Dee Armstrong, a much-loved veteran news anchor for the American WLTZ TV station was arrested following a dispute with her son.
After the incident a bald mugshot of the TV personality without her wig went viral on Facebook, revealing her hair loss
to a wider audience.
'Hey Dee, you're not alone'
Armstrong returned to work nearly a week after the initial event. As reported on the Ledger-Enquirer
website, she jokingly commented, "I was eventually going to
[talk about losing hair], but they made sure I'm gonna talk about it now"
The reporter's hair loss condition
is not named, but is described in the article as "hair- thinning and Alopecia
When used as a standalone term 'alopecia' is a general descriptor for hair loss of any kind, including Androgenetic Alopecia - also known as Female Pattern Hair Loss
- Traction Alopecia
and Cicatricial Alopecia
. As such, it is unclear which specific condition she is experiencing. However, the fact she is now bald, specifically references 'Alopecia' and mentioned in the article that she shaved her head, suggests she may have a form of Alopecia Areata
Judging by her mugshot, it appears Armstrong has not lost her eyebrow hair nor her eyelashes. Given the more severe Alopecia Areata phenotypes, Alopecia Totalis and Universalis
, both involve baldness of the whole head - including facial hair - this indicates it is more likely she may have the scalp-only form of Alopecia Areata, though a proper consultation would be required to provide an accurate diagnosis.
The autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata in this suspected form presents as sudden, patchy hair loss which, when it extends to large areas of the scalp, can be accompanied by thinning hair between the rounded bald spots. This may account for her initial description. There are Alopecia Areata treatment
options available for this strain of autoimmune hairloss, which may have been what the popular community figure was exploring when it was reported that she had been speaking to a hair expert in Atlanta about her issues.
Regardless of what had caused her baldness, Dee Armstrong was shocked to see the response of others: "I have had so many women telling me, 'Hey Dee, you're not alone" -
certainly isn't. A 2017 report conducted by a US-based think tank - the Perception Institute
- revealed black women experience higher levels of anxiety about their hair than white women, though women of all races and hair types are increasingly raising concerns regarding increased hair loss
Women's hair loss
"One of the hardest things to ever happen to me was to have them post that picture of me... And I wanted to do it on my own terms, you know... when I talk about it I wanted to talk about it the way I wanted to talk about it. But I wasn't given that option,"
As she demonstrates, women's hair loss can be a tricky conversation to have, a topic which is less spoken about than men's and still has a perceived stigma
attached to it which people are gradually working to eradicate. Armstrong did note that she received a lot of help from her local community after the incident: "people were so doggone sweet to me"
Often becoming informed about a hair loss condition can help to make the process a little easier to manage. Similarly an online or in-clinic consultation with a Belgravia
specialist provides a professional diagnosis, advice and personalised treatment recommendations.
A tailored hair loss treatment
plan can then be recommended, which typically combines clinically-proven medications and complementary hair growth supporting
products, such as the highly-targeted Hair Vitalics for Women
Staff ensure clients feel comfortable throughout their course by offering on-going monitoring and support, which has helped many women feel more confident, as documented in the many reviews in Belgravia's Success Stories gallery. This Belgravia client
explained, "I am very pleased with the result. The staff are very friendly and encouraging. I am glad I came. I will recommend it very strongly".
Armstrong's experience and her public discussions will hopefully inspire more women to feel comfortable in both talking openly about losing their hair, and seeking help if needed.