Women in their droves are taking to Twitter to put their weight behind a trending hashtag that empowers people with hair loss. It’s known as the #BaldAndBadChallenge, and all people have to do to join in is post a picture of themselves with their bald heads or close-cropped hair.
The story was picked up by mic.com which hailed the fact that it went against more “traditional” long-haired images of women often portrayed in advertising campaigns and the like. “Some women have rebelled and shown us just how beautiful super-short buzz cuts and shaved heads can be,” they write.
Celebrate very short hair
While no one seems sure how the #BaldAndBadChallenge started, it has certainly caught the attention of women who have lost their hair to cancer drugs as well as certain hair loss conditions. Other people who have posted snaps simply seem happy to celebrate the fact that they have very short hair.
Among them is short-haired 18-year-old IMG model India Makailah Graham, who posted some snaps of herself and wrote “Living for the #BaldAndBadChallenge”.
While the first post with a BaldAndBadChallenge hashtag was only posted at the end of November, hundreds more have already followed suit and, for many of the women taking part, baldness was not their choice.
In addition to hair loss from cancer treatment, there are three common causes of baldness in women. This is where the scalp takes on a smooth, shiny appearance as opposed to thinning hair which is generally a sign of the hereditary condition Female Pattern Hair Loss or a temporary issue such as Telogen Effluvium.
The three causes – Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis – are all autoimmune hair loss conditions. This is where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy hair follicles causing sudden hair fall and various states of baldness.
The most common – and mildest – form of this is Alopecia Areata. This causes bald spots or larger rounded bald patches anywhere on the scalp. They can range from the size of a £2 coin to far bigger areas and the patches can join up to form larger bald areas.
While spontaneous regrowth does happen quite often, Alopecia Areata is commonly a recurring condition – which can make for a very stressful time for those who have been diagnosed with it. Alopecia areata treatment is available for this particular strain and Belgravia’s bespoke approach which involves using appropriate high strength minoxidil formulations from the range available at our in-clinic pharmacies, has produced many hair regrowth success stories.
Alopecia Totalis affects the head, leaving the scalp completely bald and can also lead to a lack of any facial hair, including losing the eyelashes and eyebrows. Similarly, Alopecia Universalis has this effect on the whole body, leaving it hairless from head to toe.
The only treatments for alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis that are currently available are largely ineffective. This is an area researchers are particularly keen to develop new treatments for and trials involving JAK inhibitor drugs are currently providing positive results. These studies are still in their infancy, however, so their long-term effects will need to be investigated before they could potentially be made available for prescription. This may take a number of years and current estimates suggest that they would not be ready before 2020 at the very earliest.
Women take control
In addition to these issues which can cause near or total baldness, women sometimes tire of bald patches or thinning hair and choose to “take control” of things by cutting their hair short or shaving it off completely. It is in this fighting spirit that the #BaldAndBadChallenge was likely conceived.
Drastic measures are not always needed, however, as many hair loss conditions can be addressed with the help of a specialist. It’s true that they don’t all have the same chance of success, as multiple factors are at play in every case. However, as a general rule, the quicker a condition can be diagnosed and a bespoke treatment plan can be started, the better the prognosis.
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.