The Eurovision Song Contest winner always suffered from having somewhat less-than-lush hair. But when what hair she had started coming out in clumps in her hands as she washed or brushed it, she decided she needed to take swift action.
At first Cheryl thought that over-the-counter products such as sprays, creams and mousses might work. But when her hair kept falling out, she turned to a supplement made from shark cartilage.
“A friend suggested I needed to take a dietary supplement to prevent the hair loss,’ she says.
“The pills, Nourkrin, were quite expensive – £50 a month – and when not much had happened after the first month, I wondered whether shelling out for another month’s supply was a wise investment.
“But I was told that it might take two to three months before I got a result and so I paid another £50 and prayed I would see an improvement. By the end of the second month, my hair had stopped coming out and was starting to grow again. Over the next few months it continued to grow and there was no more hair loss.”
Hair loss for men is not as big an emotional problem as it is for women. Many men take it in their stride, but for women it can be a major issue, affecting their feeling of femininity.
And while few women actually go bald, many find that hormonal changes can cause them to suffer from hair thinning and loss.
Cheryl, 50, is not alone. Research shows that up to two-thirds of women experience hair loss at some stage of their lives.
Women often experience it for the first time two or three months after giving birth. The massive production of oestrogen during pregnancy puts hair follicles into their ‘growth phase’.
After the birth, the hormonal balance is restored and the hair follicles go into their “loss phase”, causing hair to fall out.
Similar problems can occur during the menopause or through stress. The contraceptive pill can also cause problems.
Cheryl says she now has her best head of hair ever: “Bucks Fizz are about to do a tour, and I was desperate to look my best. Taking the supplements has helped. People have noticed that my hair looks better and the improvement has boosted my confidence.”