Actresses, singers and television stars are often exalted and idolised for their looks. We’re encouraged to emulate their wardrobe, adopt their skincare routine, or mimic their hairstyle. As a result, it can come as a surprise to learn that they suffer from the same cosmetic concerns that the rest of us do – from acne to wrinkles, from dull or discoloured skin to hair loss.
Unfortunately, female hair loss is often stigmatised more than male baldness, and it is often treated as a taboo subject. As a result, women are more likely to conceal their baldness from friends and family and may refrain from seeking treatment due to embarrassment.
By opening up about their experiences with hair loss, female celebrities can help to normalise both female hair loss and female hair transplant surgery. By taking a look at our list of famous female celebrities who have had hair transplants, we hope that women will feel encouraged to seek treatment for thinning or baldness, and – ultimately – restore their confidence by restoring their hair.
What is a hair transplant?
A hair transplant is a surgical procedure which restores hair to bald or thinning areas of the scalp. The treatment works by removing hair follicles (the shafts in the scalp that hairs grow through) from an area of the head where hair is growing healthily (this is known as the ‘donor site’). This process is called hair grafting.
For female patients, the donor site is usually the back of the head, just above the ears, or the nape of the neck. These areas are not affected by female pattern baldness, which means that the follicles in these regions will continue to produce healthy hair after they have been transplanted. Similarly, the donor site for male patients is typically the lower back and sides of the scalp, as these areas are not targeted by male pattern baldness. This is why sufferers of this condition tend to have a horseshoe-shaped ring of hair running along the lower half of the head.
The way in which hair follicles are transferred during a hair transplant depends on whether a surgeon is using the FUE or FUT technique. During a FUT hair transplant, a strip of tissue is removed from the donor site. The area is then stitched closed, which will create a very thin, linear scar. Your surgeon will remove hair follicles from the strip of skin, and then insert them into the balding or thinning areas of the head.
During a FUE hair transplant, your surgeon will remove hair follicles one by one from the recipient area using an instrument called a micro punch. This will create small, circular scars around the areas that the follicles have been extracted from (those that can easily be concealed using the surrounding hair). The hair follicles are then immediately re-inserted into the balding areas of the head.
It takes approximately one year for the final results of the treatment to become visible, so patients must be patient and carefully follow the post-surgical aftercare instructions that are given to them by their surgeon.
Which female celebrities have had a hair transplant?
Since she made her 1994 debut as Rachel Green in the sitcom Friends, the American actress Jennifer Aniston became one of Hollywood’s highest-earning A-listers and a staple on our TV screens. Many fans will doubtless be surprised to find her on this list, given that Aniston has been a beauty icon since the 90s and famously has great hair. After all, the actress’ hairstyle in Friends (a bouncy, layered look which frames the face and was designed by her stylist, Chris McMillan) was nicknamed ‘The Rachel’ and became a hair craze, as Friends fans everywhere asked their own hairdressers to replicate the look.
Despite this, Aniston has suffered from thinning and hair loss – which she puts down to the excessive use of hairstyling tools, particularly hair extensions. The actress described her extensions as “four hundred things in your head that cause your hair to break off”, since they began to rip follicles from her scalp, causing a bald patch to appear. To remedy this hair loss, Aniston had a hair transplant – which has enabled her hair to remain voluminous and legendary even as the actress enters her 50s, despite decades of intensive styling.
Stacy Ann Ferguson is better known by her stage name: Fergie Duhamel, or simply ‘Fergie’. The American singer is famous for being a member of the hip-hop rock band, the Black Eyed Peas, as well as her solo work, with her singles ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘Glamorous’ and ‘London Bridge’ hitting the top of the charts. She has also made appearances in three films: Poseidon, Grindhouse and Nine.
Like Aniston, Fergie frequently wore hair extensions for her performances. Extensions tug on the hair and the scalp, and so the persistent use of them can cause hairs to fall out. This can lead to traction alopecia – which is the medical term given to hair loss that is triggered by repeatedly pulling on the hair. In Fergie’s case, this widened the parting, causing a long, rectangular bald spot to appear across the centre of her scalp.
In addition to the recurrent use of hair extensions, Fergie’s hair loss was likely worsened by frequent bleaching, a vigorous exercise programme and a rapid weight loss diet. The singer gained 15 pounds for her role in Nine, and then set out to lose the weight as quickly as possible in an effort to “sculpt and get my stamina back”. Sudden fluctuations in weight can place a huge amount of stress on the body (not to mention emotional stress, too), which can provoke hair loss.
So, to fill in her parting and restore her lost hair, Fergie had a hair transplant. The procedure reversed her traction alopecia and, hopefully, helped her reach her goal of gaining her confidence and stamina back.
In addition to being the host of the hit talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show (which was launched in 1986 and ran for a whopping 25 years), Oprah Winfrey is an author, actress, television producer and billionaire philanthropist. Winfrey is also famous for “Oprah’s Book Club” – which still continues today, though it was initially a regular segment on her talk show, – and which has propelled many lesser-known writers to fame.
Inevitably, working as a talk show host for 25 years involves constant hairstyling, as well as the frequent use of hair extensions, tongs and other products and tools which damage the hair over time. In order to tackle the hair loss that she was facing before it got worse, Oprah arranged a hair transplant. As a result of the surgery, Oprah is still famous for her thick, glossy and full head of hair, despite being nearly 70 years old.
The London-born supermodel, Naomi Campbell, originally rose to fame for her appearances on the front covers of Vogue and Elle, and for her work with designer brands, such as Dior, Gianni Versace, Marc Jacobs and Prada. As an actress, she has also appeared in various films and television shows – from Zoolander 2 to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – and, as a businesswoman, she has released 20 fragrances for women. In 1994, she recorded her own album, titled Baby Woman, whilst – in 2005 – she founded Fashion for Relief, a charitable organisation which raises money for humanitarian and environmental causes.
It may come as a surprise to find a supermodel on this list of female celebrities who have had a hair transplant, but – like the other famous figures in this article – Campbell’s career demanded that she frequently use hair extensions and other intensive hair styling products. In addition, Campbell often adopted hairstyles which involved pulling tightly on the hair – such as braids – which place strain on the scalp, cause hair breakage and eventually lead to traction alopecia. As a result, the supermodel began to suffer from bald patches around the temples and a receding hairline.
To fill in the balding areas and bring her hairline forwards once more, Campbell had a hair transplant. She is now careful to protect her new hair by avoiding excessive styling: she told ES magazine that “I do take more care of my hair now because I lost all of it with extensions.”
Although Kiera Knightley began her career as a child actor (landing her first agent at the age of six), she became a household name in 2003 after playing major roles in award-winning films such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Bend it Like Beckham. She has since starred in a plethora of eminent Hollywood films, such as Atonement, Pride and Prejudice, The Imitation Game and Love Actually.
Famed for her beauty, it may seem unimaginable that Keira Knightley could suffer from hair loss. Nevertheless, repeatedly starring in blockbuster movies involves regular, intensive hairstyling, which will inevitably damage one’s natural hair. Although this is the challenge faced by every notable actor, it is especially severe in Knightley’s case, since she often stars in glamorous period dramas, such as The Duchess or Anna Karenina, which are characterised by extravagant hairstyles and the wearing of wigs and ornaments – which can pull on the scalp.
In an interview, Knightley claimed that “I have dyed my hair virtually every colour imaginable, for different films”, and confessed that “it got so bad that my hair literally began to fall out of my head.”
In addition to over-styling, preparing for various different roles in film often involves taking on extreme diets, which can lead to hair loss. Similarly, the stress involved in shooting so many different films will inevitably reduce the health and vitality of one’s hair. So – to tackle the thinning and loss of her hair – Knightley began wearing wigs. However, it wasn’t until she had hair transplant surgery that Knightley could once again wear her natural hair with freedom and confidence.
Another international fashion model to have suffered from hair loss is Tyra Banks. In addition to gracing the catwalks of designers such as Christian Dior, Chanel, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Dolce & Gabbana, Banks has appeared in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and landed major film roles in Life-Size and Coyote Ugly. She also created, produced and presented America’s Next Top Model, co-created True Beauty with Ashton Kutcher, and launched her own television talk show named The Tyra Banks Show. In 2010, she published a novel titled Modelland, which topped The New York Times bestseller list the following year.
In fact, Banks holds the process of writing her novel – which took five years – responsible for her hair loss. “I got a little alopecia from the stress,” she told the Wall Street Journal. Alopecia areata is a condition which occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles in the scalp, causing them to become inflamed, and thus preventing them from producing thick, healthy hair. The disease can arise in response to either a singular, traumatic event or long-term stress. Anxiety can also trigger other hair loss conditions, such as trichotillomania or telogen effluvium.
Fortunately, Banks was able to restore her lost hair via hair transplant surgery, which ensured that this stressful time did not leave a permanent physical mark on her life.
The American actress Viola Davis is famous for her award-winning performances on the stage and screen. Davis was nominated for a Tony award in 1996 following her Broadway debut in Seven Guitars, which catapulted her career, and she is now probably most famous for her many roles in the film – from The Help to Suicide Squad, Lila & Eve to The Woman King. Her performance in Fences won her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2017, and – in 2020 – she came in ninth place on the New York Times’ list of the greatest actors of the 21st century.
In spite of her many accolades and glittering career, Davis suffered from low self-confidence for many years on account of her battle with hair loss. The actress suffers from alopecia areata, which – as we mentioned above – is a hair loss condition which occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles in the scalp, preventing them from growing healthy hair. The condition is characterised by the emergence of bald patches on the scalp, which Davis began to experience at the age of 28. In an interview, Davis claimed that she “woke up one day” to find a “big splash of bald on the top of my head”: “it looked like I had a Mohawk.”
Like Tyra Banks, Davis believed that excessive stress and worry were responsible for her hair loss. This, inevitably, was the consequence of managing her busy work schedule in film, as well as living life in the public eye.
Unfortunately, Davis’ confidence was lost alongside her hair, and she soon found herself unable to face the company of others unless she was wearing a wig: “I was so desperate for people to think that I was beautiful […]. I wore a wig in the Jacuzzi. I had a wig I wore around the house. I had a wig that I wore to events. I had a wig that I wore when I worked out.”
Thanks to hair transplant surgery, Davis was able to throw out the wigs, regain her self-esteem, and show off her natural hair proudly.
The American actress and producer Kristin Davis is best known for playing Charlotte York in the romantic comedy-drama series Sex and the City, which earned her a nomination for an Emmy Award. Although the show came to an end in 2004, Davis stepped back into Charlotte’s shoes when the franchise released its two movies in 2008 and 2010, and then reprised the role yet again in 2021 for the sequel series And Just Like That…, which is still running today. Davis has also appeared in other popular romantic comedies, such as Couples Retreat, Nine Months and Holiday in the Wild.
Like all the actresses on Sex and the City, Davis – a bronzy brunette – looked sleek and glamorous. In fact, Davis’ character, Charlotte, became a hair icon, famous for having thick, shiny dark tresses. However, as Davis repeatedly reprised the role of Charlotte in the show’s relaunches and spin-offs, maintaining the character’s popular, voluminous locks quickly took a toll on her hair. Inevitably, years of intensive heat styling and product use caused Davis’ hair to grow thin and fall out. In addition, the actress was famous for wearing her hair in high ponytails, which may have triggered traction alopecia.
Thankfully, hair transplant surgery can add thick, healthy hairs to areas of thinning, thereby concealing hair loss. As a result, Davis has been able to maintain her iconic look as she continues to play Charlotte York into her 50s.
Why do so many female celebrities suffer from hair loss?
We don’t tend to talk about hair loss in women as much as we talk about hair loss in men. It’s much more common to hear the phrase ‘male pattern baldness’, for example, than ‘female pattern baldness’. This can lead us to believe that it is rare for women to suffer from hair loss – but this is not the case. In fact, 40% of women will suffer visible hair loss by the time they turn 40.
More women suffer from hair loss than we think – and this may account for our surprise to find that so many female singers, actresses and TV personalities suffer from the condition. On top of this, we tend to idolise celebrities – especially those who are famed for their beauty – and so it perhaps comes as a shock to realise that they face the same cosmetic challenges that we do.
Finally, the careers of the female celebrities on this list demand that they excessively treat and style their hair. The frequent use of hair products, heated tongs, hair extensions and hair dye will accelerate the rate of hair loss. Whilst the average person wears an elaborate hairstyle for the occasional wedding or special event, the female celebrities on this list repeatedly alter their look and put their hair through intensive styling, which eventually leads to the hair falling out altogether.
Luckily, hair transplant surgery makes it possible for these stars – as well as anyone else – to enjoy extravagant hair styling without worrying about premature hair loss.
How successful are hair transplants for women?
When the procedure is performed by a competent and certified professional surgeon, female hair transplants have a success rate of 99%. However, you have to be a suitable candidate for hair transplant surgery to receive the treatment in the first place, and only 2 to 5% of women are suited to this procedure.
Every reputable clinic will assess a patient during her pre-surgical consultation to determine whether she is an appropriate candidate for a hair transplant. In order for the surgery to be successful, a patient must have a sufficient number of healthy hair follicles in regions of the scalp which are not affected by hair loss. If this is not the case, then there will not be enough healthy follicles available to transfer to the balding areas – and these patients will be advised to seek alternative treatments or solutions for their hair loss.
So, to summarise: the likelihood of being an ideal candidate for this treatment is 2 to 5% (and, if you are not within this 2 to 5%, you will not be allowed to undertake the surgery). However, if you are deemed an ideal candidate for the procedure, there is a success rate of 99%.
How long do the results from a female transplant last?
When a hair transplant (whether male or female) is performed by a skilled and experienced surgeon, the results will last forever.
This is because female pattern baldness only affects the hair follicles in certain areas of the head – namely, the top or crown of the scalp. The follicles on the back and lower sides of the head remain unaffected by the condition and will continue to produce healthy hairs forever.
During hair transplant surgery, hair follicles in these healthy areas are removed and transferred to the thinning or balding areas of the scalp. Consequently, the transplanted follicles begin to grow thick, healthy hair in their new position, which fills in the balding areas. As a result, a female hair transplant will conceal the symptoms of female pattern baldness for a lifetime.
However, when a female hair transplant is administered by an unlicensed or inexperienced surgeon, the permanence of the results cannot be guaranteed. This is because an unskilled surgeon may extract hair follicles from the wrong regions of the scalp. These follicles are unhealthy and will fail to produce new hair after they have been transplanted, so the surgery will not result in hair growth in the balding areas.
Alternatively, an inexperienced surgeon may extract too many hair follicles from the appropriate donor regions, which will create thinning in these areas. Consequently, the hair transplant will create hair growth in the recipient areas of the scalp, but at the expense of new hair loss in the donor areas.
At Aventus Clinic, our expert surgeons are highly experienced in administering hair transplant surgery, and our procedures produce exceptional results which last a lifetime.