This week on Stylist’s Nobody Told Me… podcast businesswoman and beauty influencer Gina Knight discusses the reality of what happens after being diagnosed with stress-induced alopecia.
The Nobody Told Me… podcast, sponsored by Clinique, is back with a second season, and a new guest has an incredibly inspiring story to share.
Businesswoman and beauty influencer Gina Knight was diagnosed with stress-induced alopecia in 2013, after twelve months of visits to GPs and trichologists to find an answer to why her hair was falling out in handfuls.
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“I suffer from alopecia but I won't let it define me”
Despite the blow to her confidence and sense-of-self that losing her hair caused, Gina generously shared her story online. She subsequently built a loyal community of women going through the same thing, providing a safe space for women to tell their stories, too.
After struggling to find textured wigs for women like her who were suffering with hair loss, the former salon manager found a solution, launching her own business Gina Knight Wig Design to provide confidence and comfort to thousands of women.
Listen to the latest episode of Nobody Told Me…
“My hair when I was a child was always thick, people called it ‘comb-breaking hair,’” says Gina, who grew up in foster care. She explains how being able to style her own hair gave her a sense of control, and that is what led to her passion for empowering Black hair and beauty.
But later in her adult life, during a stressful period, Gina noticed that her hair kept shedding and her scalp became inflamed. The doctors she sought advice from, however, didn’t take her symptoms seriously, even though she also suffered from post-natal depression. “I completely lost all faith in my GP,” she says.
Gina finally decided to shave of her hair, which “was a really emotional thing to do” because she felt it wasn’t a choice – she “had” to do it. Gina decided to blog about her experience and started to build a community for women living with hair loss. They started to ask her about wigs for Black women and natural hair, which triggered her venture into wig making.
And that is how Gina Knight Wig Design was born. “I think I made the best decision to do this full time,” she says, “I go the extra mile to make sure people feel confident and comfortable,” she says.
Nobody Told Me… Losing My Hair Would Turn Me Into A Successful Businesswoman is available now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Acast. New episodes will be released on Wednesdays and you can go back and listen to episodes from series one.
Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…