By Kelly Carson
It’s not unusual for a client suffering hair loss to be charged with anxiety, uncertainty and gloom. The pressure to have perfect hair can be overwhelming.
“From impossible beauty standards and folklore — think of the fairytale of Rapunzel and her impossibly-long, ‘golden’ hair, or the biblical story of Samson’s strength as residing in his hair — to 20th century feminist and social justice movements … it’s such a fraught signifier,” said Ellery E. Foutch, an assistant professor of American Studies at Middlebury College in Vermont, where she examines the role of hair in our history.
So what’s a quick way to help your clients? You may consider turning to the stars. It’s helpful to tell clients they are not suffering alone and show how some heavy-hitter celebs are coping with their journey.
Celebrity star Jada Pinkett Smith, wife of mega-star Will Smith, shared an Instagram video recently, which was promoted by Prevention magazine, about her sojourn with alopecia. The Link reached out to Pinkett Smith for comment, but we did not hear back in time for publication.
In her Instagram post, Pinkett Smith said, “Now at this point, I can only laugh,” as she ran her finger across a bald line patch along the center of her scalp. “Y’all know I’ve been struggling with alopecia and just all of a sudden one day, look at this line right here. Look at that.”
She also posted, “Mama’s gonna have to take it down to the scalp so nobody thinks she got brain surgery or something. Me and this alopecia are going to be friends … period!.”
In a 2018 episode of ‘Red Table Talk,’ a Facebook Watch talk show, Pinkett Smith opened up about her hair loss.
“It was terrifying when it first started,” Pinkett Smith said. “I was in the shower one day and had just handfuls of hair in my hands and I was just like, oh my god, am I going bald?”
She said she was inspired by her daughter, Willow Smith, to go bald. “Willow made me do it because it was time to let go, BUT … my 50s are ’bout to be divinely lit with this shed.”
But she’s not the only A-List celebrity to publicize their hair loss journey.
The Manchester, England, Farjo Hair Institute website, farjo.com, recently posted mini-profiles of a half dozen celebrities suffering various forms of hair loss. (The profiles have been lightly edited for spelling.)
Tyra Banks, 47: American TV personality and model Tyra Banks reported experiencing hair loss in 2011 while writing her book ‘Modelland’. She said it was caused by her stress levels reaching their peak and admitted ‘chilling for me was eating a meal. I couldn’t just look at the ocean. In hindsight that wasn’t healthy.’
Keira Knightley, 36: British actress Keira Knightley’s hair loss has been said to be down to many years of dying it for movie roles. Knightley told InStyle UK: ‘I have dyed my hair virtually every color imaginable for different films. It got so bad that my hair literally began to fall out of my head. So, for the past five years, I’ve used wigs, which is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to my hair.’
Naomi Campbell, 51: The model experienced significant hair loss due to rough handling and the use of extensions and weaves. She revealed to the Evening Standard, that she had ‘lost all of it,’ which prompted her to become more careful and caring towards her hair. Thankfully this change enabled her to grow most of her bald spots back.
Lea Michele, 35: Lea Michele, most well known for her role on the TV show ‘Glee,’ opened up on Instagram earlier this year about her postpartum hair loss, following the birth of her first child, Ever Leo. She shared a photo of a clump of hair with the caption, ‘The postpartum hair loss is REAL. Enjoying this long hair while it lasts because the mom bob is right around the corner.’
Jesy Nelson, 30: Former Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson began experiencing hair loss when she was just 13 years old and was bullied at school due to her noticeable bald spots. ‘I was probably about 13 when my hair started coming out. Stress can cause alopecia, and it wasn’t nice. I’ve always been picked on anyway because I’ve always liked to dress differently. I’ve never really wanted to fit in with everyone else.’
Kristin Davis, 56: ‘Sex in the City’ star Kristin Davis has spoken out about the hair loss she experienced after shooting the final season of the popular hit show. The star has said one day she just realized her hair was no longer what it used to be, admitting: ‘It was very fine like it had gone away, there just was hardly any hair there.’
Trinny Woodhall, 57: Fashion guru Tinny took to Instagram back in (2021) to share her dramatic hair loss, which she believes was a result of having coronavirus. Confirming she had seen her GP about her problem, Trinny’s doctor said it hadn’t been uncommon to see more and more patients suffering from hair loss around the 90-day mark following a COVID-19 diagnosis.