Recently I got a call from my 101 Celebrity Hairstyles editor where I am the resident consumer hair editor. She asked me to whip up a quick article about the rash of newly pregnant celebrities from the angle of how their new conditions might be impacting their famous strands.
(Geena Davis as Janet Adler - Eric McCormack as Will - NBC - Will & Grace - Photo by Chris Haston - all rights reserved).
Although she specifically mentioned Debra Messing, Cate Blanchette and Gwyneth Paltrow, she also unleashed an impossibly long list of newly expecting stars.
Before we even finished talking about the article I thought of my friend, the fabulous celebrity hairdresser Robert Hallowell. I instantly remembered that Robert coifs the tresses of currently expectant moms Geena Davis and Dixie Chick Natalie Maines. Even more importantly, Robert was Geena's hairdresser during her previous pregnancy with her first child.
In fact, during my very first phone conversation with Robert over one year ago, he reported in passing that he had just recently coiffed the gorgeous Ms. Davis for a post-birth awards show.
(Geena Davis as Janet Adler - NBC - Will & Grace - Photo by Chris Haston - all rights reserved).
Robert mentioned that Geena's hair had gone through some of the typical hormonally induced changes that happen during pregnancy. I was completely surprised since I had caught Geena's red carpet stroll and I thought her hair looked absolutely amazing.
No surprise there. Robert Hallowell is a fantastic hairdresser and can work amazing miracles all the famous heads in Hollywood that he currently coifs.
Robert is also a peach who saves my journalistic rear on a regular basis. Often, when I am frantically researching a hair article I will turn to Robert to help me get professional answers.
(61st Annual Golden Globe Awards 2004 -- NBC Specials -- Pictured: Cate Blanchett -- NBC Photo: Chris Haston - All rights reserved).
Not only does this fabulous man always call me back when I leave an SOS on his cell phone, he patiently helps me get all the strands scoops straight. Robert is definitely building good hair karma.
At any rate, Robert graciously gave me the scoop about pregnancy hair loss issues and secrets that celebrities use to hit the red carpets moments after the birth of their children looking fabulously tressed.
Losing More Than Baby Fat
Besides the "raging hormones" that can make tresses act totally unpredictable, Robert pointed out that many women experience sudden and unexpected hair loss either during or after the pregnancy. Depending on the woman the hair loss can start at various points during the pregnancy, after the birth or after nursing is finally ended. Hair will start to come out in clumps in the shower or during brushing. For many women the hair loss will occur somewhere around four months after the baby is born.
Robert believes "pregnancy related hair loss occurs because the mother's body is feeding the new child and the body's priority is not so much to feed the hair as to feed the child and the mom".
(61st Annual Golden Globe Awards 2004 -- NBC Specials -- Pictured: Debra Messing & Husband -- NBC Photo: Paul Drinkwater - all rights reserved).
Other experts believe that during pregnancy the hormones that are unleashed cause the body to hold onto the hair that is normally lost by non-pregnant women on a daily basis. Which would explain the lush locks that some women experience.
However, once the baby is born the body starts to return to normal hormonal balance and all the hair that was not released before starts to fall in noticeable clumps.
He pointed out that "pregnancy related hair loss tends to occur close to the hairline, around the ears and near the temples".
Hair Loss Styling Tricks
So what tricks did Robert use to transform brand new mom Geena after her first pregnancy for red carpet status?
Robert confided that there are so many fabulous options for coiffing hair to perfection regardless of the challenge or current hair situation. If a celebrity mom has experienced hair loss, Robert will turn to a variety of options to downplay any hair challenges and play up the best features.
Sometimes Robert will use a variety of hot styling tools and products, including those from his own Prawduct line, to whip strands into glorious runway shape. (Image above to the side of Robert Hallowell Prawduct - super volumizing tonic - 8.5 oz (250 ml)
Robert's Super Volumizing Tonic (shown above) is a product that will help add volume, control and fullness to newly limp or lank tresses. Even better, Robert's Super Volumizing Tonic is alcohol free, is all natural and has been given the seal of approval by magazine experts for use with expectant moms and around babies.
Another option is to design a new or slightly different cut to minimize any post-pregnancy shedding. Hair loss can be instantly disguised with a sizzling new choppy cut.
Short vs Long Term Options
At other times, Robert will need to exercise either short or long term hair extension solutions that are completely safe and will not damage the remaining hair in any way. (Image of Robert Hallowell Prawduct - dream cream! - 2 oz (60 ml) For short term solutions he recommends one of the temporary short term hair extension solutions that can be taped with a special type of tape directly onto the existing hair. The temporary hair solutions will last for several days and then can be safely removed with a special solution that comes with the hair.
Longer term situations call for more permanent extension solutions. Robert uses "The Great Length Extension system to apply human hair wefts to strategic locations around the head".
Adding the Great Length Extensions "can serve to replace hair that has recently been lost". according to Robert. Properly placed extensions can also add instant fullness to limp locks. (Image of Robert Hallowell Prawduct - rawhold gel - 5 oz (150 ml)
If a solution is needed for just one night or two, Robert suggested "individual hair wefts or clip on pieces could be easily purchased and quickly added into the areas that had suffered the most temporary hair loss".
Other Options - Cut, Highlights Or Accessories
Whether Robert utilizes an array of styling products, blow dryers, curling irons or hot roller, or he opts for adding some type of temporary hair extenders, he will create a fabulous style that makes his new celebrity moms look and feel gorgeous.
One great example of a new celebrity mom who showed off her fabulous hairstyle at the recent 2004 Golden Globe awards was Mary Louise Parker who recently gave birth to her first child.
(Above - 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards 2004 -- NBC Specials -- Pictured: Mary Louise Parker -- NBC Photo: Chris Haston - all rights reserved).
Whether you have a celebrated hairdresser like Robert to help you overcome your own pregnancy related hair loss issues for a major hair event or not, you can follow some of his great tips. The key is to decide what of the various options work best for you.
Many new moms don't have the time or energy to deal with time consuming hair care decisions. If this is your case, ask dad to baby sit while you steal a little time to have your strands trimmed or cut into a sassy new style that will help to camouflage any thinning areas.
If you have more time, you may even want to consider having a few highlights or lowlights woven around your face line to brighten up your skin and facial features.
When all else fails keep in mind that hair accessories will brighten any bad hair day, week or month.
(Shown to the side Jane Tran - A Ponytail w/Hanging Pearls & Shell - Black w/Dark Chocolate).
The beauty of hair accessories is that they can be used as functional hair-helpers to camouflage or as fun hair toys to brighten a blah style.
Headbands are perfect for disguising hair loss around the hairline, over the ears or near the crown. A gorgeous jaw, claw or condor clip will help busy new moms to create a beautiful twist or bun in seconds. Substitute a Swarovski or semi-precious clip or encrusted headband for your rhinestone one and step out to any evening event in style. (Shown above - Eve Reid - Semi Precious Headband - Aquamarine Chips (1)).
When it comes to pregnancy, it doesn't matter whether you are a celebrity or not. Hair loss issues can occur for any new mom and can be managed with a variety of options from ingenious use of styling products to short or long term hair extension assistance, a hot new cut or the use of style boosting accessories.