"Red light therapy is my new best friend," the 'Riverdale' star said
On Monday, the 27-year-old actress posted a TikTok video while she was undergoing red light therapy and shared that she “was just diagnosed with alopecia in the midst of a major depressive episode.”
In the clip, the Riverdale star — who has been open about her mental health journey and battle with depression and anxiety — lip synced over audio of a man saying, “I’m pushed beyond the limits of what a person should be pushed to endure.”
“Red light therapy is my new best friend #alopecia #mentalhealth,” Reinhart captioned the post.
According to the National Institute of Health, alopecia occurs when “the immune system attacks hair follicles and causes hair loss.” It usually affects the head and face, with the most common type being “patchy alopecia areata,” where a person develops coin-sized bald spots on the scalp or elsewhere. But more severe cases can cause hair loss all over the body.
The cause of the condition is unknown and it affects as many as 6.7 million people in the U.S. alone, the National Alopecia Areata Foundation reports.
Red light therapy is promoted as a treatment for common skin conditions and is said to improve hair growth in people with androgenic alopecia, according to Cleveland Clinic.
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In the comments section of her video, Reinhart was praised for sharing her alopecia diagnosis and received well wishes from her fans.
“Thank you for using your platform to bring awareness to this. I have alopecia and my health and depression make it worse. sending love ❤️,” one person wrote while another follower added, “I’m so sorry you’re going through this! I’ve had alopecia for the last 2 years and know all too well how it feels. Hugs to you💜”
Alopecia is a common condition that can be psychologically tough on sufferers. Jada Pinkett Smith, in particular, has been vocal about how she's struggled with her hair loss over the last few years, saying in 2018 that it "was terrifying" when it first started.
"I was in the shower one day and had just handfuls of hair in my hands and I was just like, 'Oh my God, am I going bald?'" she said. "It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking in fear. That's why I cut my hair, and why I continue to cut it.”
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