In June 2015, 23-year-old Bree Morse was crowned Miss California, after a tenacious struggle versus many young hopefuls. She holds a series of other ‘Miss’ crowns, but set her sights on walking away with the Miss California title, and her determination and repeated attempts at the title finally paid off. She is now entering the prestigious Miss America competition, and is exceptionally proud of her achievements on her journey so far.
Bree’s success has given her an opportunity to showcase a charity that is close to her heart, and one that she enthusiastically supports, the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. This charity raises awareness of, and supports research and development into treatments for the condition alopecia areata. A type of hair loss.
Battle with hair loss
Last year Bree revealed that she was suffering with this rare hair loss condition. Alopecia areata can affect men or women, and is an auto-immune disease, meaning that it is caused by a malfunction in the immune system. For those who experience this type of alopecia, the body’s immune system makes an error of judgement, mistakenly attacking the hair follicles in the belief that they represent a threat to the body. The result of the attack is loss of hair due to shrinking hair follicles. In some people, this presents itself as bald patches, typically on the head, and in very severe cases, it can result in complete baldness.
Hair loss of any kind can be damaging to self-esteem and confidence – especially in the case of people like Bree, whose livelihood is in the public eye. Her decision to talk openly about her condition and to raise awareness through her support of the National Alopecia Areata Foundation is a step forward in terms of broadening people’s understanding of what it is like to suffer from alopecia.
What is the prognosis?
There is currently no cure for alopecia areata, often hair will grow back and the bald patches will disappear, but it is unpredictable. Sufferers are as likely to find that new patches arrive, and although there are some treatments, there is no permanent cure yet for this condition. One aggravating factor for this type of alopecia is stress, ironically. Although it is undoubtedly stressful losing patches of your hair, if you are under any form of additional stress and are noticing the tell-tale signs of this condition, then it is worth consulting your GP and looking at lifestyle choices to mitigate any additional stress wherever possible.