Updated: Mar 12
If you have accepted that you are starting to lose your hair you have already made it past one of the hardest parts of hair loss, denial. Hopefully by now you have started looking for ways to slow down your balding. If you have, then you would know that there are a lot of fish in the sea. By that we mean that there are many different treatment options out there, almost too many to count. There are those that work well, and there are those that do not, not to mention that some work for some people and others do not because it depends entirely on the individual. To sum it up, it’s overwhelming.
Sometimes the nights google searching “how to overcome hair loss” can be frustrating and long. You may come across pertinent information that can actually help, or you might fall victim to one of the many misleading/ misguided articles or forums out there. Either way, if you have been looking for a solution to your hair loss you have probably at least heard of hair fibers.
Having recently (within the last 10 years) been popularized by online videos of people using them and achieving “amazing” results, hair fibers have actually been around for a much longer time than you might realize. The company Toppik, which makes one of the most popular hair fibers available, has been around for over 30 years! Though hair loss treatments such as finasteride and minoxidil are much more effective at treating the root causes of hair loss, hair fibers are unique and can play a part in helping you overcome hair loss. In this article, we are going to give you a better understanding of what hair fibers are, what they can and cannot do, and how they can help you.
What are hair fibers?
Hair fibers are essentially thousands of microscopic fibers that stick to your hair. Once they are applied, the fibers are bound to your hair which helps temporarily make hair appear thicker and cover up thin areas. Unfortunately for hair fibers to work you need to have hair for them to stick to, meaning if you are completely bald they won’t work for you.
Though some companies manufacture hair fibers from cotton, real human hair, plant fibers, and possible other materials, keratin is by far the most popular. That is because keratin is a protein that is a naturally occurring building block of human hair and it looks the most natural when it is applied as a hair fiber.
No matter what the hair fiber is made out of, they are always negatively charged with static electricity. This is what allows them to stick to our hair as human hair is naturally positively charged and is also what holds them in place throughout the day.
A lot of the time you will see hair fiber companies making claims that it “promotes growth” or “helps hair loss” but those claims are not true. The purpose of using hair fiber is to cover up, or “camouflage”, the areas that your hair is thinning. Hair fibers do not in any way promote hair growth or address the underlying cause of hair loss at all, they are merely a cover up. Again, hair fibers do have their place for hair loss (which we are about to dive into), but do not be tricked into thinking that they are going to help stop hair loss in any way, they are not.
What hair fibers CAN do
Hair loss can take an emotional toll on people and has been linked to anxiety, depression, and a number of other psychological disorders. This is where hair fibers can make a huge difference.
Hair fiber technology has become realistic up to a point where they are almost indistinguishable from real human hair. By utilizing hair fibers, a lot of the day to day emotional distress from hair loss can be mitigated. Applying hair fiber can boost your confidence throughout the day and give you a greater peace of mind knowing that you don’t have to worry about how your hair looks. Doing this long term may be able to prevent or even reverse the depression and social impacts that hair loss can have on a person.
Another great perk of hair fibers is that they are relatively easy to use. Since they only take about five minutes to apply, hair fibers make for an easy addition to your morning routine that can impact your whole day.
Curing the emotional side of hair loss is just as, if not more, important than curing the hair loss itself. Hair fibers do a really great job at temporarily covering up problematic areas and helping ease the day to day struggle of hair loss. But unfortunately that’s just it, they are only a temporary solution…
What hair fibers CANNOT do
Despite what anybody says, hair fibers do not in any way cure the underlying causes of hair loss.
The root of most hair loss is both the hormone DHT, which is responsible for causing male and female pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia), and often times poor circulation. Treatments like finasteride and some natural hair loss supplements have been shown to block DHT, while other treatments like minoxidil (and Follicle Foundation) can help improve circulation.
In order to provide a long-term solution to hair loss, you need to address those underlying causes and tackle hair loss from the inside out. Only then will you have the possibility of re-growing lost hair and reversing hair loss. Hair fibers will not do that, do not waste your money if you are looking for a long-term solution.
There are several other problems that you may confront when using hair fibers.
Hair fibers are not perfect. Though they may look good when first applied they are still just fibers clinging to your hair. Even though companies claim that they are “waterproof and sweat resistant” there are still many claims from people online saying that it has washed off in the rain or at the gym, which would be terribly embarrassing to say the least. Some people even said that it has rubbed off on their pillowcase at night. This is because you are not supposed to keep hair fibers in for more than 24 hours.
Beyond all of these stories of misfortune, there are a lot of stipulations when it comes to putting hair fibers on. For one, most companies will try to sell you a hair spray in order to keep the fibers in place, and if you don’t use it there is a higher chance of it washing out. Very convenient for them, they get to sell you two products. Another unfortunate restriction of hair fibers is that you cannot apply them to wet hair because if you do, or if it is not applied properly to dry hair for that matter, it can appear blotchy and look very unnatural.
Hypothetical situation: you have been using hair fibers for months with no problems. One morning you are running a little bit behind and your hair isn’t completely dry but you apply hair fiber anyway. It doesn’t look right but you have to get to work so you say screw it and just leave. Now everyone at the office is staring at you wondering how you lost all of this hair overnight and even worse, start to suspect you have been using some sort of cover up for your hair loss. Talk about a bad day at the office.
Look, I may have just knocked hair fibers in that last section, but I still believe they have some massive benefits to offer. In order to overcome hair loss, you need to beat the emotional AND the physical side of things. Though they do not offer any support for addressing the causes of hair loss, they certainly can help you deal with it better. If you are, or are considering using hair fibers, I would highly recommend using them alongside treatments that help block DHT and regrow new hair. This way you are (hopefully) maintaining a healthy emotional state (and looking good doing it) and also slowly but surely working to regrow your real hair back!