Category Archives: Hair Loss in the News

One of the side-effects of cancer that a lot of people find it difficult to deal with is hair loss, partly because it is an outward sign of illness. Hair loss in women, in particular, also has the effect of making the sufferer feel less feminine and less confident about their appearance.

This is why it’s so important for cancer patients to have support from friends and family. One inspiring example of this kind of unconditional support is Adele Marshall and her two friends Rachel and Karen.

According to the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, Adele was diagnosed with lymphoma in October 2010. She lost her hair during treatment, so her two close friends Rachel Newall and Karen Thompson decided to shave their heads in a show of support.

Speaking of the motivation behind their bold decision, Rachel said:

“It struck us because we also have another friend who has been battling cancer for two years. I wanted to do something for Lymphoma Research, something longer lasting than a jump out of a plane or a fun run.

“I rang my girlfriends and said this is what I’m going to do, does anyone want to join me?”

Kayla Martell, who is a Miss America contestant and the current Miss Delaware, suffers from alopecia areata and says she is entering the competition to raise awareness about the condition.

“People always assume when they see a girl like me who is bald, that she is either very, very sick, or just ageing. I am neither.”

The modern version of the Miss America competition demands that contestants champion an issue as part of their bid for the title. Martell’s choice was fairly obvious.

She first started losing hair when she was just 10 years old and was taunted about it while at school. She says that at first the hair came away at her parting and the bald patch then began to spread.

From the age of four, Martell wanted to enter beauty pageants and she believes that persisting in her efforts despite suffering from the auto-immune disorder has developed her resilience. She even wonders whether she would have achieved what she has without it.

Martell entered Miss Delaware three times, only emerging victorious after getting a hairpiece, which she has brought along to the Miss World final, along with four others which she will wear at various stages of the competition.

In a candid interview with the Daily Mail recently, the model and actress Danielle Lineker has opened up about her battle with alopecia when she was just a teenager.

Danielle, 31, used to be known simply for being the much younger wife of the former footballer Gary Lineker, who is now a popular TV sports presenter. She has now carved out a career of her own in modelling, TV and theatre, but she wasn’t always so confident.

Admitting she was extremely shy as a teenager, Danielle says that she was trying to overcome it when she developed alopecia at age 17. The condition is likely to have been triggered by the stress of her A-level course. She says:

“I felt overwhelmed by my A-levels. I was the first person in my family who’d done them and I didn’t want to let them down. That’s when the alopecia started.

“I lost most of the hair on top of my head for about seven months. I had a bald patch on top and I had to resort to an embarrassing “comb-over” and coloured in any gaps with eyeliner. I don’t know if it was a subconscious thing to do with my studies.”

Danielle has now overcome her female hair loss condition, which she claims is due to a positive outlook and the support of her husband and family.

According to reports, an eyelash lengthening serum is currently being tested in America to discover whether it has applications for treating hair loss.

The serum is called Latisse, and it is currently used to enhance and darken eyelashes as a kind of cosmetic product for people who are unsatisfied with the length of their lashes. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medication, available only on prescription, claims to help lashes actually grow in length.

This product is now being considered as a possible solution for people suffering with hair loss. The company which makes the product, Allergan, is currently conducting clinical trials of Latisse with alopecia and other hair loss sufferers. Within the reported test group are both women and men displaying signs of pattern baldness.

If Allergan can develop Latisse into a hair loss solution that actually works, as well as being able to secure FDA approval, the finished product is likely to take the form of a cream that is rubbed into the scalp.
If it does actually work, however, Allergan’s product is likely to be astronomically expensive. This means that people who are completely bald or have large bald patches may have to look for a more realistic hair loss solution.

Kayla Martell, the beauty queen from Delaware who started to lose her hair at the age of ten, has placed in the top ten of the Miss America 2011 beauty pageant competition.

Although the eventual winner of the competition – aired in the US last Saturday 15th January – was 17-year-old Miss Nebraska Teresa Scanlan, the youngest to win in 90 years, it was Kayla who garnered the most oppress attention throughout the preliminary rounds.

Kayla, 21, has alopecia areata, a female hair loss condition that first started to show itself when she was in the fifth grade at school. Despite her lack of hair, Kayla has entered and won numerous beauty pageants and eventually became Miss Delaware.

Thanks to audience voting in the America’s Choice category, Kayla became only the third ever Miss Delaware to reach the top ten of the national competition. She wore a series of stunning human hair wigs during the competition, but has competed at beauty pageants bald in order to raise awareness of alopecia areata.

Speaking just before the final Miss America showdown in Las Vegas, Kayla defiantly said:

“You can’t be defined and shouldn’t be defined by your hair,”

According to health watchdogs in the US and Canada, the treatment used by many celebrities to improve the appearance of their hair could actually be causing it to fall out.

Health Canada issued a warning this week about the Brazilian Blowout, a hair treatment designed to smooth out frizz and relax the hair. It is often used by celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston and in some salons in the UK, but the latest reports suggest that it may not be entirely safe.

Health officials have alleged that the product used in the treatment contains higher than permissible levels of toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde.

A lawsuit has even been filed in Canada, by a hair stylist who has used the treatment on many clients not knowing that it could cause symptoms such as a burning nose, eyes and throat, breathing difficulties and in some cases, hair loss. More than 200 women have signed up to the lawsuit so far, with many others expected to follow.

Although it has not been officially proven that the Brazilian blowout is dangerous and can cause hair loss in women, it is recommended to avoid it until the case is concluded. It simply isn’t worth risking female hair loss for this purely cosmetic treatment, especially when there are so many women currently suffering from the unavoidable hair loss condition alopecia throughout the world.