The Daily Mail’s new columnist Sarah Vine, wife of Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, has publicly revealed her battle with hair loss which began in her teens and which she attributes to dieting. Says Sarah;
‘I was quite a stressed child. I was trying to be thin — as all girls are. I’m not naturally thin so it was hard work. ‘I did every rubbish silly diet. And I’m sure that’s what contributed to my hair starting to fall out. I was messing about with my body at a very crucial stage in my development. ‘Some people get away with it. I didn’t. Now I have a very underactive thyroid. ’ Her hair battles have been going on ever since. ‘Losing your hair as a woman is a huge, huge, huge thing. I have male pattern baldness — and that de-feminises you, it shatters your confidence. I shed so many tears over it.’ She also stopped swimming, skiing, cycling, you name it, ‘because the hair management was too much’. And amorous situations were a nightmare. ‘I spent so much time positioning my hair, I just couldn’t risk anyone messing it up and revealing a gap. ‘I tried wigs but I hated them. Horrid, horrid things.’ And so she battled on for years — arranging it, combing it over, powdering in the gaps — until a couple of years ago when a terrible photo of her and Samantha Cameron at the State Opening of Parliament shocked her into action. ‘I looked like my dad in drag: old and bald.’ So she gave in and had a hair weave — ‘Like a permanent wig but weaved into my own hair and tightened every six weeks.’ It looks bloody brilliant. And you’d never know if she wasn’t so open about it, in the hope of helping other people in her position. ‘It changed my life.’
Of course Sarah may well have had a system instead, which provides a more natural and unified look and feel, particularly where male pattern baldness is concerned, though not every wearer wishes to reveal they are wearing a system if they feel it sounds more drastic than a ‘hair weave’ or ‘extensions’. That said, she did not seem to know the difference between a weave and a system when film star Raquel Welch was photographed with what looked suspiciously like a front lace not entirely bonded to her temple. Ms Vine also seemed ignorant of the fact that Raquel Welch actually markets her own line of wigs, offering four styles which she herself has sported over the years, each wig apparently personally checked by her prior to dispatch. Ms Welch also donates a large number of her wigs to US cancer sufferers and those medically affected by hair loss following her sister’s battle with ovarian cancer.
Whatever hair replacement option Sarah has chosen, she is to be congratulated on her courage in publicly revealing her hair loss battle. Aspiration, hopes her candour will help many other women to come forward and realise that they are not doomed to a future of hair loss, however long their history of hair loss has been.