I worked with a hair client that was missing large patches of hair. It worked best with minimal (long) layers. Literally the ends of the hair are cut in points. Like VVVVVVVV Point cutting can also help with natural wave/curl. (On fine hair a straight line _________ shows how thin the hair is. If you are able to tolerate hair coloring..... Use a gel colorant (a hair stylist will know what I'm talking about). It will be applied from a bottle, not a cream colorant applied with a brush. The gel hair colorant tends to "let natural highlights show through" because each strand is NOT colored the same amount. Highlights are a great option. Mixing in lighter strands of high creates the look of depth. (All without chemical contact with the scalp.)
She did allow me to show her how coloring the scalp area (with eyeshadow ~ I didn't have any Joan Rivers stuff on hand) looked great and really hides some of the hair loss. So as long as the product stays put it really does look nice.