Those late-night infomercials touting “spray-on” hair products in a variety of natural-looking colors sparked a mini-trend in the age-old search for a cure for baldness. Just pop open a can of “product”, at $35 a can in some cases, and spritz and spray away your bald or thinning patches. Willing participants, both men and women, marveled at how quickly and easily their bald spots vanished and their thinning hair “volumized”, as if by some miracle of chemistry and aerosol.
Yes, the thinning hair filled in, for a time, but after a day of heavy sweating the product literally would begin to trickle away. Heaven help the man who let his girlfriend run her fingers through his “hair”, only to end up with 10 digits stained with product. Sit back against a tall recliner, only to leave a stain behind. Take a shower or an underwater dip in the pool or Jacuzzi, and off came the product.
The product just wasn’t cutting it as a lasting solution for thinning hair. But it was a great innovation nonetheless.
Thinning hair masks and concealers have since evolved over the years, promising better staying power and more natural results. Such products today boast a greater ability to volumize thinning hair and restore balding areas with hair building “micro-fibers”. Some even claim to stimulate new hair growth. The newer products come in the form of aerosol sprays, masking lotions, and color thickeners. Two popular thinning hair concealers are Toppik and COUVRé.
Toppik is designed to bind with the hair, making it appear thicker using fibers made of Keratin, the same protein that hair is made of. The product is supposed to mesh with the remaining hair, thus disguising balding areas. COUVRé is the hair color that is applied directly onto the scalp. It’s designed for men with significantly thinning hair. Both products are said to be weather-proof. Toppik makes the claim that it can create the appearance of two years of hair growth within seconds.
The problem with thinning hair masking products, no matter how advanced and effective they claim to be, is that they are only temporary cosmetic solutions to the problem of thinning hair. Some masking products are not much more than over-hyped spray paint for the scalp whose results don’t last and can hardly be considered a viable solution for male pattern baldness.
Products like Rogaine with Minoxidil have been shown to regrow hair in both men and women suffering from hair loss. Once again, however, it’s a stop-gap solution and not a long-term fix. As soon as you stop using Minoxidil, the regrown hair starts to fall out.
The only proven method of restoring or reversing hair loss is hair transplant surgery, which uses one’s own donor hair follicles to fill in thinning areas of the scalp. There are a variety of hair restoration techniques available, and the risks of complications after surgery are minimal.
Which would you prefer? Your own hair? Or spray-on hair that won’t last? Ah, there’s the rub. But it’s a decision you can make with the help of a qualified hair transplant surgeon versed in the latest hair restoration methods.
Dr. Kyle S. Choe is a board certified facial plastic surgeon and hair restoration specialist in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Contact The Choe Center for Hair Restoration at (757) 389-5850 for a personal consultation.