Guide to Cosmetics

Look and feel your best

Finding information and advice about products and accessories, tools and techniques to address hair loss has never been so simple. We’ve taken the most useful information shared by NAAF community members, and gathered it into one easy-to-access place.

Our guide, "Tools for Looking Your Best,” is filled with tips and advice tried by people who have alopecia areata. Learn more about how to effectively shave your scalp, how to address hair loss using accessories like hairpieces, how to use products like hair-building fibers or colored aerosol sprays and how to create fabulous false eyelashes and eyebrows.

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Options for Scalp Hair Loss


There are a variety of products that can be applied to your scalp to cover bare patches of skin or areas where the hair is thinning. Find out more about using protein fibers made of pure keratin (a structural protein found in human hair), sprays and lotions to make your hair look thick and full, and how to get the closest match to your natural hair color.

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This option is often the choice for some people who have extensive alopecia areata (more hairloss than can be managed with hairstyles), those who find a hairpiece more comfortable over a bald head, those who play sports or are physically active, and those who simply prefer how it looks. Get the tips and tools you’ll need to effectively and evenly shave your scalp for the best results.

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There are a wide range of options when it comes to hairpieces and wigs. Some are handmade from 100% human hair, while others are crafted from synthetic materials. You can use double-sided tape, clips, combs or glue to attach them to your head — or even weave them into remaining hair. Get the facts so you can decide which option is best, plus how to wear and take care of hairpieces.

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Caring for Hairpieces

How to Wash Natural Hairpieces

  • Detangle hair using a wide tooth comb
  • Don’t pull on knots — instead, gently work comb through the hair, starting at the ends (not the roots)
  • Wet hairpiece with lukewarm water, while holding it in your hands
  • Avoid soaking the hairpiece, which can cause hair to tangle
  • Apply a small amount of sulfate-free/paraben-free shampoo
  • Work the shampoo evenly throughout the hair with one hand, while you hold the hairpiece with the other
  • Rinse the hairpiece with cool-to- lukewarm water until the shampoo is removed and water runs clear (never wring out)
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How to Wash Synthetic Hairpieces

  • Detangle hair using a wide tooth comb
  • Use a mild shampoo, or one that’s formulated for synthetic hair
  • Mix a capful of shampoo into cool water in a sink or basin
  • Place the hairpiece all the way into the water, and let it soak for several minutes
  • Avoid scrubbing the hairpiece — instead, swish it from side to side and dunk it into water
  • Rinse the hairpiece with cool water until the shampoo is removed and water runs clear
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Eyebrows & Eyelashes

Do it yourself

Topical Products

Do it yourself

Accessories that can make a difference

Some people with alopecia areata may choose to wear accessories like scarves and hats instead of wearing a hairpiece or shaving their head. Shop for these and other products to address hair loss on NAAF’s Alopecia Areata Marketplace, where 10% of every purchase is donated to NAAF’s three mission areas: research, education and support. Just be sure to mention “NAAF” at checkout.

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Guide to Cosmetics