If you are one of Kayla Itsines’ 7.1 million Instagram followers, you are well aware that the Aussie trainer and creator of the Bikini Body Guide (BBG) has awe-inspiring abs, really cool workout clothes and a long, gorgeous, mane.
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Whether swept into a ponytail that would make even Rapunzel jealous or swirled into a messy bun on the top of her head, Kayla’s luscious locks are always on point in her much-liked Instagram selfies.
But the 26-year-old dropped a major hair bomb this week: She is actually suffering from hair loss. Yes, those ponies are clip-in extensions.
“My natural hair is actually super short. I have genetically really thin hair,” she wrote in a poignant Instagram post. She revealed that her grandmother and mother also suffer from the condition, which is often passed down from generation to generation.
“It is something I have come to terms with over the years. I have a family history of female pattern baldness. Most days, as you would see, I leave my hair in a messy bun with a hair tie and I do nothing with it. I know we all have our own little insecurities, and one of mine has always been my hair, but it is just me! I can see my hair getting thinner and thinner the older I get.”
Itsines is not alone. According to the American Hair Loss Association, 40 percent of hair-loss sufferers are women. While many factors like nutrition, inflammation and stress can play into hair thinning, genetics is definitely one of them. Female pattern baldness, also referred to as female pattern hair loss, is the most common cause of hair loss in women.
As women age, the follicles gradually start shrinking and strands of hair grow thinner and shorter than before. Eventually the follicle stops growing new hair altogether. While the hair gets noticeably thinner over time, the condition rarely results in total baldness. It’s generally hereditary, but can also be triggered by changes in hormones or aging.
Minoxidil, more widely known by the brand name Rogaine (there are other generic versions as well), comes in both a foam and solution and is the only medicine approved by the FDA to treat the condition. When applied to the scalp it can help hair growth in 20 to 25 percent of women, slowing or stopping hair loss. As soon as the medication is discontinued, however, hair loss will start again. By no means is Minoxidil considered a miracle drug, as results are only seen in a fraction of women. Anti-androgens, such as spironolactone, and iron supplements can also be used to treat the condition, but the bottom line is that there is no miracle cure to treat the condition.
Kayla is embracing this facts and focusing on the positive things in her life. While she admits she is “super conscious about” her hair loss and has “tried everything to fix it,” she explains she is “at peace with it” and refuses to let it “rule” her life.
In addition to her thinning hair, she recently shocked her followers by revealing that she has — gasp — stretch marks. Yes, even Instagram’s hottest fitness bodies belong to actual human beings.
We applaud Kayla for opening up about her insecurities, because not only does it make her more relatable, but it allows other women to open up about and embrace their perceived “flaws.”
What Do YOU Think?
Do you have thin hair? Does female pattern baldness run in your family? Do you appreciate when celebrities reveal they aren’t perfect?