Claire Downs
September 23, 2016 1:08 pm
Diva Hollands / Dr. Edward Ball

We’ve written before about the struggle and stigma of hair loss many women and girls face. Now, thanks to the internet, more and more women are speaking out about their journeys dealing with alopecia and related hair loss conditions. Even Ariana Grande has admitted the pain of losing hair after years of damaging treatments while starring in Sam & Cat.

Now, former ballerina and current model Diva Hollands is speaking out about the dangers of hairstyles that pull the hair too tight, which caused her to have a receding hairline at just 13 years old.

Diva Hollands / Dr. Edward Ball

The UK-based model began her ballet training at age 3, and eventually danced at the prestigious Royal Ballet School in London. As we know (mostly from Dance Moms and Center Stage), classical dance has always had impossibly high demands when it comes to standards of appearance.

The constant demand for her hair to be pulled into tight styles caused Hollands’ hairline to recede. It was so bad, that she was even bullied for it at school.

Diva stopped dancing at age 18, and began a modeling career.

Diva Hollands / Dr. Edward Ball

But, even when she met her current fiancé, David Lawson-Brown, Diva didn’t allow her husband to see her hair pulled back for six months. Then, after having two children, and suffering even more hair loss, Diva decided to seek professional help through Dr. Edward Ball, MRCS, who runs the Maitland Clinic in London.

And, in October 2015, Hollands underwent a follicular unit transplant surgery, an eight-hour procedure that restores hair to the scalp.

Dr. Edward Ball

To perform this process, a doctor removes strips of skin with hair from the back of the scalp to the affected area. According to Diva, she was awake for the entire, relatively painless, procedure and even watched a few movies!

Now, a year later, Diva is completely “gobsmacked” by the stunning results!

Dr. Edward Ball
Dr. Edward Ball
Dr. Edward Ball

Diva says that she wanted to share her story to tell other women that they’re not alone and let them know there’s hope.

So, what does this mean for the future of our ponys and braids? Traction alopecia (the condition Hollands suffered from) is caused by prolonged tension to the hair follicles, which can lead to inflammation, scarring, and in some cases, permanent hair loss.

According to dermatologic surgeon and RealSelf contributor, Sejal Shah, M.D., the signs of traction alopecia are barely noticeable:

Lifetime / giphy.com

The moral of the story? Be nice to your hair! Take it down when it doesn’t need to be up, and look for signs that your style might be causing damage to those precious follicles!

And remember, you’re fabulous, no matter what kind of hair day you’re having!

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