- Publish Date
- Monday, 12 February 2024, 3:04PM
- By Bethany Reitsma
Toni Street has spoken out openly in the past about living with a rare auto-immune condition, and she’s now revealed how it left her with drastic hair damage and loss.
Opening up on her podcast We Need To Talk, she tells listeners that a combination of drugs she was on to medicate her Churg-Strauss syndrome “literally sizzled” her hair during her 30s.
“I had a thick, glossy mane, which I used to straighten within an inch of its life, tie it up when it was wet. And by damn, I didn’t know what I had until it was gone,” she recalls.
“It fell out in clumps, changed its colour, and it was like a coarse piece of straw. It was so bad, I had to cut it all off in a bob, which I’d never had in my life, and I wore hairpieces to thicken it out when I was hosting Seven Sharp on TVNZ ... I [felt] like I wasn’t going to get my hair back.”
Now 40, Toni says it’s thanks to “hair guru” Zoe Clark, owner of Ponsonby hair salon INCO, that her hair is returning to full health - and she wants others experiencing hair loss to know there’s hope.
Speaking on the podcast, Zoe admits Toni’s hair was “the worst I’ve ever seen”.
Toni explains that she was left with a “weird crittery-type fringe ... and it was kind of sticking up because it was so coarse. I was having to clip it like I was 5 again, just so that I could manage it.
“It was certainly the worst my hair had been in my life, so I’m very thankful to have it back in a sort of credible state now. I’m getting there.”
So, what can cause such extensive hair damage and loss?
Zoe explains it can be down to stress, medication, or overdoing it with the heat styling or colour treatment.
“My story is not actually an isolated story,” Toni shares.
“If you’re someone like me that had hair you just didn’t know what to do with, hopefully this has given you a bit of inspiration today that you can get it back, it can be back to nearly its former glory of when you were young, when you didn’t appreciate it.”
The radio host was diagnosed with Churg-Strauss syndrome after she became seriously unwell following the birth of her second child with husband Matt France.
She had her gall bladder removed and has been on permanent medication to manage the incurable condition ever since.
You can listen to the We Need To Talk with Toni Street podcast below for Street’s full story, as well as hair health tips from Clark.
Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you