Dealing with hair lossis something different people tackle in different ways. For Lauren Marcus, the star of cult Young Adult off-Broadway theatre show, Be More Chill, it involved writing a song.
Called 'Funeral' the song explains her feelings about losing her hair to the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata.
She has also spoken openly about the recent and sudden loss of '99.7% of the hair on head' in social media posts and in an article written for Yahoo Lifestyle.
Explaining Alopecia Areata
Lauren Marcus has an acute form of the disorder which has affected the hair follicles on her scalp and parts of her body, resulting in patchy hair loss but without the loss of her eyebrows and eyelashes.
She tries to be positive about managing this new issue and is clear about the importance of talking candidly about Alopecia Areata in order to educate people and raise awareness. This is especially important given the hairloss the condition causes can often, upsettingly, be mistaken for cancer - something people with all forms of autoimmune alopeciafrequently point out.
Writing in Yahoo Lifestyle, she says,"A lot of times I’ll be out and if I’m not wearing something around my head, I’ll hear little kids ask their parents, “Why does that girl have no hair?” And they’ll tell their kids to shut up and walk away, and I want to try to explain. Often people assume I have cancer. They’ll come up to me and tell me their stories, and when I say I have alopecia, they’ll say something like “Thank your lucky stars you don’t have cancer!” Of course I’m grateful that I don’t have cancer. But I’m still allowed to be upset that all my hair fell out." Continues below...
Whether or not to wear a wig can be a bigger decision for people who have lost their hair - for whatever reason - than some may appreciate. For Marcus she says that, as her Be More Chill character - Brooke - has long blonde hair, as she used to, she will wear a wig on stage to continue to play the role. The feeling of having no hair of her own to flip, as required in the script, initially provided a painful reminder of what she was missing for the musical theatre actress, she admitted.
Off stage Lauren Marcus wears hats and scarves to cover her head, as well as rocking her natural bald look. She will not, however, wear a wig in her private, everyday life citing feeling uncomfortable about people who remember what she looked like with hair seeing her in a wig as the reason she isn't considering this option for now.
Although she she is clear that she didn't exactly sign up to be an Alopecia Areata spokesperson, she says being able to make an impact and help fans who reach out to her about their hair loss, does make her happy. "Even a few months ago I was frantically Googling, looking for somebody, some other actor, who’d had this and was open about it so I wouldn’t feel so alone," states Marcus.
She now joins a list of hugely successful, inspirational actors and athletes who are also keen to help others dealing with alopecia. This includes comedy actor Matt Lucas, action movie and Dumbo star Joseph Gatt, Gotham and Barry henchman Anthony Carrigan and gold medal-winning Olympic cyclist Joanna Rowsell-Shand.
Whilst Alopecia Areata treatmentis often possible for the scalp-only form in medically-suitable over 16s, most of these celebrities have the most severe form, Alopecia Universalis, which cannot yet be effectively treated, though many proposed treatments are in development.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.