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The former Miss Ireland who's now a busy working mum-of-six

IT'S not easy being beautiful and a mum-of-six - but former Miss Ireland Emir Holohan certainly makes it look that way.

Emir (32) made a return to the spotlight this week for a cause that's close to her heart -- post-partum hair loss -- which often affects new mums and kept Emir away from the spotlight for some time.

And although she happily stepped back in front of the lens while promoting natural nutritional supplement Viviscal Maximum Strength, which she says helped restore her hair's condition and improved skin, the return is just temporary.

"I'm pretty busy most of the time," said Emir, when quizzed about a possible return to modelling.

She was crowned Miss Ireland in 1999 and, three years later, she had just completed her first year in a journalism course in Ballyfermot when she gave birth to son Joshua, now 10.

She went on to have second son Samuel, now aged eight, before marrying her long-term love, and her sons' father, James Duffy, at Ballintubber Abbey in 2003. The pair now live in Ballina, Co Mayo, and not only is Emir fully immersed in all things family, but is operating her own business from home called Impress Me, which takes impressions of children's hands and feet.

Since they married, Emir and James have had four more children -- Rianna (7), Pearse (6), Gabriella (4) and Amira (2). "I haven't really done any modelling since I had the kids. Modelling wasn't my forte and it wasn't something I really enjoyed," Emir told the Herald.


She said she never set out to have six children-- they just "kind of came along".

Emir has stepped into the spotlight once again to highlight post-partum hair loss -- something she has experienced herself and is aware of how it can drain a woman's confidence.

"This gives me the chance to share my experience with women and lend my personality to it.

"Most women don't realise how common thinning hair is in, there are plenty of women out there, especially older women and new mums, who have lost so much hair they choose to wear a wig or a hair piece to hide the problem.

"I first started to notice large amounts of hair in my hair brush after my third pregnancy, I wasn't too concerned, but after my fourth child I was truly shocked when I noticed that my hair was blocking up the plug hole when I showered -- and the thinning patches had become very noticeable."

Emir went to her GP, who ruled out anything serious.

"The doctor put it down to post-partum hair loss, a common enough condition effecting new mums, and as I've been through six pregnancies, this made perfect sense. My hair-loss affected me emotionally, knocking my self-esteem completely. I found it extremely difficult to deal with."

A friend recommended that she take Viviscal and after three months, she says the quantity and quality of hair and skin has improved immensely -- "I'm going through the happiest period of my grown-up life with my hair now," she said.