a personal note from Barry Corbin
I’m glad I’m associated with NAAF (National Alopecia Areata Foundation), not just because I happen to have alopecia areata, but because we are hoping to bring alopecia areata to the attention of the general public. I, like many people who are diagnosed with having this disease, thought I must be the only one who was afflicted. Everywhere I went I had to explain to make-up people, directors, producers, and friend’s what alopecia areata was. People were constantly asking my daughter how I was feeling, assuming I was taking chemotherapy.
Maybe together we can spread the word, so the next person who is diagnosed with alopecia areata will know what it is and that he or she is not the only one who has it. The reality of alopecia areata is frightening when it first happens. In my case, I lost hair behind my ears so I was not aware of it immediately.
It was brought to my attention by a hair stylist on the set of a series I was working on. At first it didn’t bother me because it was only the size of a nickel. It began to progress, however, until I lost all the hair on the back of my head, as well as most on the top and sides. Soon after, I noticed that my beard was disappearing in spots as well.
I finally consulted with dermatologists and hair experts and when we discovered it was alopecia areata, I was told there was nothing that could be done. So, I have been bald ever since.
I’m glad to be associated with the Foundation because there is strength and encouragement in numbers. I’m sure if enough of us band together, this condition will become better known and hopefully there will be some strides made to figure out why we reject our hair. It’s not so hard for me personally, because I’m an old man but I can imagine the devastation that a young woman or a young man would experience with such a loss.