Changing the stigma. Ashley Tisdale is raising awareness about alopecia.
Celebrity Health Scares Through the Years
The High School Musical star, 37, revealed via Instagram on Wednesday, January 11, that she was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder — that often causes hair loss — in her early 20s after noticing a bald spot at her hairline. “I asked my hair colorist, ‘What is that?’ and she said, ‘Oh, that’s alopecia.’”
Tisdale said her dermatologist then confirmed the prognosis. “A lot of it is triggered by stress, and I was going through a really stressful time,” the Picture This actress continued. Tisdale went on to share that while the hair eventually grew back, she’s experienced additional flare ups through the years. “There [have been] a couple of times in my life where I’ve had stressful events and noticed that my [alopecia] will come back.”
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, Alopecia develops when the body attacks its own hair follicles. (Jada Pinkett Smith, Bellamy Young and singer Jesy Nelson have also publicly revealed their experiences with alopecia.)
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The New Jersey native explained her decision to share her struggles is to help others who may also be dealing with the disease. “It can be stressful just even having [alopecia] and being like, ‘Oh my gosh. What if it gets worse.’”
A post shared by Ashley Tisdale (@ashleytisdale)
Tisdale said stress management like meditation, yoga and therapy has helped her control the condition as well as figuring out “how to better react to stressors.” (The Suite Life on Deck alum frequently posts videos of herself doing yoga with 1-year-old daughter Jupiter, whom she shares with husband Christopher French.)
The Disney channel alum also suggested platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment, which uses a patient’s own blood cells to accelerate healing in a specific area. “It’s amazing. It is more of an expensive route, but I’ve found it to be helpful,” Tisdale said.
The Merry Happy Whatever actress asserted that diet plays a huge role in managing her outbreaks. “The autoimmune paleo diet, it’s really healing to the gut … and helps lower inflammation in your body,” she shared.
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Tisdale doubled down on her message, which was also shared on her wellness blog, Frenshe, in the caption of the social media post, writing: “Alopecia and hair loss are fairly common, but a lot of people feel embarrassed to talk about these issues.”
She added: “Any type of hair loss can affect your self-esteem, especially if you feel like you’re the only one going through it. That’s why I want to talk openly — because it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Sometimes it’s connected to hormones, other times to heredity, and for me, it’s connected to stress overload.”
Last month, Tisdale opened up about other healthier habits she’s incorporating into her daily life, including movement, meditation, self-care and “eating clean meals.”
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