“Who’s in the driver’s seat? If women with alopecia areata are going to live successful and contented lives, shouldn’t they be holding the wheel? Meeting other women with the same condition is one of the most effective and easy ways to ease the emotional burden and strengthen personal resilience.”Thea Chassin, Founder of Bald Girls Do Lunch
Thea Chassin has had alopecia areata (universalis) since 1997 and has extensive experience as a support leader and spokesperson for the condition. A self-described “Energizer Bunny,” she has been a tireless advocate for the millions of people that have faced this diagnosis.
She holds degrees in health fields from both the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and New York University, and has a life-long dedication to quality of life issues. As a physical therapist and later as a lighting designer improving visual environments, Thea brings forward thinking and solution-oriented skills to the everyday challenges of alopecia areata. At the same time, she acknowledges that unique circumstances influence each person’s individual situation.
As for her own alopecia journey, since her diagnosis, Thea had two brief episodes of a single, localized patch of alopecia areata a decade apart which resolved quickly. Since that time, she’s had near total loss of scalp hair and eyebrows without regrowth and intermittent loss of eyelashes. And there is no one else in her family with the condition.
After her diagnosis, she began participating in alopecia support groups with men, women and children throughout the state of New York. It was during that time that she saw how many women would shy away from a formal discussion group, but were eager to get together over an informal lunch. And Thea recognized from listening to women like herself in the US, Canada and from as far away as Spain and Australia that while millions of women around the world have alopecia areata, too many of them feel completely alone with it.
Thea soon saw a gap that she could fill. In 2007, Bald Girls Do Lunch was created as the first non-profit support organization devoting all its resources to the emotional and practical needs of women with alopecia areata.
It is Thea’s absolute belief and driving force that no woman should ever feel alone with this condition. She has heard and experienced first-hand the common themes of worry and self-consciousness, and she understands the inevitable evolution that women of all ages go through to live with the challenges of this condition. Meeting other women with the same condition is one of the most effective and easy ways to ease the emotional burden and strengthen personal resilience.
At a grassroots level, Thea has created a supportive, empowered community that helps women understand their options so they can choose what works best for them. And on a more societal level, she’s devoted breaking down the taboos about it being okay for men to be bald but not women as well as advocating for treatments and legislation.
Thea Chassin is the person that women with alopecia areata need as a friend, supporter and champion.
For media interview requests, please email: PublicAffairs@baldgirlsdolunch.org