When losing my hair I tried desperately to cover it up without the aid of external help. However I found that because I was losing my hair so quickly nothing seemed to help on a permanent basis. The tips below vary in their usefulness for the different types of alopecia. If for example you have too many bald patches to count, moving your parting may not cover up the patches or may instead reveal other patches. Please see our links page for additional information from external sites.
If there are just a few bald patches, you could try an eyebrow pencil, cream or spray of the same colour as your hair to make the patches less obvious. This works by reducing the colour contrast between the skin and hair. An alternative is to use a keratin microfibre product such as Nanogen which is sprinkled onto the scalp and binds to each hair fibre, giving a camouflage and more natural weight and density.
Dividing your parting slightly differently can help to cover up bald patches depending on where they are. Try a side parting to give more volume to one side of your head giving the appearance of more hair. Alternatively you could try a zigzag parting to cover patches near your original parting.
Use volumising shampoos and conditioners as these can also give the appearance of more hair and a fuller and thicker head of hair.
If your hair loss is quite severe you could try a wig. They are widely available on the high street, on the internet and from the NHS. You can have them custom made to your requirements or buy them directly off the shelf. Find out more information on wigs.
You can also buy hats to cover up any patches on the top of the scalp, and for people with little or no hair, hats can be bought that have hair attached.
If you have a lack of hairs on your eyebrows you could try an eyebrow pencil. Find an eyebrow or eyeliner pencil that is similar in colour to your hair/wig hair colour, failing this go lighter and not darker as this is likely to look more natural. The Body Shop do a good range of eyebrow pencils in a range of shades. Test the colour and definition of the pencil on the back of your hand, checking that it is easily applied without dragging the skin.
Sharpen the pencil so it is very fine. Draw in short soft lines where your eyebrow used to be to give the appearance of natural hair. Don't draw just one line. It is advisable to practice on the back of your hand to get the curve right, using little strokes to imitate eyebrow hairs. To some extent the less perfect the better.
When drawing the eyebrow, use the bone above the eye socket as a guide for the shape of the eyebrow.
Using hairspray over eyebrow pencil makes it last longer and will also make it more resistant to perspiration, and life in general.
There are some `24 hrí eyebrow pencils available which are waterproof and last longer and are more smudge-proof than normal eyebrow pencil.
If eyebrow pencil does not suit you, you can buy fake eyebrows which come in a variety of colours, shapes and lengths. They are self adhesive, can last up to three days and are waterproof. See the links page for where to buy them.
There are companies which replace missing eyebrows with a method similar to a tattoo, called semi-permanent make-up. It is also called micropigmentation. It can normally look good for up to a year, when it can be partly refreshed or renewed. It can be quite expensive, varying from £200-£400.
Fake eyelashes made of both synthetic and real hair are widely available on-line and in high street chemists. They can be quite tricky to apply to start with but can look very realistic with a bit of effort. With fake eyelashes try using eyeliner and mascara for a more realistic look. Start with simple eyelashes, donít go too over the top as they will look less natural.
If you feel uncomfortable with fake eyelashes but would like to draw more attention to your eyes, eye liner and eye shadow can both be used. It is best to avoid black and use medium brown. Use a fine line for definition. Wiping cotton buds over the line helps to take away the harshness.