American megastar Katy Perry turned up on the Ellen show last week with a striking new look that was partly inspired, she says, by hair loss.
The Chained To The Rhythm singer appeared on the show sporting a hairstyle very much like that of presenter Ellen DeGeneres. “I went to the hairstylist the other day and I said, ‘I want the Ellen,’ and I got it!” joked Perry, whose short, spiky crop is quite the contrast to the longer, elaborate styles for which she is better known.
“I did it about a month ago,” Perry revealed. “I don’t know if you’ve ever dyed your hair too blonde, but sometimes your hair falls out when you go too blonde so that’s the way I handled it. At first this was just to salvage my hair and then I was like, ‘I really believe that the universe has a plan for this.’”
Wider parting than usual
Speculation regarding Katy Perry’s hair thinning first started two years ago following photographs published in the media that appeared to show the then-30-year-old with a wider parting than usual. Like many celebrities in the spotlight, Perry has spent much of her career sporting wild and wonderful looks that can only have put her scalp through the wringer.
It was noted at the time that as well as using multiple dyes and bleaches – which are not necessarily a problem if handled with care and high-quality products are used – Perry had frequently dabbled with hair extensions and hair pieces. These were used on a far more regular basis than most people would generally wear them, due to her being on tour and the wigs and additions being part of her show wardrobe. When attached to existing hair, it is extremely easy for these types of accessories to place undue stress on the hair follicles, and when left in for prolonged periods or attached and detached harshly, these can cause damage, breakage and even literally yank the hair out. Continues below…
Hair loss caused by hair extensions – and also from very tight hairstyles such as Katy’s once signature high ponytail – is known as Traction Alopecia. Similarly, excessive heat styling and use of chemicals, including hair bleach, on the scalp can lead to the condition, too. This is something Lady Gaga has spoken openly about experiencing and nicknamed the ‘chemical haircut’.
Luckily, Traction Alopecia treatment can be effective if damage is not too pronounced. The best way to help a scalp that has been damaged in this way is to choose a less punishing hairstyle so that recovery can begin. Whilst this appears to be Perry’s choice and despite her short crop, her Instagram account shows that the singer does still wear hair extensions on occasion.
Photos of her new look and her previous dark-haired look – which can also be seen here – suggest that her hair was weakened by a brutal styling regime, but that her hair thinning could be down to a separate hair loss condition. After all, it is entirely common, especially in women, to have more than one hair loss condition concurrently.
Hair weakened by dye
It is difficult to know exactly what caused her hairloss without examining her. However, the pattern of thinning Katy Perry demonstrates in candid photographs, where she does not appear to have used any filler fibres or other concealing products, is consistent with both Traction Alopecia and female pattern hair loss.
Given Perry’s father is bald it would appear hereditary hair loss runs in her family and is therefore a consideration when making a diagnosis.
This common genetic condition only affects the top of the head and is the women’s equivalent of male pattern baldness, though it does not display in the same way. For instance, whilst men may experience a receding hairline and/or hair thinning that can lead to eventual baldness, women tend to sustain a more generalised thinning. This causes a drop in hair density and diffuse thinning across the top of the scalp and rarely leads to baldness.
Women often first notice signs of hair loss from this condition when they find their parting looks wider than normal, their ponytail isn’t as thick as it used to be, or the hair around their temples becomes sparser. Luckily, for those who despair at these signs, there are effective, clinically-proven solutions for preventing further shedding and promoting hair growth in these cases, so it is a highly manageable condition.
At Belgravia, clients with female pattern hair loss often see significant improvements to their thinning hair whilst following a personalised women’s hair loss treatment course, examples of which can be seen in our Success Stories gallery. By combining recommended formulations of the topical medication high strength minoxidil, with appropriate hair growth boosters – from handheld LLLT devices that can be used at home (or on tour!) to food supplements – it can be possible for clients to see encouraging improvements to both the condition of their hair and to their hair loss condition(s).
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.