My Pink Scalp is Showing Through My Hairline. Help!

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photo: Getty Images

This column first ran in Valerie Monroe’s newsletter, How Not to F*ck Up Your Face, which you can subscribe to on Substack.

Q: I’ve been “the brave one” for decades now, but my grandmother’s pink-scalp-through-the-white-hair look has arrived. Trying not to be, but I am undeniably sad about it. Is there anything that can be done?

A: Now I’m thinking about my beloved grandmother, Bammie, whose salt-and-pepper hair, as I remember it, was always thick and perfectly coiffed. No pink-scalp issue for her.

I, however, am less lucky. As soon as I read your question, I ran to a mirror to check on what I thought I’d noticed for the past couple of months: a more visible part contrasting my white/blonde hair. (Confirmed. “Motherf*cker!,” I said.) I guess it happens to the best of us.

What to do? I asked Marie Leppard, senior colorist at New York City’s Julien Farel Salon, for suggestions. “I’ve noticed the pink-scalp issue is typically on fair-skinned/light-haired clients,” she said. “It’s most obvious after a color treatment when the scalp looks pinker and might be slightly irritated.” But the scalp can also look pink in contrast to white or light-colored hair. (As we know.)

Anything that will help conceal the contrast is helpful, said Leppard. Thickening shampoos can mimic fullness and hide the scalp. As for styling, don’t overload hair with product, because that will weigh it down. Overcompensating with too much volume results in wispy-looking, cotton-candy hair, so go for a sleek style with volume only at the crown. Avoid parting your hair in the center; an uneven side part will make your hair look fuller and show less scalp, as will pulling your hair back from your face. Toppik hair-building fibers in white could also help diminish the contrast at your roots.

I just thought of something even scarier: a pinker, sunburned scalp. Which is an excellent reason to wear a hat this summer.

Originally published on March 12.

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My Scalp is Pink and It’s Showing Through My Hairline. Help!