The brainchild of 28 year-old photographer Daniel Regan, The Alopecia Project displays black and white photographs of a wide variety of people affected by Alopecia, helping to demonstrate the fact that the condition affects people from all walks of life.
The Alopecia Project continues to gain great respect, having started with photographs of just ten subjects. The project’s profile continues to rise: Last year the exhibition was shown to delegates of the World Congress for Hair Science, and this year it formed part of the Alopecia UK conference.
Speaking about his photographs Regan said:
“I wanted to challenge the traditional images portrayed surrounding body image in today’s society and at the same time empower people with Alopecia. I want to promote dignity and respect for the people who don’t conform to what is perceived as ‘the norm’ and challenge social expectations.”
An often-ignored condition
Regan was inspired to begin his project after offering to photograph a woman named Nataleigh at a party. Regan was impressed by Nataleigh’s hair, but learned that it was in fact a wig worn to hide the signs of hair loss caused by Alopecia.
“She told me she had Alopecia and the more we spoke about it, the more apparent it became that the photographs people were shown of the condition were awful snapshots taken in doctors’ offices,” Regan said of their chance meeting.
Despite the positive reception to The Alopecia Project, Regan still finds it hard to recruit models for his photographs. “As a society we’re not used to seeing women without hair or eyelashes,” he explained. “Although it is not damaging to physical health, Alopecia can have a destructive effect on a person’s confidence and self-esteem.”
Alopecia affects approximately one in every thousand people at some point in their lives, and Regan’s photography project is helping to reduce the stigma surrounding the condition. By telling the stories of the people affected by Alopecia, Regan is ensuring that they are able to combat any stigmas associated with the condition and that they are able to rise above any labels applied to them because of their appearance.
“The true message of the project is that it’s OK being you, but most importantly being the you that you choose,” concluded Regan. You can see Daniel’s stunning portraits from The Alopecia Project on his website, and if you would like to take part, you can email him here, or leave us a comment below and we will pass on your message.
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