Being bald, and proud

July 7, 2008 7:18:32 PM PDT
For men, being bald usually evokes some jokes. But for a woman, the toll is much more severe. Annette Moore of Northeat Philadelphia is trying to change that.

Hair is considered the crowning glory, especially for women.

Losing it can be devastating. One local woman who lost hers is trying to change attitudes, to help others see that bald can be beautiful too.

46-year-old Annette Moore's first hint of hair loss was a decade ago. At first, she didn't think much of it. She chalked it up to getting older or not eating right.

She camouflaged bald spots with hair weaves. Then one day last year, while in the shower she realized the problem was worse than she thought... She noticed a lot of hair going down the drain.

Annette says, "I panicked, and went to the mirror, and lifted my hair, or cornrows, from this point forward, all the way to here."

Annette learned from a dermatologist she had alopecia, a form of hair loss.

Hair loss in men is largely genetic.

In women, it often has a combination of causes: hormonal shifts such as childbirth, menopause, or even starting a new birth control pill, are the most common cause.

Thyroid problems, autoimmune diseases like lupus, and even hair grooming can also be factors.

Dr. Glen Crawford, the chief of dermatology at Pennsylvania Hospital, says, "Dyeing the hair too frequently or using chemical or heat straighteners too frequently, or excessive braiding or tightening of the hair can cause hair to shed, or fall out."

In those cases, at least some hair grows back.

For Annette, the loss was permanent, however, and that sent her over an emotional edge.

She told Action News, "I fell into a very, very deep depression and it affected everything from my work, my family life, my marriage, my relationship with my children, my friends."

But Michael Moore says his wife is beautiful, with or without hair.

It hurts him see what she faces and says it's nothing like the good-natured kidding he got for shaving his own head bald.

Annette says, "People laughed at me, people called me names."

Michael adds, "I see the stares. It's very hard for me."

Over time, Annette got angry. "This is ridiculous. One day, I said - there's more to me than my hair."

So as a computer specialist at the Wolf Block law firm, she decided to reach out across familiar territory - the internet.

Her website, Crowned Regal-dot-com, gets hundreds of visits a month.

And her YouTube videos had 25-thousand viewers in their first 5 months. Annette says sharing her story has helped her heal. And now it's helping other women suffering like she did


Annette, "I realized they were looking at me, and saying, you're helping me just by showing these images of yourself in a positive light as a bald person."