Head to Head: A brand new movie explores how hair loss impacts girls

The characteristic documentary follows a number of girls’s experiences with hair loss and the way it impacts virtually each facet of their lives.

“I’ll by no means know the way little different folks take into consideration their hair—or how a lot different folks take into consideration their hair. All I do know is how usually I take into consideration mine.” So says a voiceover on the opening of Head to Head, a characteristic documentary exploring the hyperlinks between hair loss and psychological well being in girls. Whereas male sample baldness has been extensively mentioned and addressed, the affect of hair loss upon girls has solely develop into a matter of public discourse in recent times, thanks largely to well-known girls like Ayanna Pressley, Jada Pinkett Smith, and inside design maven Sheila Bridges, all of whom have disclosed their experiences with the autoimmune pores and skin illness alopecia areata.

Pictures: Leisure Studios

Alopecia areata can happen even in early childhood; nevertheless, feminine hair loss may result from quite a few elements, together with different varieties of alopecia (together with traction alopecia attributable to protecting types or chemical remedies), in addition to most cancers therapy, lupus, excessive stress or different genetic or medical elements. Head to Head addresses many of those circumstances, in addition to the ensuing points girls experiencing hair loss usually expertise.

As described in a synopsis:

HEAD TO HEAD is a touching and impactful documentary about six girls going through the trauma of hair loss who all should select to both cover the elephant within the room or reside outdoors the norms of magnificence. HEAD TO HEAD follows girls experiencing traumatic blows to their self-image after unexpectedly shedding their hair as a consequence of Alopecia, Lupus, or chemotherapy. Amongst them is the movie’s director (Andrea Alberti), who units out on a five-year journey to inform their tales whereas grappling along with her personal id and what it means to be genuine. Though every of the ladies expertise subsequent psychological well being, relationship, monetary, and social impacts, they individually cope and get well from these challenges in dramatically other ways. 

Credit score: Head to Head/Freestyle Digital Media

“I imagine an important aspect of getting this movie in entrance of viewers is to not create sympathy or merely inform others a few medical situation, however to permit viewers to see their very own emotions and struggles mirrored within the lives of those girls,” says filmmaker Alberti in an announcement supplied to theGrio. “Problems with feeling othered and wrestling with concepts of ‘authenticity’ and what it means to ‘be your self’ are common throughout marginalized teams of all types.” 

Whereas hair loss can have an effect on girls of any race, Black girls are particularly affected by alopecia. As reported by Refinery29, in the UK alone, the Nationwide Well being Companies has estimated 8 million girls expertise hair loss by the age of fifty, whereas Dr. Ifeoma Ejikeme, founder and medical director of London’s Adonia Medical Clinic, estimated virtually half of all Black girls will expertise some type of hair loss.

For any lady coping with hair loss, its impacts are way over bodily. In a world the place hair is commonly equated to femininity and desirability, there aren’t solely an absence of efficient remedies however the usually exorbitant prices of transplants and wigs could make it troublesome for ladies to entry the choices they could need to assist them keep away from the stigma of hair loss. “[T]he psychological well being results of alopecia I’ve on me had been extra detrimental than the alopecia itself,” one topic tearfully explains as she advocates for medical protection for wigs. One other merely asks: “What’s tougher? Being an individual with out hair, or attempting to move as an individual with hair?”

In all, Head to Head provides an intimate and emotional account of the deeper implications for hair loss in girls, reaching past headlines and aesthetics to discover problems with selfhood, shallowness, and self-advocacy within the face of uncontrollable circumstances. The documentary is a very poignant addition to Psychological Well being Consciousness Month, because it asks us to not solely take into account the fact the movie’s topics are coping with however our collectives attitudes about magnificence, femininity and price.

Distributed in North America by Freestyle Digital Media, the digital movie distribution division of Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group (mum or dad firm of theGrio), Head to Head is now out there to hire or obtain to personal on all cable, satellite tv for pc and digital platforms together with Apple, Amazon, AT&T U-verse, Comcast, DirecTV, and extra! For extra info, go to the Head to Head web site.

Maiysha Kai is Way of life Editor of theGrio, overlaying all issues Black and delightful. Her work is knowledgeable by twenty years’ expertise in trend and leisure, a love of nice books and aesthetics, and the indomitable brilliance of Black tradition. She can be a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and editor of the YA anthology Physique (Phrases of Change sequence).

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