Ashley Tisdale shares how she manages alopecia-related hair loss – Insider

Ashley Tisdale has a genetic condition that causes hair loss, the actress revealed on Wednesday. 
The “High School Musical” star said a dermatologist diagnosed her with alopecia shortly after the actress noticed a bald spot in the front of her head in her early twenties.
Alopecia is an autoimmune condition that causes the immune system to attack hair follicles and cause hair loss. Some people with the condition lose all their hair for good, while others may lose patches that grow back. 
“Alopecia and hair loss are fairly common, but a lot of people feel embarrassed to talk about these issues,” Tisdale said in an Instagram comment. “That’s why I want to talk about it openly — because it’s nothing to be ashamed of.” 

A post shared by Ashley Tisdale (@ashleytisdale)
Tisdale said stress triggers her alopecia, and the hair that falls out typically grows back. She also noted that stress management through meditation, yoga, and therapy helps minimize her flare ups.
Tisdale also said she had success with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment, where doctors inject the patients with a part of the blood that helps with cell growth and regeneration. Though research shows PRP can help patients whose alopecia is hormone-related, there is not enough evidence the treatment works for other types of hair loss, Harvard reported.
“Know that if you struggle with it you are not alone,” Tisdale said.
Alopecia isn’t fatal, but research suggests the condition can cause psychological distress, particularly in women. 
The medical condition became the center of media attention last year, after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars for poking fun at his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia.
Pinkett Smith and other notable people, like Viola Davis and Representative Ayanna Pressley, have been candid about their hair loss from alopecia.
“I don’t give two craps about what people feel about this bald head of mine of mine because guess what, I love it,” Pinkett Smith said in a March 2022 Instagram video.
Last June, the Food and Drug Administration approved the drug Olumiant (baricitinib) to treat alopecia areata — making it the first-ever FDA-approved medicine for this condition. The FDA had first approved Olumiant to treat conditions including rheumatoid arthritis in 2018, but approved it in 2022 for alopecia after doctors had been prescribing the drug off-label.
Scientists discovered the treatment through genetic testing, and found the a four-milligram dose of the drug led to “significant scalp hair regrowth” within a year for 40% of patients, Insider’s Hilary Brueck reported.
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