In the same week I noticed the bald patches a clip from Fleabag appeared on my feed: the one in which Fleabag marches her sister back into the hairdressers demanding compensation for Claire’s hilariously lopsided ‘pencil’ cut. In the altercation she announces, assuredly, “Hair is everything. We wish it wasn’t, so we could actually think about something else occasionally, but it is!”
The patches were a bolt out of the blue for me. I’d made it through 2020, things were finally looking up – alopecia areata, an auto-immune disease, was not on my 2021 bingo card. I’ve always been blessed with a mane of thick hair, so much so that I’d have an annual moan on the hottest days of the year – to the annoyance of my thinner haired friends. Luckily, the two patches just above the nape of my neck, around an inch and a half in diameter, were obscured by the rest of my barnet. But the thing about alopecia is the fear. Is this just the beginning? Am I going to lose it all? Will it ever grow back?
In shock and tears I turned to healthy hair guru Simone Thomas who, I’d heard, had treated a woman who’d lost it all after being hospitalised with Covid and was now sporting a lustrous full head of hair. Relieved to be in the best hands – Simone has a clinic on Harley Street and has herself suffered hair loss – I send off hair and nail samples for testing. We would have done this in person but in the throes of lockdown, everything – even the magic stuff – happened over Zoom, and yet I couldn’t have felt more cared for.
Simone works with homeopath extraordinaire Debbie Rix, who runs my samples though her machine, looking for imbalances and deficiencies, what can be improved diet-wise, and what I need to cut out. I’m warned that it can be a bit spooky, and that I may find the experience emotional, even, but I’m encouraged to trust the process. It’s incredible what can be gleaned about our health from tiny hair and nail samples, and sure enough, Debbie knows everything from my sinus troubles (I had surgery a few years back) to my dire need post-lockdown to see a chiropractor (thanks, childbirth). Incredibly, this isn’t just a snapshot of my health today. With amazing accuracy Debbie picks up on ailments and injuries from the past that my body is hanging onto.
I am spooked and seriously impressed. Complementing Debbie’s bespoke remedy and recommendations, I’m put on Simone’s Ginkgo Hair Care Plan, which includes ginkgo biloba B+ and super green supplements, as well as the Biotin Hair Care Plan, including high-dose biotin brilliance and a skin quencher packed with vitamin C and the richest marine collagen. Six weeks later I send off new hair and nail samples and we repeat the tests to find that much has improved. Indeed, my hair looks and feels strong and lustrous, my skin is glowing and I feel healthier, happier and brighter all-round. Suffice to say, the treatment is so comprehensive, so thorough and so individually tailored that I’m certain anyone – hair loss or no – would reap the benefits.
As for the patches, it’s taken a while, but I now have significant regrowth, albeit pure white baby hair. This isn’t exactly how I’d imagined getting my first greys – but I don’t care. I’m told the pigment may even return over time. Hair may not be everything but right now, I’m incredibly grateful for it, and I’ve resolved to rejoice in its full body and never moan again.
Treatments start at £180; Simone’s book Healthy Hair, Happy Body is out now, £15 (simonethomaswellness.com)