An American artist from South Carolina has spoken out about how her hair loss has helped inspire her art, and furthered her fascination with otherness.
Rebecca Davenport, who began her career as a professional painter in the 1970's, takes surrealism to a new level with her latest collection of works, which focus on the side show, a traditional accompaniment to old-world circuses and fairs.
Looking back to a time before effective hair loss treatment programmes offered a solution to women experiencing hair loss, Davenport addresses the notion that women, deprived of something so associated with their femininity, often felt like outsiders when their hair began falling out.
Indeed, Davenport painted a self portrait of the artist with a bald head pictured in this article, where she wrestles a snake that becomes a vacuum cleaner.
Female hair loss is fairly common, especially after the menopause, and by the age of 60, 80% of women will have noticeable hair loss. However, losing all your scalp hair is far more infrequent. The condition, called Alopecia Totalis, along with Alopecia Universalis (where all head and body hair falls out) only affects 1 in every 250,000 women.
Discussing how her condition has helped her create, Davenport explained: “I have alopecia, which is hair loss, so I don’t have any hair. That might have been part of my fascination with the freak world, although that’s something for some psychologist to figure out. It may have some bearing.”
The hair follicles in those affected by Alopecia Totalis are not damaged and are capable of growing new hair, but frustratingly, we don't yet know the reason why they don't do this. In most cases recovery is unusual, although those experiencing Alopeica Totalis have been known to completely regrow their hair.
However, not all forms of alopecia are so drastic. Pattern hair loss, or Androgenic Alopecia, usually manifests itself in women with a thinning all over the scalp. This manner of hair loss can be treated with minoxidil: the only clinically proven hair loss treatment available for women. It is applied to the scalp twice a day in a liquid, or for particularly stubborn hair loss, our 10% minoxidil azelaic acid cream, which is unique to The Belgravia Pharmacy.
The added ingredient in the high strength minoxidil, azelaic acid, acts as an inhibitor of 5-alpha reductase. This enzyme combines with testosterone to produce DHT, an androgen that attacks hair follicles on the scalp, causing them to produce weaker hair, and if left untreated over time, no hair at all. Because of the affect DHT has over time, women seeking to halt the rate of their hair loss and regrow hair in thinning areas should act sooner rather than later.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.