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Will Smith has us talking about hair loss

The Oscar’s 2022 is going to be remembered for years to come, and not for the right reasons. Does Will Smith deserve to be cancelled for his reaction to Chris Rock’s joke? We don’t think so. He certainly could have handled himself better though. 
What we saw at the Oscars was an emotional reaction to a comment that mocked Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia. And whilst violence is not the answer, we can see why Will’s protective instincts kicked in. However we have learnt something – that it’s always better to respond rather than react.

What do we know about alopecia?

For starters, it’s a condition that is not to be joked about. Hair loss is way bigger than just the national standard of hairdressing and requires further education to gain a full understanding.
teaching hair loss / alopecia
Krysia West

Krysia West, founder of Postiche Academy – an academy that trains professional hairdressers on hair loss care and guidance – says “Around one in every three women in the UK will experience issues with hair loss or thinning in their lifetime. We also have 50% of the population male or female suffering with hair loss.  We believe at Postiche Academy there is a distinct gap in the market for resources and solutions to combat this; thus why we feel hairdressers need help in education to help those in need of professional and reliable advice on hair loss. 

It has such an emotional and physical effect on a client that we should at least know the basics of how and why hair loss happens,  as-well as what we can do to help anyone who comes to us as a client. Learning the Fundamental’s of any topic is so important to ensure we give our clients the best and most relevant information, as well as tapping in to a market that is very much been a hidden and helping the well being of those clients.”

hair loss

More than hair loss

It’s not just about the loss of hair, alopecia effects a person mentally and emotionally. As hairdressers we pride ourselves on the confidence we see in our clients when they leave the salon with their new look. Handling a client suffering from hair loss does not just require skill and knowledge but requires emotional empathy. The stages of accepting a diagnosis can have a serious impact on a person’s mental state: low self-esteem, anxiety and depression – lets face it, they are grieving a loss.
Inanch Emir, founder of Gold Class extensions and hair loss expert says “I was seeing more and more clients who I couldn’t help because they were suffering from hair loss on top of their head and my extensions would not have been suitable. Every time I turned someone away I couldn’t bare to see how helpless they were. I had clients reaching out to me who no longer wanted to leave their house. I’ve had a parent not feel able to take her child swimming. And, even had teenagers as young as 12 visit me. Now that I’ve been educated properly I don’t need to turn these clients away, and there is honestly something incredibly rewarding about making a hair loss client smile and reigniting their spark.”

Hair loss hero

Salon owner and educator Karoliina Saunders is an alopecia sufferer herself and decided to share her journey on her Instagram platform in September 2020 captioning it:
Roughly nine months ago my life took an unexpected turn when I discovered a small patch of hair about the size of my fingernail was missing.
So at first I thought this might have been the result of me not taking the best care of my hair or myself. I had a lot going on, travelling a lot with work commitments, staff issues etc and all the joys of running a business. I was beginning to notice I was getting stressed out so I naturally contributed these factors to the problem. March came around bringing with it COVID19 and more stress.. the patches got worse.
It turns out I’ve been suffering from an auto immune deficiency called Alopecia Areata. This is common and can be triggered by many factors such Viral infection, Hormonal change or Stress.
My hair is my Identity and as a Hairdresser it’s a defining factor of what I do, who I am and what I love. As a woman, it’s a personal extension of my femininity. Our hair is our crowning glory, it’s what makes us feel pretty What am I going to be without it? How will people judge me?
The experience has been the most difficult most lonely one I’ve had to face. Yes I’ve had the support and kindness of close friends family and of course my amazing husband who has held and comforted me daily while I’ve wept in his arms on so many occasions during this journey. But the battle is still right there inside your head!. I’ve suffered depression, I’ve dealt with loneliness even with so much support around me. I’ve dealt with the tidal waves of emotions that come to you when you start listening & believing the untruths in your head that tell us that we are not good enough. I’ve dealt with the sadness I felt when I didn’t know who I was anymore.
I’m tired of crying and tired of feeling low so I’ve pulled my big girl pants on, I’m doing my best to face this head on (no pun intended) I’ve recognised I’m in a position where I feel I can’t colour my hair , I can’t cut it and I don’t want to hide anymore so it’s time to embrace my inner skin goddess and off it comes. My hair might grow back in those areas eventually, it might not who knows!?! I know it’s not going to stop me or hold me back.


Respect is a hub for UK hairdressers of all ages and stages to find out what We LoveWe Hear and We See as the best product launches, styling advice, hair tools, education training and seminars and hair shows! Sign up to our newsletter which is sent fortnightly direct to your email, so you stay up-to-date with salon styling information, trends in session work, advice on presenting on stage or progress in educating – whatever your interest, whether you’re a trainee or creative director, an educator or team leader, you’ll find all the opportunities and ideas on

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