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Scalp Foundation Is a Thing and No, I Will Not Shut Up About It

Full transparency, I receive a number of product pitches on a daily basis. I don’t always respond to them because I forget, they’re not super exciting, or they’re for a product that’s similar to something I already own. But when I received a pitch in my inbox about ME Cosmetics and their recently launched scalp foundation, I was immediately intrigued.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has noticed that their strands are looking a little thin recently and those sparse areas are starting to grow. I’m 90% sure it’s due to stress, but managing that feels near impossible. So instead, I stick to more practical solutions—aka I cry about it, take a number of vitamins, and do a little DIY to give off the appearance of thicker, fuller hair. Thankfully, the ME Cosmetics scalp foundation exists to save me from myself and those DIY methods I mentioned.

I wanted to learn all about the greatest beauty invention since sliced bread (in my humble opinion), so I chatted with brand founder Camille Barreto about how this product came to be and much more. I even reviewed it below, so scroll on to get acquainted with the scalp foundation and hear my honest thoughts on the product!

Mane Addicts: What was the inspiration behind the Can’t Stop Me Now scalp foundation?

Camille Barreto: Like so many innovative brands, ME Cosmetics was born from a personal struggle with a beauty concern. After developing androgenetic alopecia (female pattern hair loss) in my early 20s, I really struggled emotionally and was very self-conscious when people would gaze up at my scalp. I saw a lot of doctors and searched high and low for ways to conceal the hair loss but always came up empty-handed, so I reluctantly accepted the situation. Fortunately, new treatments became available to women over the following decade, which helped regrow enough of the lost hair that I didn’t feel as self-conscious anymore. Unfortunately, I experienced significant postpartum hair loss after my second child, and knowing what was ahead made me dread the inevitable anxiety this would cause. This time around I stubbornly refused to “accept” the situation and decided to get creative. I dyed my hair brown and jerry-rigged a concealer out of dark eyeshadows, which was a bumbly fix that I used for some time. It was very impractical, however, and required a lot of time to apply and blend over my entire scalp. I also tried new products that cropped up such as hair fibers, sprays, etc., but each one had significant shortcomings.

I knew there had to be a much better solution and was aware that 50% of women in America experience hair loss at some point. There was a tremendous opportunity to create an elegant cosmetic solution that actually works and makes a truly meaningful impact on women’s lives. The first step was figuring out all of the pieces required to launch a beauty brand. My entire career up until this point had been unrelated to the beauty industry so this was like putting together a massive puzzle. I spent a lot of time researching and reaching out to my network. After dozens of visits to a variety of suppliers I found incredible partners and began designing and perfecting our hero product—Can’t Stop Me Now Ultimate Coverage Scalp Foundation—almost three years ago.

MA: What about the scalp foundation makes it perfect for those with thinning hair?

CB: Can’t Stop Me Now is a life-changing solution that instantly gives the appearance of fuller and thicker hair and is, quite literally, confidence in the palm of your hand. The reason it is so effective is that I applied decades of my own personal experience to design an effective product capable of concealing diffuse hair loss, which is the most common.

Can’t Stop Me Now scalp foundation is richly pigmented and reflective to match the natural depth of our own hair. It is buildable, very blendable, and virtually undetectable. And the scalp foundation has tremendous staying power to keep up with us on even our busiest of days. Our Anything Can Happen Luxury Foundation Brush was thoughtfully designed for a quick and effortless application while ensuring a beautiful, natural-looking finish.

MA: How did you come up with the formula for a scalp foundation?

CB: I believe that truly innovative products should deliver meaningful, incremental value to customers. With this in mind, it was pivotal to work with teams of experts to design and custom formulate Can’t Stop Me Now, and the accompanying tools, from the ground up. I wanted our scalp foundation to look very natural, offer excellent performance, and incorporate customers’ priorities regarding ingredients, ethics, and sustainability. As such, it took me over two years of countless iterations to perfect the formula, tools, and packaging.

We use ingredients that are 100% vegan, cruelty-free, and ethically sourced, and our formulas fall within generally accepted “clean” guidelines. For example, ME Cosmetics is Leaping Bunny certified and we use synthetic mica as it is lab-derived rather than mined.

I also strive to minimize our environmental footprint, so our compacts are made with 85% post-consumer recycled plastic, and almost all of our packaging and shipping boxes are made of 100% recycled materials. Our packaging partners are also FSC-certified and use 100% wind energy for their manufacturing.

Last but not least, one of our key values is that it is everyone’s responsibility to help better our world. I have been committed to the fight against human trafficking for many years and it’s very important that ME Cosmetics gives back with the sale of each product. To this end, we direct a portion of all sales, including 100% of our profits from A Gentle Touch Microfiber Towel, to three domestic non-profits committed to freeing youth from human trafficking.

MA: Is it similar to face foundation? How do the two differ?

CB: Face foundation is part of the inspiration behind naming this entirely new product category “scalp foundation.” Can’t Stop Me Now shares a few common characteristics with face foundation, such as creating a uniform color to the complexion and concealing certain beauty concerns. From this point on, the two diverge in a meaningful way. Can’t Stop Me Now contains pigments that are much more intense. It is also significantly more reflective to mimic our own hair’s natural depth, and our range of shades is aligned with hair colors rather than skin tones. We also infuse the formula with ingredients designed to nourish the hair as well as the scalp, such as red clover flower extract, caffeine, panthenol (pro-vitamin B5), jojoba oil, and green tea leaf extract. So, while they’re similar in spirit, the two product categories are truly unique from each other.

MA: Why is using this product better than using eyeshadow to cover thinning hair?

CB: When I used my jerry-rigged system, it became quickly apparent that using eyeshadow to conceal diffuse thinning is akin to using it as a face foundation. Hardly anyone does the latter and this is for a very good reason: it’s simply not designed for that purpose. Efficiently and effectively concealing large areas of fine or thinning hair requires a product design that is up for the task, which is why Can’t Stop Me Now is large and round. You also want a product formulated with ingredients intended to nourish the hair as well as the skin, And unlike eyeshadow, our scalp foundation is designed with shades, color payoff, and ample reflectiveness to match our hair. Lastly, using eyeshadow for this purpose is quite impractical. Even if you have the good fortune to find a high payoff reflective shade that matches your hair color, for cost reasons, it also needs to be available in a single color format rather than a palette. The small, often square, pan size also makes it difficult to apply the product onto an appropriately sized foundation brush. Sourcing enough product was also a constant challenge when I used eyeshadow as I would also go through at least one or two small eyeshadows per week in order to cover the large surface of the scalp.

MA: What are your pro tips for using the scalp foundation to get the most out of it?

CB: I love this question because it captures one of the fundamentals of this line: it was designed as a complete, multifunctional system rather than just one product.

We know that brushes are not all created equal, so using our Anything Can Happen brush to apply the scalp foundation is key to an effortless application while achieving a flawless and undetectable finish. It also happens to be the most effective tool I have ever used for quickly concealing pesky greys so I no longer need a separate product to conceal my roots between salon visits.

Like all makeup, application technique is really important. Can’t Stop Me Now is an innovative category creator so we are focusing a lot of resources on educating customers about some simple, yet effective, application techniques. Here are my tips and tricks:

  • Hair should be completely dry but not yet styled prior to application.
  • Part the hair down the center and hold the angled brush so that the longest bristles are facing forward toward hairline.
  • Starting about an inch behind the hairline use a stippling/dabbing motion to apply the foundation along the part, working your way from front to back.
  • Use the leftover product on the brush to fill in the hairline for a natural finish.
  • Swipe the brush in the foundation and gently sweep down the hair, close to the scalp, to seamlessly blend the foundation with your hair.
  • Part the hair an inch or two away from the center part and repeat these steps section by section until desired coverage is achieved.
  • After application, style hair as desired.
  • If you are applying Can’t Stop Me Now to already-styled hair, such as beautiful braids, apply the scalp foundation by following the same steps along the parts between the braids.
  • To remove the foundation, wash hair with shampoo.
  • As with any makeup, there may be some color transfer if the foundation is rubbed or wiped. My personal favorite pro tips are to sleep on black pillowcases and avoid running fingers through the hair close to the scalp.

My ME Cosmetics Scalp Foundation Review

I was beyond excited to try out the ME Cosmetics scalp foundation. Like Camille, I’ve often used eyeshadow as a makeshift way to hide sparse areas and thinning strands. And honestly, it doesn’t work that great. Maybe for a photo, but not in real life. Knowing this product was specifically formulated to be applied to the scalp thrilled me.

ME Cosmetics was kind enough to send me their entire shade range of scalp foundations, along with the Anything Can Happen Luxury Foundation Brush, Take a Brow Precision Eyebrow Brush, and A Gentle Touch Microfiber Towel. The shades available for the scalp foundation are Black Brown, Medium Brown, Auburn, Light Brown, Dark Blonde, and Pure White. I used the Dark Blonde shade for the review.

ME Cosmetics scalp foundation in Dark Blonde with application brush
(I truly felt like a photographer taking this shot)

I was a bit nervous to use it, as I’m not the most skilled when it comes to makeup application. Up until a few years ago, I was still using my fingers and those cheap wedge sponges to apply foundation. I at least own a type of beauty blender now, though I’m not entirely sure I’m using it properly. Makeup brushes? I would absolutely fail a quiz if tested on their purposes. Thank goodness for Camille’s tips on using the scalp foundation, otherwise, things would’ve gone horribly wrong and this review would’ve turned out much differently than it did.

Following Camille’s guidelines, I applied the foundation to dry, unstyled hair. I started with the part along the top of my head, going from back to front using a gentle dabbing motion. Then I moved onto the temple area on each side of my head. That is where I notice my hair is the thinnest. And honestly, whenever it’s up, I always feel incredibly self-conscious.

After I applied just enough of the scalp foundation, I immediately noticed a difference. My hair looked so much fuller. Even though I had high hopes for this product, I was still shocked by the results. Just look at my before and after shots and tell me you don’t feel the same.

Before and after using ME Cosmetics scalp foundation on the top of the head
(Maybe my middle part isn’t as sparse as I think it is? Also, LOL at me thinking I’ve had a middle part this whole time!)
Before and after using ME Cosmetics scalp foundation on the right side of the head
(This is clearly my good side, but don’t ask me why I look like I’ve seen a ghost)
Before and after using ME Cosmetics scalp foundation on the left side of the head
(Ignore the acne, focus on how filled in my hair looks)

I left this product on for a majority of the day and it didn’t sweat off or fall out as much as I was anticipating. I do have the habit of touching my hair a lot (I know that’s bad, don’t judge me), so some did transfer onto my fingers throughout the day, though it wasn’t a ton. It stayed pretty well put.

You better believe I will be using this product until I run out. Judging by how much it is, that may take some time, which I’m A-okay with. And when there’s finally nothing left, I will be ordering myself another one. That is, unless, my hair decides to grow in. Until that happens, the ME Cosmetics scalp foundation will be my saving grace.

You can purchase the Can’t Stop Me Now Ultimate Coverage Scalp Foundation from ME Cosmetics here for $60.

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