as 30 seconds versus a minimum of five minutes needed for hair thickeners. However, microfibres are less water-resistant and it is quite difficult to apply them precisely and, therefore, they are not very good for creating an authentic-looking frontal hairline. Their greatest advantage is that they are unrecognizable in your hair, even with a very close inspection.
Hair thickeners, especially those that also color your scalp, are extremely water-resistant and excellent for frontal hairlines but they take longer to apply. They cover your scalp with a layer of coloring substance, which makes it impossible to apply any topical hair loss treatment. Their greatest weakness in comparison to microfibres is that in direct sunlight it can become visible to the sharp eye that the scalp has been painted.
The common weakness of all chemical substances used for concealing hair loss is the limited choice of available shades. Some hair loss sufferers use a combination of two products simultaneously to overcome the weaknesses of individual products and to achieve the most authentic shade and appearance. Most often a combination of a hair thickener and a microfibrous concealer is used. The results of such combinations are typically excellent.
If you want to try any such combinations, make sure that you apply the scalp-painting, hair loss thickener first and then use the microfibres to mask the remaining imperfections. There are many products in all three categories of hair loss concealers and you may want to test several of them in order to identify those that best match you hair colour and style of application.