Lili Reinhart is dealing with an underdiscussed hair issue: alopecia.
“Was just diagnosed with alopecia in the midst of a major depressive episode,” the Riverdale star wrote over a short clip of herself lip-syncing to a line about stress (“I’m being pushed beyond the limits of what a person should be pushed to endure”) while receiving red light therapy on her scalp on TikTok.
Reinhart did not say whether her alopecia was directly caused by her mental health issue, but the two are sometimes related. Per the Mayo Clinic, “a variety of factors are thought to cause alopecia areata, possibly including severe stress.” Alopecia is an autoimmune disease wherein a person’s body attacks its own healthy hair follicles. In addition to Reinhart, Congresswoman Ayanna Presley and actor Jada Pinkett Smith have also shared their experiences dealing with the emotional distress that often accompanies alopecia-related hair loss.
In the comments of the TikTok, so many people thanked Reinhart for spreading awareness and shared their own (mostly encouraging!) stories of dealing with the condition. “I got it randomly last November. Was completely healthy (but stressed as I was finishing my MA degree). Lost 30-40% of my hair density and have patches all around,” wrote one user. Added another, “lmk if it helps. going thru covid alopecia currently.” In 2021 lots of women started experiencing stress-related hair loss, which was seemingly intensified by a COVID-19 diagnosis.
But even before the pandemic, otherwise healthy women found themselves dealing with alopecia, including Ramy star May Calamawy, who ended up incorporating her bald patch into her character’s storyline.
This isn’t the first time Lili Reinhart has used a funny TikTok sound to deal with an annoying health condition. In September she was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance, which was especially disheartening because her “favorite food is bread.”
Wishing Reinhart a speedy recovery from her bout of alopecia, and an even speedier recover from her depressive episode. Or take it at your own pace; whatever you need! You got this, Lil!