The Kardashians: arguably the most famous family in America and certainly the most portrayed in the media, they are known for keeping up appearances and titillating the press with their dramatic lives. Never far from the headlines (or the Daily Mail's sidebar of shame) 'momager' Kris Kardashian and her brood Rob, Kim, Kourtney and Khloe provide constant tabloid fodder.
It's to their hair that we turn this week, in particular soon-to-be-Kanye-West's-baby-mama Kim and younger brother Rob. First of all, Rob made headlines this week with his hairline, which has noticeably thinned. After he was the butt of Kim's rather cruel jokes in a previous episode of the reality TV show Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Rob vowed to tackle his hair loss.
Stating that he planned to use shampoos along with a LaserComb, it's possible that Rob ran into trouble because he failed to use either of the two clinically proven hair loss medications. Whilst the LaserComb is FDA cleared to help treat hair loss, in my experience it is best used alongside Propecia and minoxidil, which are highly complementary and can both halt hair loss and regrow hair.
Up next: Kim. Rob's older sister has been in the press before thanks to her hair, after she appeared in photographs showing what appeared to be noticeable thinning at her temples a year ago at Paris Fashion Week. There are several reasons why Kim may have been experiencing this type of loss: female pattern hair loss, a genetic condition that causes gradual hair loss, is a possible reason, which would require treatment to prevent it from gradually worsening over time.
It's also possible that traction alopecia from wearing hair extensions was to thank for Kim's hair loss; this occurs when the extensions put pressure on the hair follicles over an extended period of time, causing weaker hairs to grow. Once you cease using hair extensions hair should regrow, and a high strength minoxidil cream can help if it doesn't.
However, a year on from those photographs Kim's hair has noticeably improved in thickness. Pictured this week, the star's hair looked thicker at the roots than previously, a trick difficult to achieve with hair extensions alone, so what is causing Kim's thick hair? Kim actually has her pregnancy to thank. This is due to female hormones oestrogen and progesterone increasing in the body when pregnant, which causes the hair cycle to become longer as a whole, with a shorter resting stage. This means that shedding won't occur until after the birth of baby Kimye.
High levels of oestrogen can also cause some follicles to enter the anagen (growth) stage, so an increased amount of follicles are producing hair in pregnancy. Another effect that high oestrogen levels can have is to stall hairs in the intermediate 'catagen' phase, meaning that less hair is lost at this stage, too.
Whilst Kim should rightly be enjoying this pregnancy bonus, she will notice an increase in shedding after the birth of her child. Up to 25% of hair can be lost at this point, which can be quite a shock for new mothers! However, everything should be back to normal after a few months, so there's no need for Kim to worry. Rob, on the other hand, should seek treatment that includes clinically proven hair loss medications as part of a personalised hair loss programme to prevent his condition from worsening.