Our annual reader survey revealed blogger-turned-mogul Huda Kattan as one of your “beauty idols.” It also revealed that hair loss is one of your top concerns. Turn out, you and this beauty idol have something in common — so Kattan is here to share her story.
I started noticing hair loss in my early 20s, at the front. I was constantly trying to cover it up. I can’t tell you how many times I put eye shadow on my scalp.
It was scary to admit that I was losing hair. I got it under control by adjusting my hair-care routine to be super-gentle — using hydrating skin-care serums on my scalp, even rinsing with bottled water when I travel because the water quality is so different everywhere. My hair is that sensitive.
But now, in my mid-30s, the shedding starts up again. And on a campaign shoot for Huda Beauty’s new Mercury Retrograde Palette, it gets serious. I had been wearing a heavy, faux ponytail. My hairstylist Dom Seeley takes it out one day — and it just comes straight off, leaving a pretty nice-sized bald circle. He’s nervous, thinking he caused it. But that hair loss came from traction alopecia caused by wearing the same style repeatedly.
I realize I have to take it even easier on my hair. At that point, I tell Dom, “I need to start seriously taking care of this.” Immediately, I start using a dermaroller called the BeautyBio GloPro on my scalp. It’s a little painful because it’s really made for your face, but I kinda like it. I just keep using it over that bald circle.
The microneedling seems to be helping and my hair starts growing back in that bare patch.  Overall, though, I’m still struggling with hair loss and just don’t have enough discipline to use the roller all over my scalp daily.
I’ve taken Viviscal supplements for a long time and it’s made a difference, so I decide to try Viviscal Pro .
I’m not seeing my scalp as much as I used to. I realize that, for me, it’s been a lot of small steps that have made a difference — taking those supplements daily, being mindful of stress, using hair masks on the weekends. But I know the reality is that those things don’t work for every person .
I’m actually becoming an even hairier person — all the hair removal I’ve done on my body before is basically useless now. I don’t know what’s causing it, but I now have a lot of hair in a lot of places.  Like, new places. But honestly, who cares about hair “down there” anymore, anyway? It’s totally normal.
I’ve been able to keep my hair growth steady, but my hair is still frail. I rarely blow-dry it, and I can’t color it anymore. It just breaks off completely. I’ll put it in a braid or leave it natural and just let it flow on days I’m not getting glam. It’s been so much easier since we’ve all been working from home. When I’m filming, I also love playing around with wigs, which is a really fun and easy way to avoid the stress that styling can put on my hair.
It’s crazy: Hair can give you confidence when it looks good, but it can also create so many insecurities. There’s shame around hair loss, but almost every woman I know  suffers from it. I talk to a lot of hairstylists, and they tell me stories about the most famous celebrities out there, how much hair fall they have, and how much pasting of extensions is going on. I’m going to start showing that more in my videos, when we do use extensions. People need to know.
 Dermarollers create microscopic wounds with tiny needles, stimulating the body’s healing response. Some early studies have found that participants who received these microneedling treatments on their scalps while also using minoxidil, a topical medication (you may know
it as Rogaine), experienced more new hair growth than those using minoxidil alone, says dermatologist Michelle Henry. She is introducing scalp microneedling in combination with topicals into her practice.
 A 2015 company-sponsored study in women found that Viviscal Pro supplements increase hair thickness and volume over a six-month period.
 That’s because there’s no one cause of hair loss, says Henry. Visit a dermatologist who can make personalized recommendations.
 Viviscal Pro says its product “targets the hair follicles on the head.” Dermatologist Corey L. Hartman adds, “I have not had any patients [who are taking Viviscal Pro] experience unwanted hair growth. There is no effect on hormones [and] Viviscal Pro doesn’t contain the usual culprits for [causing body-]hair growth.”
 By age 50, about half of all women will have noticed thinning hair. In many of those cases, it’s hereditary hair loss — experienced by approximately 30 million women in the United States. And we’re all susceptible to stress-related hair loss, which can come on suddenly and dramatically. Dermatologists have seen a surge in these cases during the pandemic.
This story originally appeared in the June/July 2021 issue of Allure. Learn how to subscribe here.