A former model and television presenter who suffers from alopecia has revealed a substantial regrowth of hair. After five years of baldness, Gail Porter, 39, who refused to wear wigs, appeared on television yesterday with a near-full head of hair. She said that it was growing back in patches, but now covered 75 per cent of her scalp.
Bessam Farjo, a leading hair restoration surgeon and medical director of the Institute of Trichologists, said that alopecia remained a mystery, but Porter “was one of the fortunate ones”. He added that he hoped the regrowth would show people that more severe cases could be overcome.
However, Porter, whose naked image was beamed on to Parliament for a mens’ magazine in 1999, sounded a note of caution on her Twitter page: “I’ve been bald for so long now — it’s been five years — and I suddenly think, what am I going to do if it came back?”
Alopecia is an auto-immune condition in which hair, normally “immune-privileged”, is identified as a foreign target and attacked by antibodies. Alopecia areata causes hair loss in small patches, usually on the scalp, and can be temporary, while alopecia totalis covers the head. Alopecia universalis involves hair loss over the whole body.
Scientists have identified four genetic characterisations that appear to play a role in the development of alopecia areata. Researchers have also found that when one identical twin has the disease, the other twin has a 55 per cent chance of having it, while people with immediate family members with alopecia have ten times the normal risk of developing the disease. Porter, a patron of Alopecia UK, began to experience regrowth earlier this year.
Dr Farjo said that her apparently thick regrowth was a good sign, as many sufferers often ended up with a finer and more fragile version of their hair.
Andrew Langford, chief executive of the Skin Care Campaign, said: “For other people battling the condition it sends out a glimmer of hope.”
· Sir Patrick Stewart Stage and film actor, lost his hair as a teenager
· Matt Lucas Comedian, star of Little Britain
· Duncan Goodhew Olympic swimmer, lost his hair apparently as a result of falling from a tree as child
· Princess Caroline of Monaco lost her hair in 1995 but it grew back subsequently
· Christopher Reeve
· The late Superman actor began suffering from alopecia areata as a teenager, which returned sporadically throughout his life
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on Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 at 2:02 pm and is filed under ALOPECIA AREATA, CELEBRITY HAIR LOSS.
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