Ursula Stephen may not be a name you know, but you'll almost definitely have heard of the celebrity hairstylist's number one client: pop megastar Rihanna. In conversation with journalist Robyn Carolyn Price, Stephen was moved to tears when discussing her work with women in South Africa. The stylist explained how many of the women struggled with hair loss after years of using relaxers and other harmful products based on a desire for straight "Anglo" hair styles, leaving their natural hair unrecognisable.
The hairstylist explained how, on her frequent visits to South Africa to teach women about styling and caring for their hair, she noticed that the women had: "Just really dry, dry hair. They've just given up on it and it's just there." The freelance stylist, who has done Rihanna's hair for two Vogue covers, noted with sadness that "women are losing themselves behind weaves and extensions."
"I'm happy that women can feel and be beautiful with natural hair because they were losing that sense of themselves for a long time. That's why they were losing their edges and hair because they were becoming essentially dependent on these extensions. They forgot about their own natural hair and how beautiful and how healthy it could be," she explained.
The super-stylist also highlighted the danger to the hair and scalp that women with Afro hair can experience from traction alopecia: "... a healthy head of hair is the foundation for a great hairstyle...they want to wear these expensive weaves and braids... but then the weaves and braids start looking crazy because they don't have any hair."
Stephen has certainly achieved big things in partnership with Rihanna, and is proud of encouraging people to question the ideal of beauty for female pop stars. Discussing Rihanna at the start of her career, Stephen explained: "She was this super pretty girl that was so rebellious with her hair that it was an oxymoron."
At The Belgravia Centre, we're huge fans of what Stephen is doing for women with Afro hair, and would encourage women to follow Stephen and Rihanna's example in caring for their locks without putting too much strain on them via relaxers, weaves and hair extensions The first thing we tell women who visit us that are dealing with these problems is to cease using the harmful products and styling methods; this allows us to begin the journey to regrowing hair.
Often, when strain is put on the hair follicles they can weaken and are unable to produce strong, healthy hair. For women experiencing this, a hair loss treatment programme that contains the medically proven for hair loss medication minoxidil can stimulate hair regrowth when it is applied to the thinning areas of hair. Traction alopecia responds generally very well to minoxidil, especially our unique high strength 10% azelaic acid minoxidil cream formulation, which is considerably more powerful than the 2% available over the counter to women.
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.