How $35 Saved My Self-Confidence – The Magic of Using Hair Concealers

by Lauren on July 29, 2013

Guest Blog By: Lauren

Bumble and Bumble Hair PowderIt took me a long time to realize that my hair wasn’t just thin, but it was thinning–almost six years until I made the connection. Unlike many women with hair loss, I don’t shed; my hair just becomes so miniaturized that it eventually doesn’t return. It’s been a slow and agonizing journey, but it’s allowed me to try out a bunch of different hair products in an attempt to disguise my loss. I’ve posted about my current obsession, Bumble & Bumble Hair Powder, on my hair loss blog, and several women have wondered exactly what my method is with this product to get that great “after” shot (since my “before” shot is, well, not-so-wonderful). So, here’s my method. Maybe it will work for you, too. Here’s me, prior to application.

Before Application

This product is basically hair spray paint–it certainly doesn’t sound glamorous, but it works. What the Hair Powder does is conceal any area on your scalp that’s sparse, as well as coat your hair near the roots so that it looks thicker. It can be tricky to figure out how much to spray the first few times, because you basically need to master a “half-spritz” so you don’t wind up with product overload. Most sins can be forgiven if you do what I do and take a small bit of hair right up against your part line and basically make a new part with it. This hair will shield your actual part from the product and lay OVER your final result so that it looks natural.

Spray the Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder in short spritzes down your “new” part line (or wherever you want to cover); I usually hold it about six inches away from where I am spraying. It’s kind of hard to tell in this pic since the product sprays diffusely and my hair loss is obviously just as diffuse. It might look a little scary and obvious, but that’s what the hair you’ve saved to use as a cover is for. I’ve sprayed right over my part and onto both that little section of hair that I’ve saved (which is shielding my actual part), and the hair right on the other side of the part. I do use my other hand to block my forehead, but I rarely get any of the product there.

After the initial part line is sprayed, I take diagonal sections across the front of my crown. I typically need two more sections done before most of my concealing job is complete.

You can see in this photo where I’ve sprayed the product on my first diagonal spray. Again, no worries if it looks obvious at this point.

And now, for my dreaded bang area. I used to have these awesome (read: huge) bangs in high school, but now the majority of my loss is right at where bangs would be. Even though my hair loss is most evident here, I actually don’t need a lot of product in this area since I cover it up with a bunch of my hair by doing a deep side part.

And, phew, here’s the final shot after the concealers and after a bit of gentle teasing. Not too bad, right? Once I flip all my hair back to where it should be–including the hair that was protecting my part–the spray is virtually undetectable. In all my years wearing this, no one has ever noticed that I have it on, not even my hair stylist (well, until she had to wash it out!). None of my friends or my parents know; my husband doesn’t even “get it” because it doesn’t look like anything but my own hair.

After Application

This product has literally saved my sanity. I think when women realize they are losing their hair, they panic (I know I did). I’ve been to countless doctor’s appointments with numerous specialists and I still don’t have any real answers as to why I am losing my hair. Although I’m not losing it as fast as other woman are, I’m watching myself sprout less and less hair every few months. What this $35 bottle of Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder has given me is some time. I’ve really taken my time to figure out what my next step is–is it taking more supplements? Trying treatments? Buying helper hair? It’s lifted a huge weight off my shoulders that I need to have a solution NOW and allowed me to take my time with my research.

No matter if you’ve just realized you are losing hair or if you’ve been losing for several years, there could be an ideal concealer out there that can help. For me, I go the spray route, however many women start off with hair fibers like Caboki or Toppik. With these, you just sprinkle some of the product onto the area you want to conceal, pat down, and set with a bit of hairspray. Both are great products; Caboki even offers a free sample on their site. For a few dollars shipping, you could be successfully concealing your loss in a few days time.

I’m not sure what my next step is…a topper, maybe? I know a custom piece can take several weeks or months to get in; until then, I know my trusty concealer will be by my side, more than willing to bring a little bit of confidence to my day.

——————

About the Author: Lauren is the author of The Corner of Hope and Mane, in which she chronicles her life with PCOS. Her favorite subject to cover? You guessed it–her hair loss. You can also find her on the WHLP Network, Twitter & Pinterest.

Join the Women’s Hair Loss Project Network to meet other women
with hair loss. Share your thoughts, comment, rant, rave, laugh, cry…communicate. Click To Join
Just Launched – Join the NEW Forum for The Women’s Hair Loss Project. If you are already an existing member of the Network then you already have an account set up and will need to use the Reset Password link to enable your forum account. Click To Join

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

JBo July 29, 2013 at 9:33 am

I was introduced to B&B hair powder about 5 years ago for my thinning hair (I have dark dark hair, so use the black)….it was a GODSEND! It makes my hair look full and thick, helps with volume, covers up the thin “bald”ish spots, and covers grays between coloring. The downsides are the price and because I use black…it comes off on pillowcases and drips down your face if you use to much and get sweaty. I’m guessing you wouldn’t have these problems with some of the lighter shades.
A more cost effective product, that has had the same end result for me, has been Salon Grafix Dry Shampoo (comes in various shades).
Great post!
Happy Concealing, Ladies!

Gls July 29, 2013 at 9:46 am

Your hair looks great! You look great! I have used Gray Away spray with good results. $10 for 15 oz. , made in the US and you can buy it at drugstores and Wallmart. Also, the makers of Topikk have a fullmore product which is pretty good. I haven’t tried B&B powder yet but I will. I find that with all of these spray products, you have to shake the can well before spraying or it will clog the nozzle.
Thanks for this great information and sharing with us!

Ali July 29, 2013 at 11:11 am

I used to use this product religiously. It definitely has its downsides though and isn’t something I could’ve seen myself using forever. It does hide and conceal but it’s also horribly messy if you have to use a dark color. It practically spray painted my bathroom brown after a while, not to mention my new brown/black bathtub, mirror, sink, etc. You even sneeze brown/black after inhaling it (not realizing you we’re breathing it in). I also found it very drying and that seemed to make what little hair I did have fall out even faster. I recently quit the concealing job and wear a bonded topper full time now and I’ve never been so glad to get rid of this product! However, if you have the time to clean your bathroom everyday, never sleep on your sheets (it turns them brown) and buy 1 to 2 bottles/month, it’s worth it!

Margarit July 29, 2013 at 11:50 am

I have tried all these products mentioned above. ALL OF THEM FOR A LONG TIME……They are all good….however I have found a more simple solution for me. My hair is dark brown, so I bought a good quality dark brown eye shadow ( I use Bobby Brown) and a good make up Blush Brush to apply it on the thinning areas on your scalp. This will not leave patches of color as when you use sprays. It feels more healthy and natural to me. I have done it for over two years and I have not found anything better. My Mom has also been doing it and we will not go back to sprays. I am afraid they will block my hair follicles even more and that is the last thing any of us need!

Jen July 29, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Thank you so much for posting this! I can not believe how similar our hair loss stories are. I seriously felt like I was reading my own words. The before picture looks EXACTLY like the top of my own head (before adding my concealer of choice, Toppik). My hair has always been very fine, as well as fairly thin. I never had any major shedding or anything like that. Just slow thinning and miniaturization of the hair. I didn’t realize my hair was thinning until about 2 years ago. Looking back, I think it has been going on for the past 5 or 6 years. I can’t believe I didn’t notice at first. Call it denial, or perhaps I was just used to how fine/thin my hair has always been. Now there is no denying the fact that my hair is slipping away. When I discovered Toppik, it became my godsend. I could go out in public with my head held high and know that most people probably couldn’t tell I had this secret. Without Toppik, I don’t know what I would do. It’s not perfect, though. I hate the fact that unexpected rain has become my arch nemesis. But, at least I can leave the house and know for the most part I’m “covered”.

Anyway, enough rambling from me. It was just a relief to read your post and see the similarities. I always felt that my story was so different from others, but I can see that I am not the only one with this type of hair loss. It has been devastating, but I am finding hope. I know the concealer is only prolonging the inevitable (a topper or wig I would imagine). But, at least it gives me time to let it all sink in. Thank you for the information and advice on the Bumble and Bumble hair powder! I’m going to give it a try and see how it works for me.

Beth July 29, 2013 at 3:23 pm

I have been using Toppik for quite awhile but did finally buy a wig. When I wear my beautiful wig, I use a little Toppik at the hairline to help blend my sparse bangs in with the piece. For days when the wig is not appropriate to my activities (or it is too hot outside) I skip the wig, and just use Toppik and lately have been experimenting with wide headbands and scarves as well.
My one concern with the spray product you are using, is that it is probably going into your lungs. I would suggest wearing a mask when you apply it.

Ciella July 29, 2013 at 6:18 pm

This is GREAT!! This is the second time I have come across an incredible “review” of this concealer…and I must say…WOW…you and your hair look so gorgeous in the final pic:))

Lauren July 30, 2013 at 5:55 am

Thanks, everyone, for the positive feedback on my “after” shot. :)

Jen — I think people like you and I in this hair loss world are kind of rare. Throughout all the women I’ve met through my blog, I think I have only run into one or two with similar stories. Hair loss is horrible either way, but the fact that I don’t actually lose it really played mind games with me awhile. The doctors would dismiss me when I told them I don’t shed. My hair was always fine, so I wasn’t sure if it was getting MORE fine. The list goes on and on. Actually, what really made me realize that I had an issue was I wanted to get these cute little side-swept bangs a few years back. Not sure why the stylist I was going to at the time didn’t say anything, but they were a huge mistake. I didn’t have the hair to pull them off, anymore. It took a really long time for that to hit me, and even longer for it to sink in because I couldn’t understand how the body actually works like that. I understand shedding, but to basically have a follicle here today and gone tomorrow was (and is still) beyond me!

Pearl July 30, 2013 at 5:40 pm

I am so glad I came across this article…my hair loss is exactly the same as yours!…I am only 30 and this thing is killing me and affecting my life. …I have always have very fine/thin hair since I was very young…it was only recently that I realized that I had “thinning” hair and it devastated me. The dermatologist that I went to gave me a rogaine prescription but I don’t want to use it…and people with normal hair (friends and family always try to convince me that it is not a big deal . I have been dating someone and things are getting serious. I told him I have always had “thin” hair …. when I got out I usually use a voluminzing gel so that it doesn’t look so bad…but now this thing is bothering me a lot…I feel I don’t know if I can every marry anyone if they see my real hair..this thought makes me depressed…it was so good to vent here..thanks for this article and the bumble and bumble powder information.

Katsa July 31, 2013 at 5:56 pm

You look beautiful! Wish I had known about this years ago. Thanks for posting–I think this will help many many women who are suffering.

Sandy August 2, 2013 at 6:49 pm

I am 3rd generation female pattern Baldness family member.I have always known what Lay ahead.I look JUST LIKE Lauren without my Covers as well.Like Lauren…these covers give me the ability to go OUT and NOT be stared at.I have been user of Toppik’s for 43 years but it is getting harder all the time and I know I need to get a wig for then day it just does not look good any longer…I think this may be soon.Thanks For posting this really is a wonderful Option and yes it does get a little messy but for me worth it!!
Id love to hear some ideas on WHERE to get a Fab Quality Wig IN Canada if any have some suggestions for me.I am sure I will cry for days…but it has to be done!!
Sandy

amanda August 6, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Thanks for the post. I currently use Toppik and really love it! Is it similar? As anyone tried both and can over a comparison?

Michelle August 7, 2013 at 11:55 am

Your photos look great!! And thanks for the step by step how to. Very helpful!

Joanne August 7, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Try Joan Rivers Great Hair Day Fill in Powder. That is what I use to fill in my thinning areas and it works incredibly. Like you mention, nobody knows. Thank you for sharing your story. God bless you!

Lauren August 8, 2013 at 7:00 am

@Amanda – Toppik is similar is terms of coverage. I don’t mind it, however, living in Florida I tend to get caught in the rain sometimes and if my hair gets wet the fibers kind of “clump” together in an unflattering way. Toppik was the first concealer I tried, and I used it for quite some time before exploring other options! It’s also a tad trickier, in my opinion, to get a straight line with the fibers along the part. This will obviously vary from woman to woman depending on how you style your hair.

@Joanne – I have that, too! I think my hair loss is too diffuse for it to cover effectively. What I do like it for is for getting into the little spots that I need extra coverage. For example, if I need to get slightly closer to my part line after using the spray, I use it. Or, if I put my hair into a pony tail and I realize there’s a slightly bare spot that I’m seeing, I quickly brush some on. It makes a fantastic eyebrow powder, too. :)

JENNIFER August 15, 2013 at 4:42 am

Hi Lauren,

I’ve battled with thinning hair also, going from thick hair to gradually looking in the mirror and only seeing stragly (i once was told i had ‘spaghetti hair’) strands, I also found that I was obsessing and getting to the point of depression and not wanting to go out… and then I discovered PHYTO! I would HIGHLY recommend trying PhytoPhanere Supplements, along with PhytoCyane Shampoo and Treatment.

just so you know, I was diagnosed with PCOS so that explains my thinning hair on top of stress and poor diet.

xx

Janet August 29, 2013 at 8:21 am

Hello Ladies…

I have recently started using Nanogen. Its the only one available in my country. I have a doubt. Will these hair fibres cause more shedding as I read somewhere that they can block foliicles? Can I use it along with minoxidil solution?

Anne September 13, 2013 at 8:15 am

Thanks so much for sharing this! I will soon need to start using a product like this because of my hair loss and it’s great to see a step by step view. I admire your courage to show images as well.
Many thanks!

Beth September 19, 2013 at 4:08 pm

I’ve been using Toppik for many years .. it really does help!
Think of it this way … it’s not a cure, but it will do for your thinning scalp what make-up does for your face!

Ruthy September 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm

I think I would like to try this for those special occasions, not sure it would suit me for daily use.

InMyDreamsHaveFullHeadofHair February 25, 2014 at 2:56 pm

It’s working for ya! How does it react to rain and sweat?

PT March 21, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Hi Lauren,

This is exactly what is happening to me! I am 24 years old and I just recently noticed that my hair is thinning. I realized this when all of a sudden I noticed I lacked a significant amount of volume in my hair (I used to have a voluminous head of hair). I took a picture of the back of my head and realized my scalp was peeking through.

I am devastated, to say the least. Since finding out, I’ve dealt with a range of emotions: agony, anxiety, panic and depression. Before reading this post I held out a teeny bit of hope that maybe there was something I could do about it or maybe it was temporary because unlike most of the ladies on this network I am not shedding at all.

I even have the strong urge of just shaving my head to begin wearing wigs early on just so I don’t have to deal with the painstakingly slow process of watching my hair thin out. I am so confused and at a loss of words over this…

Lauren, I wanted to know how your hair loss journey is going now. Have you tried anything different? Wigs? toppers? treatment? Also, how old were you when you realized your hair was thinning? Do you have any advice for a 24 year old girl who is going through a similar situation as you? As you can imagine, I am heartbroken and worried about my future.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: