Chances are good that you have probably seen a commercial or advertisement at some point for hair building fibers.
Hair building fibers are what companies like Toppik and Caboki make. What you generally see in the commercials and other advertisements for them is that someone with thin hair applies a powder-like substance to their hair and it seemingly magically covers up their bald spot and/or makes their hair thicker. But what are hair fibers? How do they work? And are there any real benefits for hair loss?
In this article we will be answering all of those questions and more. We will be talking about exactly what hair building fibers are, how they work, and whether or not they could be a valuable addition to your hair loss regimen.
What are hair building fibers and how do they work?
The name kind of speaks for itself. Hair building fibers are just thousands of microscopic fibers that stick to your hair. The way they are able to attach to your hair is because they are negatively electrically charged, whereas your hair is naturally positively charged.
It is important to note that because of the way the hair fibers work it requires you to still have hair for the fibers to attach to. In other words, if you are completely bald in an area the fibers will not work because they have nothing to attach to.
Hair fibers are made from a variety of materials including cotton, human hair, and plant fibers, but the most popular and most effective hair fibers are usually made from keratin. Keratin is a protein that is naturally occurring in the body. It is a major building block of your hair, and the reason many companies opt to use it in their hair fiber product is because it looks the most natural when it binds to your hair.
Are there any real benefits for hair loss?
This is where many people are either uneducated or misconstrued about hair fibers and how they work. Hair fibers do not have any effect on hair loss itself.
Androgenic alopecia (AGA; pattern hair loss) is caused by two factors: low blood flow and dihydrotestosterone (DHT), both of which hair fibers have no effect on. This is because both of these factors occur from processes inside the body and hair fibers are not a medicine that is used to alter these processes in any way whatsoever. If you use hair fibers to try and regrow your hair or stop hair loss from progressing you will be severely disappointed.
In order to truly regrow your hair you need to use treatments that are designed to combat DHT and low blood flow such as finasteride and minoxidil. But, just because hair fibers are not going to stop or reverse hair loss does not necessarily mean that they can’t help with some of the other, often neglected, factors associated with hair loss.
Hair fibers have a role to play
Hair fibers often get a lot of negative press because they don't actually work to help hair loss. But, well-established brands such as Toppik have made a name for themselves because they have created a very good product in the sense that it does what it says it is going to: create a natural looking appearance of a full head of hair. Of course there are exceptions to this such as the product getting wet and other issues that may arise, but overall the product is solid and looks natural.
The reason that I say this is because the role that hair fibers have to play is not with hair loss itself, but rather with the emotional issues that are often caused by hair loss. Studies have shown that hair loss leads to emotional issues such as anxiety, depression, stress and more (1).
Ironically, when you are stressed your body produces a hormone called cortisol, which can lead to hair loss. Cortisol is known to affect the function and regulation of the hair cycle, which is why when stress is prolonged, and too much cortisol is produced, it can often lead to a form of temporary hair loss called telogen effluvium.
A lot of the emotional issues that arise from hair loss are due to societal standards of physical appearance. In other words, oftentimes when someone looks in the mirror or knows that they have hair loss that is visible, these are things that cause emotional distress, and this is exactly where hair fibers can be very beneficial.
Since hair fibers give the appearance of real hair they may be able to help mitigate some of the anxiety and stress from hair loss and stop some of those emotional triggers from flaring up. This can definitely provide tremendous benefit for the emotional health of a hair loss sufferer, and may even prevent hair loss from worsening by reducing stress and therefore preventing telogen effluvium.
The emotional toll that hair loss can have on someone can negatively affect their entire life, and while hair fibers may not be able to cure hair loss itself, it may be able to provide some emotional stability. By reducing stress and anxiety hair fibers may also be able to reduce stress-induced hair loss.
When you are emotionally stable you are able to make better decisions, including potentially in regards to the way you approach overcoming your hair loss. All in all, the reason many people want to overcome their hair loss is so that they can lead a happier life, and hair fibers certainly can help in that sense. Just make sure you do not use them to try and medically treat your hair loss, it will not have any effect.