As part of an ongoing effort to raise the conversation around women’s hair thinning and empower women to take charge of their hair health, we’re talking to women in the spotlight about all things hair. Below, stylist and fashion designer Rachel Zoe shares her experience with postpartum hair thinning while being in the public eye.
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Rachel Zoe is a multi-hypenate powerhouse — designer, stylist, CEO, fashion icon, reality star, wife, mom… the list goes on.
But no matter how many titles are under your name, when you notice changes in your hair, it feels like your body is turning against you and you’re losing control. “I don’t think I realized how much of a physical and emotional effect hair thinning would have on me,” said Zoe in a candid Instagram video. “It really took a toll on me because I had to keep showing up on red carpets and getting my hair and makeup done, and I just remember feeling so insecure about my hair … I don’t know why as women we’re so afraid to talk about it. So many, if not all, of my friends have [experienced it].”
To break the stigma around women’s hair thinning and empower others to take control, Zoe is sharing her hair story and encouraging fans to do the same under the Instagram hashtag #HairStrongAsYou. She’s also starting a Nutrafol hair journey that fans can follow along with on her Instagram.
Below, the busy mom and mogul talks to Nutrafol about postpartum hair thinning, the strong women who inspire her, and building confidence from within.
First of all, your hair is iconic. What are the most and least favorite hairstyles you’ve had?
RACHEL ZOE: I would say anything I did to my hair in the ‘80s would count as my least favorite. I had giant, curly hair and used so much hairspray like everyone did back then. My favorite hairstyle is probably my go-to look, which is air-dried hair and loose waves that I use a curling wand to create.
How has your relationship with your hair evolved over the years?
RACHEL: I have always had a devoted relationship with my hair. I have used it as a security blanket throughout my life and relied on it so much for my overall confidence. When I was 13 years old, I had a bob haircut and I’ve had various versions of extra long hair since then. As I got older, I didn’t often change my hairstyle, but always wanted to feel like I had a lot of it. I never had issues with my hair until after my son Skyler was born, and then again after Kaius was born.
When did you realize your hair was thinning?
RACHEL: I think the first time I really noticed my hair thinning was when I was blowing out my hair and it took me significantly less time for my whole head to be dry. I remember gathering my dried hair into a ponytail and just feeling the difference in thickness in my hands. That’s when I realized that postpartum hormonal hair thinning and weakening is a real thing.
Did you tell anyone about it?
RACHEL: I definitely told my sister, Pamela, because she’s my best friend and biggest cheerleader who’s there for me through all of life’s ups and downs. I also told my long time hairdresser and friend, Joey [Malouff]. Joey has been doing my hair for years, so it was important that I talked through it with him so that he could help me feel my best even though my confidence was shaken.
Speaking of confidence, you once said, “Confidence is more important than clothes.” What’s your advice for women struggling with hair and self-esteem?
RACHEL: I think the best piece of advice is to just be honest about it. It helped me so much once I began sharing my story and telling my girlfriends about it, because they had gone through it also. Hair is so universally important to women — just knowing you’re not alone can really help. I would also say be proactive about it! Try using Nutrafol and know that you are doing something every day to improve your overall hair health.
Who are the strong women who’ve influenced and inspired you?
RACHEL: My mother has always been an incredible role model for me in every way. She definitely helped shape my view of fashion and style and never left the house without lipstick on. I feel fortunate to also have a great group of supportive girlfriends. My biggest creative inspiration comes from favorite decades in fashion which are the ‘60s and ‘70s. I love Jane Birkin, Bianca Jagger, Cher, and so many others. They are my forever fashion muses.
You work with the best hairstylists and experts in the world — and you have great hair. What’s the best hair tip you’ve learned?
RACHEL: Limiting the amount of heat and stress you put on your hair really helps. Lately I wash my hair only a few times a week, deep condition always, and have been letting my hair air-dry to achieve that beachy look. So far I’ve seen such an improvement in my hair texture and shine.
You’ve also started a Nutrafol hair journey. Congratulations! How have you added Nutrafol to your routine?
RACHEL: Typically I take my Nutrafol in the morning with breakfast. My boys are a great reminder in the morning because they beg me for their vitamin gummies, so I’ll take my Nutrafol then.
Lastly, as a mom and a role model to so many women, how would you like to see beauty standards for hair change?
RACHEL: I think the beauty standards for hair are the same as any ‘standard’ in that they ultimately hold you back or limit your confidence. I would like other women to know that postpartum hair thinning happens to a lot of us. We shouldn’t feel held back by it but rather be proactive. I want all women to feel empowered to share their hair story and to understand they are not alone — and that choosing to take control is a decision that will make you feel good. The more women share their hair stories, the more comfortable the conversation can be.