By Meena Singh, M.D. –
The holidays are upon us! This typically entails plenty of gatherings and social events. For those with hair loss, however, it can mean having to find more ways to camouflage thinning areas. Most importantly, your cause of hair loss should be properly diagnosed and optimally treated. One of the most common types of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia. This is also termed male or female pattern balding. Proper diagnosis can involve scalp and hair examination, laboratory evaluation, and sometimes scalp biopsy. With male pattern balding, hair line recession and thinning of the crown of the scalp gradually occurs. Female pattern balding leads to gradual widening of the central part and an increasingly see-through nature of the scalp. Medical treatments can include a combination of topical and oral medications, most commonly minoxidil and finasteride. These medications can slow down the progression of hair loss in up to 88-92% of individuals.
Tips to Mask Thinning Areas:
Once your hair loss is optimally treated, cosmetic camouflages can be a great tool to mask thinning areas:
Comb the hair in one direction.
When hairs lay in the same direction, the hair appears much thicker. For men, this may mean combing the hair back or to one side. For women, this may mean pulling the hair back into a ponytail or other swept up style. Parting the hair down the middle draws the most attention to thinning areas.
Use volumizing shampoos and hair products.
Hair styling that keeps the hair raised from the scalp adds the appearance of volume. In addition, if you have naturally curly or wavy hair, this also gives the illusion of having more hair.
If you are lighter skinned, dye your hair lighter. If you are darker skinned, dye your hair darker.
The contrast between your scalp pigmentation and hair color draws the eye. The less contrast, the less thin and ‘see-through’ the hair appears.
For example, we have all seen both men and women with very light-colored scalps who dye their hair dark brown or black. These individuals would benefit from dying their hair lighter hues, such as auburn, blonde, or natural gray.
Use microfiber powders.
These are lightweight powders that are sprinkled on the scalp and can bind the hairs, decreasing the ‘see-through’ nature of the scalp. They come in various brands and are made to match any hair color. They usually last several days or until the hair is washed.
I fully endorse adding hair in the form of wigs, weaves, and extensions. As long as the hair is not pulled too tightly, leading to hair follicle trauma, it can be a fun, easy way to give a fuller, thicker appearance to hair. With wigs, weaves, and extensions, Less is more!
In summary, these are some tricks to creating the illusion of thicker, fuller hair. Hopefully, they will be helpful over the busy holidays!
If you or someone you love is struggling with hair loss, contact KMC Hair Center at 913-631-6330 to schedule a personal consultation. We will determine your best options and a plan to suit your personal needs.
Meena Singh, MD
Dr. Meena Singh is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon. She attended Harvard Medical School, trained at the Mayo Clinic, and completed a surgical fellowship in New York City. From there, she became trained in MOHS Micrographic Surgery, as well as cosmetic dermatology procedures, such as Botox, lasers, and fillers. Completing a fellowship with the International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery under world-renowned surgeon Dr. Marc Avram, she trained in all areas of hair transplantation techniques… strip excision, manual/motorized/
robotic follicular unit extraction, as well as transplanting into scarring alopecias.
Dr. Singh specializes in medical treatments for hair loss of all types. She is passionate about treating ethnic skin/skin of color. Dr. Singh has performed clinical trials in laser hair stimulation, as well as studies in hair transplantation for scarring and non-scarring forms of hair loss. She has performed investigative studies on skin cancer in transplant recipients, as well as tissue engineering. She has numerous publications in many peer-reviewed dermatology journals, book chapters, and has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Additionally, she is a reviewer for the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology and the Dermatologic Surgery journal and blog articles have been published in online periodicals.
Dr. Singh has also been featured on the cover of New York Times! Raised in Kansas City before leaving for medical school, she returned to the KC metro area to serve the needs of this community in all specialized issues of hair and skincare.