Hair loss from Alopecia Areata
is a lot more common than you may realise. After androgenetic alopecia
, it is the second most common cause of hair loss in the world, even though it is actually classified as an autoimmune condition.
Presenting in men, women and even children, it appears as rounded bald patches anywhere on the scalp. These can range anywhere in size from a 50 pence piece to the whole head and can make people feel incredibly self-conscious. Whilst the cause is still unknown, certain triggers have been identified, largely relating to sudden shock or trauma. The impact causes the hair follicles to go into hibernation, suspending normal hair growth
, which then makes hair fall out.
The good news is that, in most cases, the hair should grow back naturally in around 12 months following the initial incident which sparked the hair loss
. Whilst for those with more stubborn cases, or who do not feel they can wait that long to see regrowth
, there are effective alopecia areata treatments
Many people say how alone they can feel when their hair starts to fall out. However, whilst not much is known about it, Alopecia Areata is actually an incredibly widespread disorder which affects 2 per cent of the population worldwide. Whilst not everyone affected has the same luxury, some people who experience smaller patches of hair loss may be able to cover it up so that no-one ever knows.
Here is a list of nine celebrities who have spoken openly about their Alopecia Areata, and regained their hair, who you may not have known ever had issues with hair loss.
1 Viola Davis - Actress, How to Get Away With Murder
This ground-breaking, award-winning actress and Hollywood A-lister confessed to frequently wearing wigs on the red carpet to hide her patchy hair loss caused by alopecia areata. Now, her hair has regrown and she has graced the cover of high profile magazines including InStyle, wearing her natural hair - no wigs or extensions.
2 Jesy Nelson - Singer, Little Mix
The former X Factor contestant explained to the Little Mix website, "I was probably about 13 when my hair just started coming out. Stress can cause alopecia and it wasn’t nice. I got picked on because I’ve always liked to dress differently
". Now it has regrown, the pop star says she loves having 'big hair', adding, "I’ve never really wanted to fit in with everyone else. I like being individual. I think it’s cool
3 Sean Ward - Actor, Coronation Street
Sean Ward nearly missed out on getting his big break playing bad boy Callum Logan on top TV soap, Coronation Street. The actor considered quitting the profession when he started losing patches of hair to Alopecia Areata brought on by stress. His hairloss righted itself although it is unknown whether he used any form of treatment, such as high strength minoxidil
, or if it regrew naturally.
4 Tyra Banks - Model & TV Presenter
Whilst presenting her successful TV series America's Next Top Model, Tyra Banks always looked impeccably groomed. When she turned her hand to writing, however, the stress of fitting in a novel between her other business commitments became too much and, as she explained to the Wall Street Journal, "How can I say this without tearing up? I got a little alopecia from the stress."
5 Christopher Reeve - Actor, Superman
Forever famous for his role in the original Superman films, movie star Christopher Reeve revealed in his autobiography that he had alopecia areata at age 16. Combing his hair over the bald spots in an attempt to disguise them, he is thought to have had steroid injections
every three months whilst filming Superman in 1978 in an attempt to regrow his hair.
6 Jemima Khan - Journalist and campaigner
A traumatic incident during a flight sparked off hair loss for Jemima Khan (also known by her maiden name, Jemima Goldsmith since her divorce from cricketer, Imran Khan). She experienced a patch of Alopecia Areata which regrew naturally although the hair initially, as can happen sometimes, grew back white
. She told Vogue magazine, "I’ve had to dye it ever since
7 Jimi Mistry - Actor, East is East
Stress is thought to be one of the key triggers of Alopecia Areata and actor Jimi Mistry developed bald patches during a particularly anxious time in his life. Following nationwide success upon joining the Eastenders cast and international acclaim for his work in films like East is East, the attention made the star agoraphobic. Coupled with a strained marriage and not knowing who his biological father was, the actor - who is now married to his Strictly Come Dancing partner, Flavia Cacace - developed AA's signature patchy hair loss, which later resolved itself.
8 Neve Campbell - Actress, Party of Five
The Scream actress also blames stress for her condition. In her case she believes the incredible stress of a crazy workload whilst going through a divorce and dealing with anxiety caused by stalkers triggered her autoimmune hair loss.
9 Ella Shaw - Singer, Britain's Got Talent
Singer/songwriter, Ella Shaw developed Alopecia Areata in her last year of primary school, aged just 10 years old. Since taking part in shows like X-Factor and Britain's Got Talent, she has used her rising profile to boost awareness and understanding of the condition as well as holding a charity concert
to raise money for Alopecia UK. Ella said on the TV show, Lorraine, "It was quite a time
... but I wouldn’t have wished it not to happen… it boosted my confidence and I want to try and spread the message that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that things will be OK at the end