WE CAN HELP
Book a FREE consultation  
For a free consultation or assistance, please call 020 7730 6666

Browse by Category

Hair Loss in Women: Gail Porter’s Alopecia

Gail Porter's Alopecia AreataA lot of women who suffer from hair loss will contend with their condition rather than seek help but Gail Porter, who once described herself as “bald but not afraid”, has continued to raise awareness about alopecia areata which has rendered her completely bald but not stripped her of her confidence.

Hair loss in women is still very much a mysterious condition and despite upwards of 40 percent of the female population being affected, many suffer in silence. Women will rarely experience baldness, instead hair loss tends to be limited to overall thinning but the psychological effects are no less devastating.

For Gail Porter however, the chirpy British TV presenter went completely bald in a matter of four weeks. In 2005, at the age of 34, Gail had to face up to the probability that she would never have hair again.

Female hair loss can be treated effectively in most cases. FDA-approved hair loss treatments have been proven to generate hair growth but results are vastly improved when administered in the right dose for the individual. Especially when the possible contributing factors are being dealt with and treatment is being complemented with the appropriate hair growth boosters, even alopecia areata sufferers see results.

Alopecia areata is thought to be an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system mistakenly turns on itself. The chronic inflammatory disease affects the hair follicles and presents itself in patches of hair loss over the scalp, but it can affect other hair-bearing skin. In some cases, alopecia areata develops into complete baldness (alopecia totalis) and in rare cases people may lose all body hair (alopecia universalis). The progression of hair loss can happen slowly, developing over weeks or months or, as in Gail’s case, it can be sudden and dramatic.

Gail, Britain’s second favourite bald celebrity after Little Britain’s Matt Lucas, has been hailed for her bravery throughout her ordeal. Refusing to wear a hat or a wig, Gail has maintained a public profile and continued to raise awareness of the condition.

Although it took some time for Gail to come to terms with what was happening, a friend revealed to the Daily Mail. “At first she went into denial and hid herself at home – she didn’t want to go out or see anyone,” the source said. “Initially she cancelled all her appearances… But [she] decided to face her demons and she’s determined not to let this beat her.”

No one is exactly sure about what causes alopecia areata but there is evidence to indicate a genetic predisposition. According to the British Journal of Dermatology, about 20% of people with alopecia areata have a family history of the disease. Stress has also been proven to be a contributory factor and Gail has had no shortage of that in her life.

Gail PorterThe bubbly, once blonde, presenter suffers from bipolar disorder, has been anorexic and when pregnant with her now seven year-old daughter Honey, was border-line obsessive compulsive. She later suffered post-natal depression and discovered she had a thyroid condition. Gail thought her hair loss was a “wind-up”.

“The funny thing was I was in a really good place. I was in America, working, I was with my then-boyfriend James, and I was generally happy,” Gail said. “I had a bit of stress because of the messy divorce, but nothing compared to what I had been through. I have no idea why it happened then. It just did.”

In 2007, Gail published her autobiography Laid Bare: My Story of Love, Fame and Survival, in which she discusses her very public experience of alopecia areata.

“It’s very personal but it has helped me see things in perspective and taught me not to stress about the things that don’t matter,” she said. “I also met other people with alopecia, which was very important to me. I think it’s good to talk to people to let them know that they’re not alone.”

Alopecia areata affects about one in 100 people and although it can be initially quite distressing, hair can spontaneously grow again without any treatment. However because of the unpredictable nature of the condition, specifically tailored hair loss treatment programs can help to deal with the only notable symptom.

Gail Porter is at Peace with her Hair LossGail Porter’s hair loss is an extreme example of alopecia in women but she has come to terms with it. “It was easier than I thought to deal with – I thought it’s just another thing, get on with it, it’s just another part of the journey,” she said.

But you don’t have to live with hair loss and you certainly don’t have to deal with it alone. For more information, contact the Belgravia Centre on 020 7730 6666 or send an email. The UK’s leading hair loss clinic has been treating hair loss including alopecia areata successfully for 15 years. Consultations and diagnosis are free and their expert trichological advice is also available online via the online diagnostic form.

In the meantime, take heed from Gail who says: “It is a big thing not having hair. But I’m still here, I’ve still got my health.”

Related Information

Hair Loss in Women
Hair Loss Success Stories and Photos
Hair Loss Awareness

Interesting Articles

Alopecia Areata in Women is Real – Don’t Suffer in Silence
Female Hair Loss Should Be Treated
Alopecia Areata Cleared up in Most Cases
Treating Alopecia with Hypnosis
How Effective is Minoxidil?

Share this article

2 Comments

25th March, 2010 at 6:14 pm

kelly jary

hi there...i have been diagnosed with alopecia iv lost all my hair..when i was 1st diagnosed i just broke down and cryed it hit me hard,i didn go out 4 a few months.so then i started 2 look up alopecia and found it a good support..its been just over 2 yrs now snice i lost all my hair and now i feel good in myself and now 1 go out.... Thank you for time kelly

6th May, 2016 at 3:48 pm

Natalie Robinson

Hi I am 44 female I lost all of my head hair in the space of a few weeks amd then after 3 months 90% of my body hair plus eyelash/brows devastated is not the word I thought my life was over how could I go on like this I have a heavy manual job mainly with men I was so embarrassed. But I gave myself I few reality checks and realised its only bloody hair ive got a great life family and friends. I went out picked a wig looks better than my real hair lol and started living again I dont hide the fact im bald I tell everyone who comments on my lovely hair and ive never had so many lovely men be very protective of me like I said its only hair so draw on your face and hold your head high. Natalie. Xx

Comment on this article

* required field

Will not be published

Online Consultation

Submit an instant online consultation so that one of Belgravia’s hair loss specialists can diagnose your condition and recommend an effective course of treatment, wherever you live.