Do you recognise the name Anthony Carrigan? Perhaps if you were watching TV? Well even then maybe not! As an up-and-coming actor, and now current star on "Gotham' Anthony has been popping up in primetime TV dramas for the past few years not, but it wasn't until recently that this occurred while looking and feeling like himself. Anthony has now opened up about his struggle with the hair loss condition known as alopecia areata and how things have changed for him both personally and professionally.
Anthony has been battling alopecia areata since the age of three; but growing up with it was always quite manageable for him. He only had relatively small hair loss patches that were very easy to conceal. However this did not stop him from being extremely embarrassed about his condition. Keeping it well under wraps, even in his 20s, very few of Anthony's friends knew he had alopecia areata or that he was experiencing hair loss at all. "I didn't want to let anyone know and I didn't want it to affect my career or the possibility of me getting hired for a job." So Anthony covered up his hair loss for as long as he could, finished school, got some good jobs, but by then the extent of his hair loss was only getting worse.
At one stage Anthony was working on a job with a viewership of millions every week. He was working on TV all the while having lost half the hair on his scalp, both eyebrows and the majority of his eyelashes. Anthony covered this all up in order to look like his character. "It was pretty terrifying to have to keep that secret and pretend like I looked this way, that I looked normal when I just didn't'
Many people in Anthony's life told him to hide his condition; but Anthony go to the point where he didn't care anymore.
"I wanted to just feel OK with the way that I looked so I shaved my head and I stopped wearing makeup."
The most important thing was that he felt so empowered to not have to hide anymore, to own the way that he looked and to feel really good about it.
Making the hair loss decision that's right for you
Anthony has talked a lot about not using hair pieces, wigs, or wearing makeup to give him eyebrows but he fully encourages people, if it makes them feel more like themselves, to do exactly that, and do whatever it takes for them to feel comfortable in their own skin. "Anything that makes you feel more like you, go for it. I don't want anyone, whether its people with alopecia or whatever body image issues they're struggling with, I don't want anyone to feel like they have to be ashamed or that they have to cover up something that they're ashamed of.'