“Full, healthy hair is considered a sign of beauty,” says Miriam Bloch, celebrity wig designer and founder of The Wig Addiction hair care products.
But what if that mane starts to wane?
While hair loss is often thought to primarily affect men, according to the American Hair Loss Association, nearly 40% of sufferers are women.
The fault lies in a variety of factors. “Hormonal changes, genetics, stressors, diet, environment, disease, and medications can all contribute to hair loss and thinning,” says dermatologist and hair surgeon Craig Ziering. “And for those who indulge in stress-inducing styling, excessive use of heat tools, color and chemicals, this can lead to follicle damage and destruction over time, leading to thinning hair. and weak.” In other words, consider getting rid of the daily use of this flat iron.
Time is of the essence, however, when it comes to solving the problem. “The good news is that there are many effective interventions, but these treatments work best in the early stages of loss with a multi-pronged approach, and for those who don’t have underlying medical conditions such as ‘anemia and hypothyroidism,” says dermatologist Tess Mauricio (who recently worked with Khloe Kardashian to remove a facial skin tumor). For those who want to avoid going the hair transplant route — which can easily cost $15,000 and more — here are other ways to stem (or hide) the loss.
Ava MD and Dr. Ava Shamban of Skin Five achieve impressive results with the Fotona HAIRestart stimulation program. During each 30-40 minute session (about $250+ per treatment), a handheld laser unit delivers energy to targeted hair follicles. “This controlled laser energy triggers follicular function and has helped slow hair loss and regenerate new hair growth for women and men without pain or downtime,” she says. Results may vary as each client is unique, with four to six visits (spaced one week apart) suggested for optimal results.
Another sensational doctor-administered painless option is KeraLase Ultra. During each 30-minute treatment ($4,500 for a suggested three-pack, which includes at-home products), a laser applied to the scalp creates microchannels in the epidermis to infuse a five-factor serum growth and protein. “This is especially helpful in the early stages of thinning, and it will solidify and strengthen growth while slowing the shedding process,” says Ziering.
WIGS, TOPPERS AND EXTENSIONS
Adopted more than ever, wigs offer instantly thicker locks – plus substantial ease and versatility – especially thanks to the expertise of Los Angeles’ most revered artisans, whose custom, natural-looking work has considerably elevated craftsmanship. “There are a significant number of people wearing wigs now; it’s so common,” Bloch says. Adds wig maker and extension specialist Merria Dearman, whose clients include Gisele Bündchen and Madonna, “When the work is really good, you can’t tell — it’s like big plastic surgery.”
Bloch and Dearman, who only work with 100% ethically sourced human hair, are sought after by women suffering from thinning hair, genetic hair loss, alopecia, and cancer, as well as customers who simply want a new look.
One of their most popular items is a topper (think of it like a mini wig), which fits just behind the hairline for a dose of volume and fullness on top of the head.
“Precision is key because the hair on top should match your real flowing hair on the bottom,” says Bloch. Toppers have become so common in Hollywood that Dearman now trains celebrity hairstylists to design and style them.
Prices for their designs start at $2,000 and can take anywhere from two weeks to six months depending on the work involved. With the proper care (Bloch and Dearman both insist on using a UV protectant to preserve color and texture), their tour de force creations can last up to 5 years.
And if you long for extensions to add volume, but the damage they can inflict and the thought of sitting in a chair for over 8 hours is extremely unpleasant, it’s time to schedule a visit with Priscilla Valles Aguilar. The reigning queen of hair extensions (her clients include Dua Lipa, Katy Perry, Chrissy Teigen, Kim Kardashian and Jake Gyllenhaal for her role in Prince of Persia) is revered for her efficiency, attention to detail, maintaining hair health (through her technique and use of individual keratin bonds), and remarkable speed – she does a full hair in as little as a hour.
“Extensions have a reputation for being poorly applied, but I’ve mastered the application and removal process, and how long they stay on the hair – five to seven weeks – before any damage sets in. “, she says. “My clients actually get healthier hair under my extensions.” Expect to pay between $2,000 and $8,000 depending on the number of rows for Valles Aguilar’s artistry.
While minoxidil, the well-known FDA-approved topical treatment for hair loss, has recently made headlines for stimulating hair growth when taken orally as an off-label drug, some hairstylists , including Century City-based Marc Dauer, do not prescribe it. orally due to concerns about side effects, including drops in blood pressure.
Other doctors say they continue to find success with serums applied directly to the scalp. Dermatologist Macrene Alexiades, whose global client list includes writer-director Christopher McQuarrie and Sienna Miller, can barely keep her prescription topical hair growth product in stock. “It’s an FDA-approved finasteride combination [the generic term for propecia] and minoxidil which leaves no residue, and it works. Alexiades is also a proponent of taking Nutrafol hair supplement. “A significant percentage of subjects reported improved hair growth, volume, thickness and growth rate,” she adds.
Ziering offers its own minoxidil and antioxidant topical, ZMin: “It’s a custom prescription solution that requires 20 drops a day and results will be visible in three months.”
Over-the-counter products that can help keep hair healthy include Harklinikken Hair Clinic of Beverly Hills Custom Extract ($88) with derivatives of burdock root and cow’s milk, and Holi (Locks) treatment from cult beauty brand Agent Nateur ($88) with bioactive milk-based ingredients.
Ranavat, the celebrity-favorite Ayurvedic line (fans include Mindy Kaling and Gwyneth Paltrow) often sells its fortifying hair serum. Founder Michelle Ranavat suggests a weekly hair oiling routine consisting of a deep head massage to invigorate the scalp. “It helps encourage healthy hair growth,” she says.
Celebrity hairstylist Jay Small (Matt Damon, Noah Centineo) has created his own serum, To the Root by Arey. “It combines antioxidants and peptides with a volumizing ingredient, and we’ve excluded fragrances, oils and fillers to provide the scalp with what it needs to promote hair follicle growth,” he says. The patent-pending formula is touted as a triple threat because it’s also designed to slow and reverse the growth of gray hair.
A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 2 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.