The New York Times has attracted much criticism following its report about Sarah Palins’ thinning hair. Renowned for her trademark up ‘do, Palin entered the political scene in 2006 at the age of 42 and became both the first female and youngest governor in Alaskan history. The former runner-up in the Miss Alaska beauty contest had a lot on her plate from the very beginning. If it is indeed true that “her hair had thinned to the point where she needed emergency help”, it just goes to show how human this seemingly superhuman woman is.
Hair loss in women has always been a problem, in fact 1 in 3 will experience some degree of hair loss at some stage of their lives. Genetic thinning, or female pattern hair loss, generally sets in after menopause but a number of factors can trigger an earlier onset. Experts have suggested that women’s modern-day lifestyles are contributing to the rise in the number of women experiencing hair loss and stress does indeed play a part.
Juggling home and work life, the mother of five has always had to contend with a string of personal and professional scandals and she evoked a strongly divided opinion during her vice-presidential campaign. On July 3, 2009, Palin announced that she would not run for re-election in the 2010 Alaska gubernatorial election and would resign before the end of July. Tabloids claimed Palin’s hair was thinning and used it as evidence that she was not handling the stress of office well.
At a press conference, Palin explained her resignation. She said that both she and the state have been expending an “insane” amount of time and money in order to address “frivolous” ethics complaints filed against her. The Wall Street Journal quoted one source as saying that Palin was fully aware she would be branded a ‘quitter.’
“She did not want to disappoint her constituents, but she was no longer able to do the job she had been elected to do. Essentially, the taxpayers were paying for Sarah to go to work every day and defend herself,” the source said.
According to The New York Times, “Friends worried that she appeared anxious and underweight. Her hair had thinned to the point where she needed emergency help from her hairdresser and close friend, Jessica Steele.” They quoted Ms. Steele as saying: “Honestly, I think all of it just broke her heart.”
Ms. Steele has claimed she did not speak to The New York Times and used Twitter to deny her comments: “Media is so desperate to attack Sarah Palin they are saying lies about her hair! I am her HAIRDRESSER! U will not use me in a LIE media!!!!!”
For men, baldness is almost like a rite of passage. For women, there is still that stigma and assumption that hair loss just isn’t meant to happen. But experts agree that more women than ever are seeking treatment for genetic thinning, hormonal and stress-induced hair loss. For Sarah, apart from professional scandals, her home life isn’t easy either. Her youngest son was born with Down’s Syndrome and she has recently been dealing with a teenage daughter who gave birth to a son and is no longer with the father.
Treatment for women’s hair loss is at hand but perhaps the real issue is acceptance. As long as the true cause of the condition is addressed, specifically tailored hair loss treatment courses can reduce and prevent hair loss for most women. However, as long as the whole subject remains a taboo topic, women the world over are likely to be hesitant to seek help before it’s too late.
If you’re experiencing thinning hair or hair loss and would like friendly, professional and impartial advice on what you can do about it, contact the Belgravia Centre on 020 7730 6666 or send an email. Or, for a free personal hair assessment and access to the most effective hair loss treatments for women from anywhere in the world, simply complete the online diagnostic form and you will be contacted shortly with the results.