With over 80 per cent of men and 50 per cent of women likely to experience hair loss from genetics alone – not counting other widespread conditions such as Alopecia Areata – is the media’s obsession with impossibly thick, glossy locks giving us unrealistic ideals of how our hair should be?
A popular internet ‘meme’ proclaims ‘Disney Gave Me Unrealistic Expectations About Hair’; whilst this widely-shared image focuses on the bouncy, bountiful hairstyles of some of their iconic female characters, from Snow White to Ariel, the Little Mermaid. However, it could equally have featured Disney’s princes who also tend to be depicted with larger-than-life, lustrous manes.
It seems it’s not just childhood cartoons that create improbable images of what hair should look like, though. Recent media stories have revealed some of the tricks brands use to give the illusion of fuller hair in advertising campaigns – which involve everything from wind machines to fishing wire.
Celebrity hairstylist Charles Baker Strahan, lifts the lid on some of his Herbal Essences photo-shoot secrets. “In commercials and advertising, the majority of the time you are only shooting from specific angles or the front of the model,” he tells Marie Claire magazine. “To make hair look incredibly full, I split the hair down the middle and pin it to push all the hair forward, or all to one side, back-comb the underneath and then use a fan or my blow dryer to open up the hair around the face… all you see is impossibly full volume.”
Similarly, pop stars Katy Perry and Beyoncé, as well as Kylie Jenner, have come clean about their wig closets or ‘hairdrobes’ full of additions to artificially boost the look of their ever-changing locks. Perry even posted a photo to instagram (pictured here) showing wigs in the same cut as her own hair, replicated in various different shades and styles. Changing her wig means she can switch up her look without damaging her hair as much as constantly dyeing and heat-styling her own hair would.
However, this option is not without its own risks; over-use of tightly-affixed wigs or hairpieces can lead to a hair loss condition called Traction Alopecia. This can also be caused by frequently wearing hair extensions which are often used to give hair that Disney-style volume.
Many celebrities, including Jennifer Aniston and Lady Gaga, are seen wearing them to create the illusion of fuller hair. This not only helps fuel popular demand but also perpetuates the exaggerated hair ideal to the point where such levels of volume become the norm. Yet what is less well-known is that these same celebrities – and many more – have also been affected by hair loss as a result.
Despite the media’s representations, thinning hair is an absolutely normal, everyday occurrence for millions of people worldwide.
Establishing the cause is essential as sometimes excessive shedding can signal an underlying illness or medical condition. A professional assessment by a hair loss specialist can provide the answers you need to work out what to do next. Once you have a diagnosis of your hair loss condition you can start to come to terms with what is happening and choose whether or not to treat it.
For those who are not ready to accept their thinning just yet, a personalised regrowth plan featuring clinically-proven hair loss treatments can be arranged. Tailored specifically to your individual needs and lifestyle requirements, hair growth boosters combine with components such as high strength minoxidil to help give you the best chance of seeing healthy regrowth. Whilst these won’t give you Disney-style volume, as thousands of Belgravia clients have confirmed, they can help your hair to appear noticeably thicker as results become visible.
The Belgravia Centre
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.