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Too hot for wigs: bald women go natural in Nevada

06
Aug '08
Sweltering under wigs unable to grow hair, women are turning to Bald Girls Do Lunch for cool options and warm hearts. So, Bald Girls Do Lunch, a not-for-profit organization, is bringing women with alopecia areata together for the first time in Nevada.

The August 15 Las Vegas event is a 6:30 p.m. dinner at Suede, 160 E. Flamingo Rd. in the Westin Casuarina Hotel.

At lunches and dinners like these Thea Chassin, founder and president, meets women who are yearning to say, "I have alopecia, so what!" when it comes to alopecia areata, an autoimmune hair-loss condition.

"Secrecy severely limits a woman's lifestyle options," says Chassin. "The key to living happily is talking openly and feeling in control. Family and friends mean well, but it's a relief to talk to someone like myself who understands the challenges."

According to Chassin, when everyone at the table shares the same condition, strong bonds and self-esteem are built. The lively discussions cover situations as wide ranging as dating, business meetings, alternatives to wigs and physical activities.

But the overall goal of the organization is promoting individual choice and comfort. Women of all ages adorned with wigs and hats come to the events, and some even debut their bald look.

Given this cool advice, Bald Girl events are gaining momentum nationwide. In 28 cities and 14 states, women have gotten together for support by breaking down the taboos surrounding female baldness.

Meeting in public helps counter the belief that every bald woman has cancer, Chassin believes. Unable to grow or sustain hair on their scalps and sometimes even brows and eyelashes people with alopecia areata are actually in good health.

Alopecia areata affects men, women and children of all ages approximately 5 million people in the U.S. Characterized by smooth, round bald patches, it can progress to complete hair loss that includes all body hair.

Some treatments work for some people, but there is no cure. Alopecia areata is highly unpredictable, may have a genetic predisposition and can appear at any time of life.

Bald Girls Do Lunch, a 501c3 public charity, was founded by Thea Chassin in New York. Her degree in physical therapy from Columbia University brings both scientific and humanistic skills to her work with women.

She saw that women crave fun and stimulating chats over coffee or lunch to share information. She credits the uplifting, women-only format for conquering feelings of aloneness.

Bald Girls Do Lunch Inc


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