Hollywood Celebrities’ Secret to Hiding Hair Loss on Screen
For all its glitz and glamour, awards ceremonies such as the Oscars are also a place of whispers and secrets.
With so many cameras flashing and global audiences in the hundreds of millions, actors and particularly actresses want to do everything in their power to conceal wrinkles, wobbles and hair loss.
Given Hollywood’s unusually high rate of leading men with a full head of hair, hair loss experts tend to agree that both hair transplants and the use of hair loss treatments are in big demand in celebrity circles. For the past two years the Academy Awards has even seen goody bags, worth at least $160,000 each and presented to the nominees for best and best supporting actor and actress roles, that contained hair regrowth products.
No matter how hard these actors, their hair loss specialists and ‘glam squad’ teams of hair and makeup artists (yes, even the men) work at making them appear every inch the stars they are on the red carpet, and disguising any hint of thinning, there’s something which still doesn’t quite sit right…
Digital hair enhancement
Movie lovers have recently woken up to the reasons behind why A-list celebrities don’t just look good but amazing when their celluloid exploits make it to the big screen – particularly compared to footage of them at awards ceremonies or, even more so, in candid paparazzi photos.
Having spoken to a number of key players in the secretly burgeoning field of digital effects, Mashable.com explained that this is because those in the spotlight are frequently turning to post-production experts to make every frame seen on screen positively shine.
This hush-hush mini-industry is known simply as “beauty work”, and Mashable revealed in an in-depth article how it can be employed to enhance everything from skin tones to hairlines. They explain that, “As Photoshop is to magazine photography, digital beauty has become to celebrities in motion. Even the most flawless-in-real-life human specimens are going under the digital knife.”
“Everybody is altered”
The article quotes Claus Hansen, a beauty work expert working at Method Studios in Los Angeles, who says that “Nobody looks like what you see on TV and in the movies. Everybody is altered.”
Adding that, the process has become so important that big name actors and actresses themselves often sit for hours – days, even – with experts, deciding what they want concealed and to what extent, with some of the biggest stars even using the service for their home movies.
“I have done somebody who is 10 times more famous than Kim Kardashian,” he said. “It was her birthday home video, and I cleaned her up. At that point, money is no question.”
“We have taken actresses’ faces and put them on more muscular bodies … that happens all the time,” he says, explaining how a powerful computer software package named Flame can “track pieces of skin, move it around, do warping of the face or body.”
In a similar way, receding hairlines are redrawn, wigs are artificially blended to look like naturally voluminous hair, and lank or thinning hair can be digitally filled in to look much fuller, with the computer doing much of the legwork. Hansen does say, however, that in extreme close-up shots, “beauty work” is often done frame-by-frame at a cost of around $500 to $2,500 per shot.
The article claims that if you see the studio names Lola, Method or Hydraulx listed in the VFX (Visual Effects) credits, “the movie was retouched. If you don’t, there’s a good chance it [was] anyway".
The reason for this is that film companies are said to pay to have the beauty work specialists’ names kept off the credits to avoid arousing suspicion about their leading men and ladies. The studios’ roster of films that they admit to working on makes for interesting reading and Lola’s list alone includes American Hustle and American Sniper, both starring Bradley Cooper, Captain America with Chris Evansin the title role, and The Wolf of Wall Street featuring Leonardo DiCaprio. The actual beauty work client lists for all the companies mentioned remain confidential, however, although the article does drop some clues.
Comforting to know
It is all perhaps rather comforting news to the rest of us – mere mortals trying to do the best with what nature throws at us – especially when you see an actress previously pictured with thinning hairsuddenly sporting lustrous, impossibly thick, big screen locks.
It turns out these transformations are not due to some miracle cure, their insecurities are simply hidden on-screen. In person celebrities tend to use the same genetic hair loss treatmentoptions open to the rest of us.
Following a personalised treatment course forfemale hair lossor male pattern baldness can help to discreetly prevent further shedding whilst promoting regrowth. Belgravia offers a range of unisex high strength minoxidilproducts at its Central London hair loss clinics; when used as recommended, these easy-to-apply solutions that are administered straight onto the scalp, can often produce encouraging results for clients.
Furtherboostersand hair growth supporting products such as home-use LaserComb devices, can complement the treatment’s action, further helping to improve the hair’s density and vitality. So, while we might not be able to match the digitally-altered fantasy hair of some on-screen A-list celebrities, the real life red-carpet version is certainly within the grasp of many of us.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centreis 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.
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. Or, arrange a free consultation at one of our Central London clinics.