How to Cover up Bald Spots: Tips and Tricks
Reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Written by Geoffrey Whittaker
Fellas, let’s get real for a second. Eventually, all of us want to lose our hair. Yes, you read that right. See, bald spots become a more unavoidable part of life the closer you get to three digits, and we all want to live as long as possible. It’s impossible to keep the head of hair you had at 18 while seeing a second century.
But just because hair loss might hit by the time you’re 90 doesn’t mean you have to start accepting it when you’re 30. And if a bald spot kicks in decades before social security, you’re probably looking to fight back.
So let’s get conspiratorial together. What’s to be done about bald spots — can they be stopped?
Believe it or not, there are actually quite a few solutions for covering, masking or disguising a bald spot — in some cases, it’s actually possible to regrow hair before things are too far gone.
Below, we’ll go over some of our favorite tips for hiding bald spots, along with the best advice we can offer for preventing them — or potentially getting your hair to grow back. Let’s get started.
How to Hide Bald Spots: 4 Tips
There are lots of options for treating bald spots. Based on your hair color, hair volume, the size of your bald patches and the hair look you want to pull off, your options will differ from the next person’s.
Let’s set aside health and wellness for a moment — because there’s often a big difference between healthcare for the causes of hair loss and the self-confidence and pride question of how your hair looks.
Depending on what you want to achieve, making a male pattern baldness spot disappear might be something you can accomplish by doing the following:
Covering it with a new hairstyle
Looking into hairpieces or wigs
Investigating cosmetic procedures
Want to know how these things actually work? Let’s take a look at these strategies in more detail.
Cover It With a New Hairstyle
If you want to know how to look good balding, the answer is pretty simple: Don’t look like you’re balding — make it less obvious by changing up your hairstyle.
Believe it or not, the solution to hiding thinning or bald spots in your hair might be as simple as some style changes. Everything from the way your hair is cut to the way you dry it can affect the appearance of bald spots.
Any stylist will agree: Haircuts for men with thinning hair aren’t the same from one guy to another. You’ll want to ask for advice based on a barber’s expertise, but you can do things at home as well. Consider using a blow dryer after you shower to give it more lift, or discuss changes to your normal haircut with your barber.
Use Hair Loss Concealers
Also known as camouflaging products, topical concealers offer a cosmetic approach to hiding a bald spot without actually growing hair.
The most commonly used camouflages include hair-building fibers (a keratin-based product in a shaker jar), which increase density when applied to the scalp near bald spots.
Scalp spray thickeners are similarly illusion-building products — they bond hair fibers together to create the appearance of density. They can also add color if you’re not quite ready to be a silver fox yet.
There are also products like alopecia masking lotion, a tinted lotion applied to create the impression of thicker hair. Although not a concealer, hair transplants may be another option.
Wear a Hairpiece or Wig
Get into your daughter’s costume closet — or at least a high-end version of it.
Technically, it doesn’t have to be fake hair — accessories like scarves, hats, bandanas and turbans are also good at concealing bald spots when a less time-consuming option is needed.
Learn more in our non-surgical hair replacement guide.
Try Cosmetic Procedures
If you’ve exhausted other options already, you may want to go with some of the more pokey-stabby cover-up options on the market.
Here’s what to keep in mind:
While hair transplants are safe and effective, they can also be expensive and may fail. So money, recovery time and surgical success are the biggest factors to consider.
There are plenty of advantages to scalp pigmentation — tattooing — to semi-permanently and permanently fill in color. But generally, it’s best for mild or early hair loss and guys who keep their hair short. And if you get it early, you’ll need to use hair dye for the rest of your life.
Hims has helped thousands of men regrow their hair
Regrow Bald Spots Instead of Covering Them
What every guy wants is a way to hit “undo” on the balding process, to flip the regrowth switch and have his hair look like it used to, to fill the space with, well…real hair.
Certain medications may be able to do this in limited circumstances, but you’ll need to discuss them and other options with a healthcare professional — only then will you know what medication-based treatments might help.
Which hair loss disorder do you have? Androgenic alopecia is the most likely.
Androgenetic alopecia, as it’s also called, is an imbalance of the hormone DHT that makes individual hair follicles stop growing. Androgenic alopecia is both the most common hair loss type for men and the typical cause of thinning and balding crowns, as well as receding hairlines. Men will start to show symptoms as early as their 20s, but it can manifest much later as well.
Other types of hair loss are less common, especially in aging men with bald spots. Some can result from excessive physical or mental stress on the body, as with telogen effluvium. Others might be due to physical damage to the hair from traction alopecia or autoimmune conditions like alopecia areata.
Depending on what you have, some medications may be more or less effective. There are several treatments that can potentially help you cover a bald spot:
Finasteride. Finasteride blocks DHT — the hormone that causes hair loss in androgenic alopecia. According to a very small study done on just 15 people, taking finasteride on a daily basis was shown to reduce DHT levels by about 70 percent — which is enough to slow down the effects of male pattern baldness and even reverse it in some cases. Learn more in our finasteride for hair loss guide.
Minoxidil. Studies show that using minoxidil over a 48-week period increases thickness and total hair count, to the tune of about 13 to 19 percent. If you’re not officially bald but definitely have thinning hair, the extra thickness provided by minoxidil can be the visual difference between bald and disguised. Both minoxidil foam and minoxidil solution options have been shown to be effective.
Topical finasteride & minoxidil spray. This is another way to get these benefits as a combo deal. Our topical finasteride & minoxidil spray combines the best of both worlds, and it’s considered safe and effective.
The right shampoos and conditioners. Though the science behind it isn’t as rock-solid, the popular supplement saw palmetto also helps fight DHT levels and may be effective alongside a medication like finasteride. As a note, saw palmetto may be an ingredient in certain shampoos, which might also include things like biotin and other essential compounds. Our guide on what to look for in men’s hair loss shampoo contains a full list of ingredients you should check for in a volumizing shampoo and conditioner or in a thickening shampoo with saw palmetto.
Shop by treatment options
No matter the treatment plan, the best place to start is somewhere. Early action is the best hair loss prevention.
Bald Spot Cover-Up: Next Steps
Maybe the solution to covering a bald spot isn’t to hide it but to embrace it. Though many men struggle with self-confidence when hair loss begins, it’s possible to own it and emulate some of the bald icons out there, including The Rock, Bruce Willis and Jason Statham.
If you think this look might work for you, it might be time to commit to being bald and proud.
Whether you’re comfortable with your look or want to take back control in the follicle fight, educating yourself on what’s going on up top is an important next step for your health.
Keep the following in mind as you weigh your options:
Hair thinning is perfectly natural, but if you’re getting concerned about a bald spot, talking to stylists and a dermatologist can help you find solutions.
Covering up a bald spot might be a short-term solution to an immediate problem, but hair loss is still something your healthcare provider should know about.
While hair loss is a normal part of aging, it can also signal other health concerns related to diet, stress, blood pressure and other potentially life-threatening conditions. So if you’re noticing a rapid change, seek the help of a medical professional before you jump to cover it up.
If you’re ready to talk to a dermatologist or another healthcare professional about hair loss treatments, we can connect you with one online.
Want to learn more about male pattern baldness? Our guides are a great way to explore the potential reasons for hair loss, which could include vitamin deficiency, medication hair loss or illnesses. (That’s why it’s important to know if you’re going bald or whether something else is wrong.)
We can also point you to more of the best (and longer-term) treatments for thinning hair.