Heidi Powell From Extreme Weight Loss: ‘I Started Noticing Bald Spots In My Early 30s

Hair loss is a huge deal—especially for women. Heidi Powell, the co-host of Extreme Weight Loss, opened up to Women's Health about her own experience losing hair. 

I experienced some major trauma in my life about three years ago: My dad died; baby number four, Ruby, was born; and I had emergency kidney stone-removal surgery. Two weeks after that, I noticed my hair was a little thinner, so I started adding clip-ins. Then I started noticing bald spots and got extensions in my hair. I didn't want to just cover it up, though; I wanted to treat it.

My husband, Chris, will never have to deal with this—even if he balds, he can just buzz his head and look amazing. For me, I was like, "When I'm bald, am I going to have to wear a wig? What happens at night?" So much of my message is, "Be authentic, real, and perfectly imperfect," but now it's like being faced with, "Who am I going to be without this—without my hair?" When I've talked about how this feels—and how hair makes me feel feminine—on social media, I've gotten a decent amount of backlash. But I can't help how I feel—my mom has an absolute thick mane of hair, but my dad went bald by the time he was 26. I have three brothers, and every single one of them has incredibly thick hair, yet I—the only girl—am the one losing hair in my thirties. (Hit the reset button and burn fat like crazy with the Women's Health's Body Clock Diet!)

Related: 7 Reasons Why Your Hair Might Be Falling Out

I went to a few different doctors in Arizona. One naturopath said I had the antibodies for Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome, and that I was intolerant to gluten. Another was an endocrinologist who put me on a regimen that was supposed to detox my adrenal system. Eventually, I was referred to a hair-loss specialist, who said, "While stress and hormones can initially cause hair loss, what it's doing in your case is kick-starting your genetically predetermined androgenetic alopecia." She did a full scalp analysis, which included taking microscopic pictures that showed the hairs were actually shriveling up, as opposed to just shedding.

I started noticing bald spots and got extensions... but I didn't want to just cover it up.

I have a laser cap now, and I've been using it for seven months, four days a week for 30 minutes, and some hairs are starting to thicken under the microscope. I will wear it whether I am in a hotel lobby or at the Starbucks drive-thru. My littlest son, Cash, thinks it's like Star Wars. There's also a spray I use, Monat Intense Repair Treatment ($65, amazon.com), which has a cocktail of peptides and essential oils that are supposed to stimulate the scalp and encourage growth. I do it every time I shampoo and at night before I go to bed, saturating the crown of my head and then the sides. I still have the extensions in to help cover the thinned spots while regrowth happens, and I plan to do the plasma injections in the next couple of weeks. My philosophy is: If it could work, it doesn't hurt to try it!"

Learn how to blow dry fine hair to make it look full and gorgeous:

This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of Women's Health. For more confessions, pick up a copy on newsstands now! 


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