Huda Kattan is a big name in the beauty world, to say the least. The celebrity makeup artist and Huda Beauty founder has a whopping 40.1 million Instagram followers, her own Facebook reality show (cleverly titled Huda Boss), and a Youtube channel with 3.6 million subscribers. She's also balding.
Yes, you read that right: One of the reigning queens of beauty struggles with bald spots. She opened up about her experience with hair loss in a recent YouTube video, and gave Byrdie the scoop on why it happens, what you can do about it, and why we need to start talking more about female hair loss. Below, find her thoughts and advice—and you can watch her video in full for more insight.
Balding and your hormones: It's a thing.
Kattan suffers from PCOS, a common hormone disorder in women that can cause everything from abnormal hair growth to infertility. For Kattan, it led to female pattern hair loss. "PCOS causes excess androgen (hormone) activity which causes a lot of patients to experience female pattern hair loss," she said. "My doctors told me spironolactone, an anti-androgen medication, is given to patients like me, in combination with oral contraceptive pills, to help combat the issue. But it never fully gets rid of them."
Hormone imbalances aside, if you're not eating properly or getting enough exercise, it can lead to issues with hair loss. "I actually spoke with Dr. Lamees Hamdan, founder of Shiffa Beauty, about this who encouraged me to eat more protein and zinc," she said. "She also mentioned that exercise plays a role which I found super interesting. She was telling me if you don’t get enough oxygen to your hair then it isn’t able to extract waste products which lowers blood circulation. Who knew?"
Why you should lay off the styling products.
If you're struggling with hair loss, styling tools and products are a big no-no. "I would really suggest that you stop styling your hair for a while and try to go natural, avoiding any hot tools or tugging on your hair if you can," Kattan says. "If you need something, I would use a flat or curling iron that can be used delicately on the hair without a lot of tugging or pulling of the hair away from the head."
And if products and tools are absolutely necessary for whatever reason, make sure to give your hair a little time off afterward—that's what Kattan did while filming her Facebook show. "After filming was over, I went into the office with my natural hair to just let both my hair and scalp breathe without the pressure of styling tools and the weight of certain products."
Why we need to start talking about female hair loss.
Men get a lot of attention in the hair loss department, but female hair loss and balding is rarely if every talked about. "Things are only taboo when we keep the conversations to ourselves and accept stereotypes and the status quo as-is, which is why I took it to my YouTube channel to address my recent hair loss experience," Kattan said.
Ultimately, Kattan wants all the women out there to know that just because she's a beauty influencer whose life look perfect on Instagram doesn't mean she's not struggling with the same issues they are. "If I have access to information or reputable resources that can be used for the greater good of my social community, I’m going to tap into it to start a conversation, help educate and to give them the confidence they need to get through it," she says.
Want to learn more about hair loss and how to treat it? Read about some of Kattan's favorite treatment tacts on her blog.