The perils of over-bleaching have become all too real for former One Direction star Zayn Malik, whose decision to shave off his damaged hair may actually have prevented future hair loss.
Solo artist, Malik was first seen sporting a totally bald head in a photo with his girlfriend, supermodel Gigi Hadid, on his mum’s Instagram page. He later appeared in a similar snap on the Instagram account of Hadid’s mother, former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, Yolanda Hadid, sporting some solid regrowth which showed off his widow’s peak.
Talking to Radio 1’s Scott Mills about his bold – and temporarily bald – new look, the 24-year-old Yorkshireman said, “the bleach affects your hair, doesn’t it? So you’ve got to shave it off.”
Hair breakage and chemical trauma
It is likely that Malik had been suffering from hair breakage: this happens when excessive styling and bleaching weakens the hair shaft and leaves it dry and brittle. The hair then snaps along the shaft, resulting in damaged hair that often looks not only dull and unhealthy, but also appears thinner than normal. Bottle blondes Madonna and Lady Gaga are also known to have dealt with this issue; something Gaga refers to as having a ‘chemical haircut‘.
Malik’s love of the bleaching bottle is well documented, and what has probably made things even worse for his hair is his decision over the years to add colours to his peroxide locks. He has been seen sporting both green and pink hair in the past. Whilst the use of temporary hair colourants is unlikely to cause hair loss, the bleaching required to ensure these vivid colours show up on his naturally black hair is pretty intense.
As a general rule, regular bleaching is not recommended for anyone who wants to ensure their hair is kept in tip-top condition, as chemicals in the mix can be extremely strong.
When it causes shedding from the root, rather than breakage of the hair shaft, hair loss caused by over-bleaching and other chemical treatments is known as chemical trauma. Whilst Zayn Malik shows no signs of this, it is something to be mindful if you dye your hair regularly, or undergo other harsh, chemical treatments such as perming or relaxing.
Repairing damaged hair
If breakage is the sole cause of hair damage then it can indeed often be dealt with by a good haircut, though this does not have to be as extreme as Zayn’s bald look. A trim or ‘dusting’ technique can be used to remove the damaged hair, or layers may be another option for people with long hair who want healthy hair without losing too much length.
Ensuring you keep your hair sufficiently nourished is also important. Using shampoos and conditioners for your specific hair type is advised, as is regularly having strengthening conditioning treatments to help repair any remaining cosmetic damage.
Ensuring you are getting the right balance of nutrients needed for healthy hair from your diet can also help to strengthen hair from the inside, out. A highly-targeted food supplement such as Belgravia’s exclusive Hair Vitalics can be beneficial for those who feel they need additional nutritional support. It contains a range of key vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical extracts known to assist healthy hair growth.
During the interview Malik told Mills, “I just shaved my head because I’d bleached it too many times and it was a bit destroyed.”
While shaving it off was a drastic solution, it doesn’t take too long for hair to grow back – as Malik found out, reporting new growth in just two days. So long as the follicles were not damaged during the bleaching process, and there is no other hair loss condition at play, new hair growth should return in a normal state.
For those with patchy hair loss, thinning hair or excessive shedding, a consultation at a dedicated hair loss clinic is recommended. That way a professional diagnosis of the cause, and advice regarding the most appropriate hair loss treatments can be given.
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.