Lena Dunham reveals she shaved her head due to hair loss caused by autoimmune disease

'Bald is f***ing beautiful', says actor

Sarah Young
Monday 24 February 2020 08:17
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Lena Dunham makes catwalk debut at London Fashion Week

Lena Dunham has opened up about suffering from hair loss, three months after revealing she has Ehler-Danlos syndrome (EDS).

Dunham said her hair loss had been caused by an autoimmune disease but did not disclose the name of the condition.

In an emotional post to her Instagram on Sunday, the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star revealed the reason she decided to shave her head in 2017.

“Two and a half years ago, I shaved my head,” Dunham wrote alongside a photo of her smiling and wearing her now-long hair.

“Not in a fun sassy way but in a ‘my hair is all falling out from my autoimmune disease, better rush to the nearest barber shop and pay them 7 bucks to do this’ way.”

Dunham continued by explaining that she didn’t have many answers about the condition at the time and was scared how people would react to her shaving her head.

“I also didn’t know how to express my fear to the people around me so they just thought, ‘there goes Lena getting another erratic hair cut, just like she has every week since she was seven and cut her own baby bangs with crafting scissors’,” she wrote.

The 33-year-old added that she believes being “bald is f***ing beautiful” before criticising those who promote hair growth products such as “gummies” and use of hair extensions.

In conclusion to the emotional post, Dunham said that her hair growing has been “a living metaphor” over the last few years.

"All I did was leave it alone and something I had lost all of came back to be,” she wrote.

“I’ll carry that knowledge forward and then, you know what? I’ll probably shave my head again. Just for fun, this time.”

The post has since garnered more than 38,000 likes and been flooded with comments from people with similar experiences.

“I also have alopecia and I find this so incredibly inspiring! I think about shaving my hair too sometimes to just gain control,” one person wrote.

Another added: “Ugh I’m also losing my hair in clumps from my autoimmune disorder. It’s such a scary feeling that people don’t understand unless it’s happened to them.”

Meanwhile, a third person simply wrote: “Yes loving this post and the message!”

In November 2019, Dunham first opened up about her Ehler-Danlos syndrome diagnosis by sharing a paparazzi photo of herself walking with a cane.

According to the NHS, EDS is a group of rare inherited conditions that affect connective tissue, with symptoms including an increased range of joint movement and fragile skin that breaks or bruises easily.

The Girls star accompanied the image with a lengthy caption explaining that she was “not embarrassed” by her appearance.

“I could choose to be embarrassed by these paparazzi pics – I mean, that’s probably the point of someone publishing them in the first place – but I’m really not,” she wrote.

“I could lie and say it was an early Halloween look (Don’t you get it? I’m going as a con woman leaving a Florida Keys jail after being acquitted of murdering her husband, and now she’s trying to get disability license plates).

“But the truth is just: This is what life is like when I’m struggling most with chronic illness.”

This article was amended on 8 October 2021 to clarify that Ms Dunham had said her hair loss was due to an autoimmune disease, and not her EDS as was previously stated.

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