Hollywood Actor Confesses All About How He 'Conceals' His Hair Loss

First Jon Cryer, 48, the star of US sitcom Two And A Half Men, revealed that what viewers see on screen is an 'elaborate illusion' that involves coating his scalp with 'stuff like shoe polish' before sprinkling powder on top.

A third of men lose their hair by the age of 30 and two-thirds by the time they're 60 - but baldness can be an issue for some people. Two Hollywood actors have recently come clean about their use of instant cures.

First Jon Cryer, 48, the star of US sitcom Two And A Half Men, revealed that what viewers see on screen is an 'elaborate illusion' that involves coating his scalp with 'stuff like shoe polish' before sprinkling powder on top. Then Seinfeld actor Jason Alexander, 54, tweeted that he'd had a hairpiece fitted. Public reaction was overwhelmingly positive - not just because of their honesty, but because of how great their hair looks.

The days of cringingly obvious wigs are long gone - modern fixes are highly effective. But with hair transplants being expensive, what are the other options for hiding thinning hair and baldness?


Shake it up: Nanogen's Nanofibres


Microfibres made from keratin, the same protein that forms human hair. The fibres come in 10 different shades to suit your existing colour, and when shaken on to the head they stick to the hair shaft and form what looks like new strands, bulking up the volume. great product in my opinion.


These products amplify existing hair. 'They are Hollywood's top cosmetic secret.'

The manufacturing process gives the fibres an electrostatic charge - a bit like when you rub a balloon on your head and hair sticks to it. Because they adhere using static electricity, no adhesives are used and it doesn't feel sticky. This means if it starts raining the fibres aren't going to run down your face unless you've applied far too much. But they might flatten down so you may have to restyle your hair and apply a bit more product afterwards. You also have to shampoo them out.


Care needs to be taken during application to ensure the most natural effect, using a second mirror to check the back of the head. It can take 5- 30 minutes to apply. If you put too much on it can look fake too so be aware that 'less is more' is often the best approach.

This product is only appropriate for those with mild hair loss as fibres need to attach to existing hairs.

TRY: Nanogen Nanofibres - Nanogen.co.uk



A cream applied to the scalp to darken it in line with the colour of your hair and thicken the follicles, to give the impression of a fuller head of hair. It looks like a tinted moisturiser and is dabbed on, sometimes using a sponge. This is the method Two And A Half Men star Jon Cryer recently admitted to using.


Organic proteins in these products coat the outside of each follicle, giving an appearance of thicker hair by up to 50 per cent. But this type of masking lotion still cannot be used

on those men who are almost completely bald, as it involves painting in bits of naked scalp between patches of hair.


Despite reassurances from manufacturers, many customers have found that some of this product can come off in the rain or when swimming. You have to be very mindful of water and even of coming into contact with certain fabrics. I remember one incident when I leant back on a pillow and a bit of the colour came off on the material. It was highly embarrassing.

TRY: Couvre Masking Lotion



Many shampoos claim to be volumising but these penetrate each individual hair shaft thanks to the protein in the solution. This reacts with heat causing the shaft to swell, thickening every strand and helping cover up a scalp with thinning patches.


Volumising used to just be a marketing term but these do seem to have a real effect. They are easy to use and inexpensive.


There's a limit to how much a shampoo will help - it's more useful for those with thinning locks rather than those with advanced baldness. You need hair to be able to 'volumise' it !Don't expect to use these a few times and suddenly look like you have a full head of hair. Don't over use either as can make hair very brittle.

TRY: Couvre Protein Hair Expander



No one in the business says wig or toupee - the preferred term is now 'hair replacement system'. The (usually human) hair is attached to a micro-thin, translucent plastic membrane, placed on a shaved scalp (or part of the scalp which needs covering) and fixed using a bonding agent. This can be kept on for weeks or months at a time.


'A client comes in and discusses their needs, then we look at their hair and find the right piece for them,' explains Paul Cochrane, a hairdresser at London's Frankie Cochrane Hair & Beauty clinic. Once fitted, hair systems are fairly durable and need not inhibit day-to-day activities.

Even at the front you can't see or feel that it's anything other than your own "hair" . It's suitable for most people, most hair types and colours, and most levels of baldness.


Hairpieces need maintenance as real hair grows underneath, pushing up the membrane. Although the system itself costs around £250, the annual spend can be about £1,500. Some people may also develop bad reactions on the scalp from the glue.



Scalp Micro Pigmentation - Thousands of tiny tattooed dots to give the illusion of hair stubble. Ideal for disguising small patches of hair loss but can be used very effectively with an experienced artist to cover areas void of hair in order to give the illusion of stubble.

Photo credit: www.hassonandwong.com

Effective also at camouflaging scars on the scalp. I have personally had it done and it works well in an old hair transplant scar.


Needles are fine enough to make the dots mimic stubble but important to go to an experienced and reputable clinic. Head tattooing was always permanent up until a few years ago and was always unnatural looking in my opinion, until recent times. There is now a temporary SMP technique developed by a lady in Italy called Milena Lardi and her temporary Trico-pigmentation technique is very natural looking and lasts approximately 12-18 months depending on the conditions the scalp is subjected to.

All natural products are used and the ink fades over time. Needs no maintenance and only needs to be done in a couple of treatments initially with back to back sessions. A few clinics are offering her technique after being trained by her personally.


The permanent tattoo can look 'harsh' and unnatural. The temporary Trico-pigmentation is a viable and better solution in my opinion.

TRY: Cost depends on the area of tattooing required - a whole head can be as much as £2,000. NuYuInk.com and BeautyMedical.it


Hair loss and thinning hair is caused by Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is an active metabolite of the testosterone hormone that is formed in the adrenal gland, hair follicles, prostate glands and testes. DHT is a naturally occurring hormone, but in genetically predisposed people, DHT can bind to the hair follicle and cause hair loss by deteriorating the follicle. Once the follicle is damaged too much, it cannot repair itself and ultimately dies, unable to produce further hair.

Understanding the role of dihydrotestosterone in MPB is an important step to finding the right treatment for you to help stop your hair loss. Products that prevent those hormones are often called DHT Blockers. Only three proven medications can effectively stop hair loss and in many cases re-grow hair. These are Minoxidil, Finasteride and Nizoral Shampoo.

Before You Go

Go To Homepage