Traditional images of femininity are being challenged not just by an ever-expanding crop of plus-size models but by catwalk beauties with hair loss, too.
In an increasingly open society women with no hair have proven they can be every bit as sensual and stunning as their more hirsute sisters.
Most bald female models have lost their hair to an extreme form of the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata, which most commonly manifests itself as patchy hair loss in its moderate form. Somewhat ironically it is the more extreme forms of the condition – Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis – that seem to have been deemed most photogenic by the fashion industry.
Whilst alopecia areata treatment can often successfully regrow hair in cases of the milder patchy version, both these more severe conditions lead to total hair loss on the head, with the latter also leading to the loss of hair all over the body, too, and are currently untreatable.
Model, actress and singer
One of the best-known female models with total hair loss is Margaret H Baker, who has been modelling for well over a decade and has featured several times in MAC cosmetics campaigns. She is also an actress, and appeared opposite Will Smith in I Am Legend and alongside Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man. She also sings – her musical My Life As A Bald Soprano premiered off-Broadway in 2008.
She told the New York Post back in 1999: “For years, I was ashamed of my baldness – but now I feel blessed by it. It makes me unique.”
That article also featured some comments about Alopecia Areata from Dr Angela Christiano, then assistant professor of dermatology at Columbia University Medical School.
Dr Christiano has since gone on to become one of the most respected and leading names in hairloss research. She is currently one of the leading lights in the innovative, groundbreaking research examining the use of JAK inhibitor drugs as a possible future cure for even the most severe forms of Alopecia Areata.
British woman Brenda Finn, who lost all of her hair to Alopecia Universalis when she was 14, is a successful children’s entertainer, character actress and model.
School became a daily battle, and after a fellow student flushed her wig down the toilet she opted for homeschooling. Her first big modelling assignment was a catwalk show named “Confidence – The Secret” at last year’s Ideal Home Show, following which Brenda signed a deal with the Ugly/Rage Models agency.
In addition to her creative work, Brenda is also a passionate campaigner for alopecia awareness. She is a particularly outspoken advocate for free eyebrow tattooing which she believes should be made available on the NHS for people with Alopecia Universalis or Totalis, where the condition causes facial hair loss in addition to baldness of the scalp.
Swedish model with hair loss
A third model with hair loss – though there are certain to be more – is Therese Hansson from Sweden, who lost her hair when she was 14. She now models for the British lingerie brand Curvy Kate which has hired a number of unconventional models as ambassadors.
Asked why she thinks it is important that the fashion industry shows diversity, Therese replied: “Because before brands and magazines started taking notice of people’s differences everyone thought they had to look a certain way and that there is in some way a ‘right’ way to look, but now people can be different and interesting and feel OK about that.”
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.