By the time they turn 40 years old, 40 percent of women experience hair loss according to the American Academy of Dermatology. It’s a staggering number considering how little hair loss is talked about in women compared with men. Though it’s less stigmatized for a man to experience balding, many women battle hair loss (particularly after pregnancy) in silence, which is why it’s so important for celebrities such as Kristin Davis, Tyra Banks and Keira Knightley to open up about their experience and show others they’re not alone.
“Changes like delivery, breastfeeding, sleep deprivation and hormones place a stress on the body, and in response the body works to conserve energy and resources from areas of low priority, such as hair growth, in favor of supporting other more critical changes taking place,” dermatologist Dr. Lindsey Bordone told SheKnows in 2019. “When this happens many hairs are shifted to the shed phase of the hair cycle and then in a one- to three-month period, shedding begins.”
Hair loss in women can happen for multiple reasons — stress, menopause, pregnancy and postpartum hormone changes, diet, rough handling — but one thing is for sure: With lush heads of hair or not, everyone is beautiful, and these celebrities are here to prove that. Though there are a lot of ways to combat hair loss — including over-the-counter medications such as minoxidil — sometimes it’s unavoidable and genetic. To inform yourself about hair loss, we collected 10 empowering stories from female celebrities who experienced and embraced their hair loss.
A version of this story was originally posted February 2018.