Lesley Dunn, who plays Brenda in popular soap Emmerdale, has made the brave decision to shave her head due to a storyline that involves her character losing her hair after she undergoes treatment for a brain tumour. The actress, following in the footsteps of Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables, actually allows her real hair to be cut off on camera.
Dunn, who described filming the scene where she has her head shaved as "very emotional" in an interview with Digital Spy, explained: "We were obviously shaving off my hair as well, so it had to be one take. What we'd said would happen was that Sian would do the first two or three shaves with the clippers, then they'd cut the scene and we'd go into make-up to finish it off. But in the end they decided that Sian would keep going, so she did the lot. I imagine it was very nerve-wracking for her."
Discussing her decision to shave her head rather than rely on prosthetics, Dunn said: ""I knew if we were going to do this storyline, we had to do it properly. I have a friend who has cancer who said to me, 'Oh you're shaving your head, that's so brave'. But I looked at her and thought, 'Well this isn't brave - I don't actually have cancer, I'm just shaving my head'."
Dunn will no doubt be a source of inspiration for women undergoing hair loss as a result of their cancer treatment. Sadly, this type of hair loss in women cannot be treated medically, however it should be short term, and hair should begin to regrow in the months after the treatment is completed.
However, if it's been a considerable amount of time and your hair has failed to return to its previous thickness or condition, a different type of hair loss may be occurring. Female pattern hair loss, which occurs due to a genetic predisposition, may have onset around the time of your treatment. If this is the case, a tailored hair loss treatment plan can prevent the condition from worsening.
In women, pattern hair loss usually appears as an all over thinning of the hair atop the head. This can be treated using minoxidil, a topical liquid or extra strength minoxidil cream that is applied directly to the thinning area. Minoxidil has been licensed by the MHRA and approved by the FDA for use as a hair loss medication, and has achieved great results for thousands of our female patients.
A dedicated hair loss specialist can both diagnose you and compile a treatment plan specific to your individual case. Alongside minoxidil, there are a variety of hair growth boosters that women can use, which include nutritional supplement Hair Vitalics and shampoos and conditioners selected for your hair and scalp type. Combined with close monitoring to chart progress, a home use treatment plan gives women the best chance of treating hair loss medically.
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.