Hair Loss Concealers

Once derided as “hair in a can,” contemporary hair loss concealers have become more sophisticated, as well as a very viable solution for people looking to conceal minimal hair loss. This includes those with small bald patches, or minimally thinning hair. Spray-on concealers are still available, but newer concealers that are sprinkled onto the scalp, or applied with an applicator, have gained popularity in recent years. Often, these concealers are also the preferred option for fair hair coverage or who use them to enhance the look of hair after a transplant.


Hair loss concealers gained popularity (and notoriety) in the 1990s when Ronco, the makers of Great Looking Hair (GLH), took to the airwaves with an infomercial offering instant results for men with bald spots or thinning hair. In its earliest incarnations, the spray-on GLH was an aerosol powder that simply built upon itself as it was sprayed on the scalp. Although it was often ridiculed, GLH proved very successful. More modernized versions of the product are still sold through Ronco’s website to this day.

GLH’s success was enough to encourage other entrepreneurs to take the product’s basic concept and improve it; offering a more natural-looking hair loss concealment. Today, hair concealers can be sprinkled onto the scalp or thinning hair, and come with applicators for more controlled treatment. Most importantly, they have become a genuine solution for men and women who want the appearance of fuller, thicker hair.


Hair loss concealers generally fall into two categories: spray-on concealers or fibre concealers that are sprinkled onto the scalp and hair root. Fibre concealers are made from tiny fibres that are meant to imitate real hair follicles and cling to hair electrostatically. Concealers can be used on bald or thinning areas on the back of the head, but can also be used to minimize the appearance of a receding hairline.

Spray-On Hair Loss Concealers

Hair Cubed, GLH, Fullmore and Top Coverage are among the most commonly used spray-on hair loss concealers. For best results, users should start with freshly-shampooed hair that is already completely dry and styled. The aerosol concealer is usually applied in short bursts, and then brushed through the hair to ensure that it’s evenly distributed. Any excess product is either absorbed into the hair or brushed away.

Application is quick and easy, although some users admit it may take a while to get the “technique” down. Spray-on concealers can be used daily, but should be shampooed out of the hair between applications. Most concealers are available in a variety of shades and colors, although some users feel it can be difficult to match the concealer to their natural hair color.

One of the obvious disadvantages of spray-on concealers is that they often don’t result in the natural look that users hope for. Also, some manufacturers claim that a person can exercise, perspire, and even swim with the concealer in their hair; however, this is not always the case. Some users report that the concealer can run and stain clothing, so they recommend using caution until it is known how the product will interact with a user’s hair and lifestyle.

Some aerosol spray concealers have been reported to produce very sticky hair that can difficult to comb after the concealer has been applied. Some users have complained that it can be very difficult to wash the concealer off of hands and skin that may have come into contact with the spray; others say that shampooing isn’t always enough to wash the concealer from the hair.

Be wary of spray-on concealers that claim to be all-natural or organic: cosmetic products can still contain alcohol, artificial dyes and preservatives. Users should test the product on a small area to ensure there are no allergies or side effects.

Fibre Concealers

One alternative to the spray-on concealer is a newer generation concealer that is shaken or sprinkled onto the scalp and hair root. Concealers like Toppik, NexGen and Nanogen are made from microscopic keratin hair fibers that cling to existing natural hair electrostatically. Other concealers, such as Caboki, are made from natural plant fibers, but cling to the hair in much the same way.

The concealer is sprinkled onto a clean, dry scalp and the fibers then bind to the existing hairs. This includes the very fine, vellus-type hairs that are virtually invisible to the naked eye. As a result, hair looks much thicker, darker and fuller. Because these concealers are made of these fine fibers, they offer a more natural look than the spray-on variety. Most manufacturers claim that these fibres will cling to the hair even during heavy winds, rains and perspiration. Some users insist that the fibres will live up to that promise only when users have mastered the proper technique on how to apply the concealer to the hair.

Among users who are pleased with the effectiveness of the sprinkle-on concealers, most say that the look is quite natural, and that the colors in the fiber-style concealers are easier to match to the user’s real hair colour. Some users mention that fibres can cling to the face and clothes, so recommend covering up with a towel during application. There are also reports that the concealer can stain light-colored clothing and furniture, and that a simple shampooing doesn’t always thoroughly clean the concealer hair. As with all hair loss products, users are strongly advised to test the concealer on an inconspicuous area to make sure that they are not allergic to the ingredients.


Concealers are not designed or formulated to prevent hair loss, or to re-grow hair. They work best on men and women who have thinning hair, or who have smaller bald spots that still have fine hairs that the concealers to cling to. Perhaps the biggest advantage to concealers is that they work for both men and women, and they do cling well to very fine hairs that are otherwise virtually impossible to see.

The cost of a spray-on concealer can vary from $12 to $80 per can, with a single can lasting an average of 3 to 5 weeks, depending on how often it’s used (Hair Cubed sells for $80 a can and, while it claims to last 2-5 months, some users say the can lasts only 3-4 weeks). Most manufacturers recommend special shampoos and sealants to maximize the effectiveness of the concealer, so users may be looking at additional costs for the purchase of those products.

Fiber concealers can cost anywhere from $20 to $50 for a 60-day supply. As with the spray-on concealers, manufacturers often recommend using sealants and serums to maximize the product’s effectiveness. In some cases, this can push the cost of a 60-day supply into the $110-$120 range.

There are no serious side effects reported from either spray-on or sprinkle-on concealers, although some users do report itchy, dry scalp that can be remedied with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Post-transplant patients who use a concealer must first consult with their physician, as the scalp has to be completely healed before any hair loss product is used.

Links & Testimonials

Check out the original Great Looking Hair infomercial on YouTube. More recent videos of GLH applications are available through the product’s website.

The spray-on concealer Hair Cubed® has a brief instructional video on YouTube that shows how the product is applied.

Caboki has a page devoted to videos showing how the product is used and the results that have been seen. Toppik has an application video on its home page that shows the ideal results. Nanogen has a video on YouTube showing how to apply the concealer.