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Matt Lucas Speaks Out: What You Need To Know If You Suffer With Alopecia

Matt Lucas has opened up regarding how some people talk about his alopecia.

“One newspaper – in their weekly preview for the Bake Off – ALWAYS refer to me as an egghead,” the actor and comedian wrote on Twitter. “And I was thinking about it, because obv I have no hair because of alopecia, which is a skin condition. And I was thinking it’s so weird that an adult in 2021 would actually write that.”

Lucas, 47, started losing his hair aged six. He wrote in his memoir that as a child, “my baldness was a source of amusement, sympathy and revulsion for everyone.”

Spokesperson for Alopecia UK Jen Chambers says: “Hair generally is not seen by many as important, until they lose it. It’s something that for most, is just part of us. We take it for granted. Whether you’re the guy known for his big bushy beard, or the woman known for her amazing red curls. These things become part of us. We encompass them into our sense of self, our identity.

“But hair can be lost, and when it is, it can feel like you have lost yourself, or at least a significant part of yourself. We can play around with wigs and make-up (easier for women than men), we can blend in, but at the end of the day, that all comes off and you are still faced with this self, a self that might not feel like ‘you’.”

This is just some of what people from the Alopecia UK community really want you to know about the condition…

1. Alopecia isn’t cancer

“A bald head doesn’t equal cancer! I’ve been asked directly and indirectly – my husband was asked – how my treatment was going… I didn’t even know what they were asking at first.”

2. Much more than just hair is lost

“It you can feel like you’ve lost your identity. I still don’t recognise myself in the mirror. It feels incredibly overwhelming.”

3. The mental health impact of alopecia can be massive

“The mental health side of things: lack of confidence, worry and stress.”

4. It’s not contagious

“Don’t pity me or treat me like I’m contagious.”

5. Wigs are expensive

“Yes, wigs mean you can change style/colours easily, but they’re expensive and don’t last forever.”

6. We don’t want pity, but some empathy would be appreciated

“It is upsetting, it’s unpredictable and I want people to be a bit more empathetic really. Hair loss is like a grief you have to work through.”

7. There is no known cure

“It is a spontaneous condition. There is no definite pathway or definite ‘cure’, but it need not define you nevertheless. Acceptance is key.”

8. None of the following are helpful:

a. “It’s only hair”
b. “Don’t be so stressed”
c. “At least you’re not dying”

9. It’s unpredictable and that can be really challenging

“It’s such an unknown from diagnosis onwards, you literally don’t know when your hair will fall out, how much you’ll lose or if/when it’ll grow back.”

10. It’s rude to stare

“It’s also pretty rude to ask questions… including from children (some people don’t mind, but others do). Not everyone feels the need to wear a wig, but that doesn’t mean we are OK with people staring or asking questions.”

Alopecia UK works to improve the lives of those affected by alopecia through aims of support, awareness and research. For further information please visit alopecia.org.uk.

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