10 celebrities speaking candidly about hair loss

As you’ll know if you deal with it, alopecia – the general medical term for hair loss – can manifest in a number of ways, from hair thinning and shedding to complete loss of your strands.

While losing your hair can be a temporary occurrence, brought on by something like stress, illness, cancer treatment or iron deficiency, it can also be longer lasting. Alopecia areata, for instance, is a condition which is understood to be an autoimmune disease in nature. Here, small, coin-sized, round patches of hair loss can occur. These can go away after a few months – but can go on for years. Alopecia totalis means the entire scalp is affected, while alopecia universalis refers to hair loss of the whole body, as well as the scalp.

Of course, hair loss can be incredibly distressing. And while there may be some things you can do (read our expert-approved tips for thinning hair), some types of alopecia can’t be treated. It can, however, be helpful to read about other people’s experiences: Which is why we’ve rounded up 10 celebrities who have spoken about their journey with hair loss below.

From Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia to Lea Michele’s post-partum hair loss, keep scrolling to read their stories.

If you’re worried about hair loss make sure you speak to your GP about any concerns.

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Viola Davis has been open about her experience of hair loss, which began when she was 28-years-old.

She recalls losing approximately half of her hair to alopecia areata, which she attributes to stress.

‘I woke up one day and it looked like I had a Mohawk,’ Viola told Vulture. ‘Big splash of bald on the top of my head. I was like, What is this? I was so desperate for people to think that I was beautiful…I wore a wig in the Jacuzzi. I had a wig I wore around the house. I had a wig that I wore to events. I had a wig that I wore when I worked out.’

Tyra Banks is another celebrity who attributes her experience with alopecia areata to stress. She told The Wall Street Journal that her stress levels reached an all-time high when she was writing her 2011 book, Modelland.

‘Honestly, chilling for me was eating a meal. I couldn’t just look at the ocean. And in hindsight that wasn’t healthy. How can I say this without tearing up? I got a little alopecia from the stress.’

Made In Chelsea’s Olivia Bentley has been very open about her experience with alopecia.

After wearing wigs for years, Olivia decided to open up about the condition, and embrace her natural hair. ‘This is the longest I’ve gone without wearing [the wig],’ she told Fabulous. The wig was a protective thing and I wouldn’t go anywhere without it. If I ever went away, I’d have a lot of anxiety that I hadn’t packed it, but life is so much more comfortable now.

‘It was like wearing a woolly hat all the time. I remember filming some days in the heat with sweat dripping down my face. Not having to deal with that any more feels liberating.’

Olivia recalls her hair loss starting around the time she went on the contraceptive pill. ‘I never had amazing hair anyway, it’s always been quite fine. But after I went on the Pill I remember being on holiday with my family and as I was brushing my hair, a clump came out. I assumed I’d brushed too hard and pulled it out. But then it would happen in the shower, or I’d run my fingers through my hair, and it would just come out.’

Jada Pinkett Smith revealed her alopecia diagnosis in 2018, and since then has been openly embracing and discussing the challenges of the condition on Instagram.

Last July, Jada decided to shave all her hair off with the help of her daughter, Willow.

Ex On The Beach star ZaraLena Jackson noticed clumps of her hair fall out in July 2020.

‘I could see it getting worse and worse every day,’ she told The Daily Mail. ‘But the doctors didn’t have any answers. It was like watching your identity being stripped away before your eyes.’

‘Losing all your hair, especially at a young age, leaves you feeling like a deer in the headlights. It’s not just the hair on your head but losing all your eyebrows and eyelashes is the worst feeling ever. It makes you look ill and it’s devastating. I couldn’t get any answers, it felt like I was screaming for help and nobody could hear.’

ZaraLena decided to shave off her hair and document her journey on Instagram. ‘When I posted my first fully bald photo, it actually felt amazing. I didn’t get one bad word. Social media was like my coping mechanism, my strength came through sharing my story online.’

‘But I would say losing my facial hair was worse than losing the hair on my head. It’s not something you would ever need to think about but normally, but it makes you look ill not having lashes and brows.’

In a blog post with OK! magazine ex-Hollyoaks actress Stephanie Davis opened up about her experience of hair loss. ‘When I was ‘blonde Steph’, my hair snapped a lot and it also started to fall out with all the stress I was under. I also came up in blotches on my skin . If I touched it, it would just come out in my hands and I was told it was all the pressure I was under. I had a cry about it quite often because I didn’t feel like myself. It makes you feel womanly in a sense.’

In 2019, Stephanie underwent a hair transplant explaining she had been wanting to have the procedure done after being taunted over her ‘high forehead’ and alopecia symptoms.

Actress Lea Michele opened up about experience with postpartum hair loss on Instagram, following the birth of her son Ever. Sharing a picture of her hair falling out into her hand, she wrote: ‘The postpartum hair loss is REAL.’

Postpartum hair loss is extremely common, caused by falling oestrogen levels. Statistics show that most women see their hair return normal fullness by their child’s first birthday.

Neve Campbell started losing her hair at 23, in an episode that was triggered by a stressful divorce and heightened attention from the release of Scream. ‘At 23, I developed alopecia,’ she told The Daily Mail.

‘I was horribly overworked and going through a divorce. Also, I had stalkers and started receiving mail. I was so distressed by it all that my hair started falling out. Life hasn’t always been a bowl of cherries.’

Kayla revealed on Instagram that she has a family history of female pattern baldness. After giving up on ways to thicken her hair, Itsines admitted that she’s embracing her hair and encourages others also.

‘I have had a lot of you girls ask me about my hair!! So here is a fact that I haven’t actually ever really spoken about,’ she wrote via an Instagram caption.

‘My natural hair is actually super short. I have genetically really thin hair (my grandma and mum both have really thin hair as does a lot of my family) I often just wear a clip in pony tail when I want long hair. It is something I have come to terms with over the years. I have a family history of female pattern baldness.’

‘Most days, as you would see, I leave my hair in a messy bun with a hair tie and I do nothing with it. I know we all have our own little insecurities, and one of mine has always been my hair, but it is just me! I can see my hair getting thinner and thinner the older I get.’

‘Yes, of course, I’m super conscious about it, and I’ve tried everything to fix it, trust me. But, at the same time, I am at peace with it and I will not let it rule my life. So instead I focus on being healthy and happy. This is definitely a really difficult thing to do, and I know from firsthand experience, but it is definitely worth it and you have NOTHING to be shy about, be PROUD.’

Jesy Nelson might be known for her big hair, but that’s not always been the case. Jesy spoke about her experience of hair loss with Fabulous which began when she was 13.

‘I was probably about 13 when my hair just started coming out. Stress can cause alopecia, and it wasn’t nice. I got picked on because I’ve always liked to dress differently. I’ve never really wanted to fit in with everyone else.’

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