Sunday , February 25 2024

Louis Theroux reveals he’s considering a major step to ‘continue his career’ after losing his eyebrows to a health condition

Louis Theroux has revealed he’s considering getting his expressive eyebrows tattooed to save his career after losing them during his battle with alopecia.

The documentary maker, 53, has long been known for his animated facial expressions, but has turned to Instagram to advice after being diagnosed with the health condition.

Louis pleaded for suggestions from his followers to try and hide the signs of the condition, with the hair loss already noticeable through a snap of his balding brows. 

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair to fall out, often in clumps the size and shape of a 50p coin.

The amount of hair loss can vary, some lose it in a small areas while others have large patches of baldness. The hair can grow back but sometimes falls out again. 

Louis Theroux has revealed he's considering getting his eyebrows tattooed (pictured earlier this month)

The star shared he's lost much of his eyebrows during a battle with alopecia (pictured in 2015)

Louis Theroux has revealed he’s considering getting his eyebrows tattooed after losing them during his battle with alopecia (left earlier this month, and right in 2015)

The documentary maker has long been known for his animated facial expressions, but has turned to Instagram for advice after being diagnosed with the health condition

The documentary maker has long been known for his animated facial expressions, but has turned to Instagram for advice after being diagnosed with the health condition

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair to fall out, often in clumps the size and shape of a 50p coin

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair to fall out, often in clumps the size and shape of a 50p coin 

Louis shared a snap of his famous eyebrows, along with the caption: ‘I’d like to know how I’m supposed to continue a career based largely on raising and lowering different eyebrows without any eyebrows!’ 

He added: ‘Alopecia. I’m seriously thinking of getting them tattooed back on but it feels like a big step! Thoughts?’

Fans were quick to offer kind words of advice for Louis, with many sharing their own alopecia struggles. 

It comes after Louis shared on social media back in August that ‘new bald patches’ were appearing, and he was still struggling to regrow his beard.

He said: ‘Alopecia update (try to remain calm!): new bald patches are appearing in my ‘top hair’ (the hair on top of my head) BUT I can now grow a weird straggly and rather sparse white beard. So that’s something. 

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‘And there are some tiny patches of regrowth on my eyebrow. FWIW I’ve been taking vitamin D, iron, and something called biotin. Is it helping? Who knows?’

In July he first shared that he was starting to lose his eyebrows, writing: ‘Oh jeez it looks like the alopecia has migrated up to my eyebrow. 

‘I realise you aren’t all awaiting every update on its progress but I want people to acclimatise to the new partially depilated me and not freak everyone out by suddenly appearing in public like a half-plucked elephant bird with no forewarning.

It comes after Louis shared on social media back in August that 'new bald patches' were appearing, and he was still struggling to regrow his beard

It comes after Louis shared on social media back in August that ‘new bald patches’ were appearing, and he was still struggling to regrow his beard

He wrote at the time that he was taking supplements in the hope that it would encourage his hair to grow back

He wrote at the time that he was taking supplements in the hope that it would encourage his hair to grow back

In July he first shared that he was starting to lose his eyebrows, writing: 'I'd really like to keep my eyebrows, but it's out of my hands at this point'

In July he first shared that he was starting to lose his eyebrows, writing: ‘I’d really like to keep my eyebrows, but it’s out of my hands at this point’

In June, Louis admitted that he had given up on any hopes of being able to grow a full beard again, telling his followers that he would rather it 'all fall out'

In June, Louis admitted that he had given up on any hopes of being able to grow a full beard again, telling his followers that he would rather it ‘all fall out’

Louis questioned whether he had developed alopecia after losing all of his facial hair in January

He shared a snap comparing his sparse beard with full growth six months ago

Louis questioned whether he had alopecia after losing all of his facial hair in January (left), sharing a snap comparing his sparse beard with full growth six months ago (right)

Louis shared his hopes that his facial hair would grow back, after only being able to grow a 'triangle of stubble round his mouth'

Louis shared his hopes that his facial hair would grow back, after only being able to grow a ‘triangle of stubble round his mouth’

‘So this is where we’re at. I’d really like to keep my eyebrows, but it’s out of my hands at this point… tho I have started taking vitamin d and something called biotin.’ 

In June, Louis admitted that he had given up on any hopes of being able to grow a full beard again, telling his followers that that he would rather it ‘all fall out’ instead of being left with small patches. 

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He said: ‘Nature has played a cruel trick on me. Thanks to my alopecia barbae (‘of the beard’) I can now only grow a weird little Hitler moustache. This is what I look like after three days not shaving. 

‘I have given up on my beard ever growing back to its luxuriant former glory but is too much to ask for it to ALL fall out instead of having a tiny remnant in a potentially offensive configuration? 

‘And now a bald patch has appeared on the back of my head making me wonder if my proper hair-hair might be next to go. In two years or less I may be bald! [sigh].’

Louis first questioned whether he had developed alopecia after losing all of his facial hair in January.

Sharing snaps of his changing beard, he wrote: ‘So this is what my beard grows like now due to what I think is probably alopecia.’

‘Basically I get a little triangle of stubble around my mouth and some more at the sides. 

‘It’s not a big deal, but I don’t want people to think I’m doing something creative with my facial hair and doing it badly, when it’s just what I look like when I don’t shave.

‘This is also why I don’t wear a beard as much anymore. Maybe it’ll grow back. Who knows?

‘It mainly happened over the course of 2022. You get a sense of how it progressed from the other two photos taken six months before and a year before.’

In recent years, Louis has fronted a brand new series of celebrity interviews, with names including Joan Collins, Rita Ora and Anthony Joshua.

In August, he said that the TV industry’s fear of causing offence has led to an ‘atmosphere of anxiety’ and ‘less confident’ programming.

Giving a keynote speech at the Edinburgh Television Festival, the BBC documentary star also took aim at the corporation as he accused it of seeking to ‘play it safe’ and ‘avoid the difficult subjects’. 

While Theroux is best known for his 2000 special on paedophile celebrity Jimmy Savile, his other documentary subjects have included the Church of Scientology, neo-Nazis, crystal meth, plastic surgery and America’s notorious San Quentin prison.

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Addressing an audience of broadcast professionals in his prestigious speech, he spoke about a new focus in television that was ‘more thoughtful about representation, about who gets to tell what story, about power and privilege, about the need not to want only give offence’.

But while saying he was personally ‘fully signed up to that agenda’, he added: ‘I wonder if there is something else going on as well.

‘That the very laudable aims of not giving offence have created an atmosphere of anxiety that sometimes leads to less confident, less morally complex filmmaking.’

He added that a potential knock-on effect was that ‘programmes about extremists and sex workers and paedophiles might be harder to get commissioned’.

WHAT IS ALOPECIA?

Alopecia, which causes baldness, is thought to be an autoimmune disorder. The immune system – the body’s defense system – turns on itself.

What are the symptoms?

‘Typically, one or more small bald patches, about the size of a 50p piece, appear on the scalp. The hair can start to regrow at one site, while another bald patch develops. Hair may also begin to thin all over the head,’ says Marilyn Sherlock, chairman of the Institute of Trichologists. 

What causes it?

‘For some reason, the body’s immune system begins to attack its own hair follicles. Special white blood cells in the body, known as T-lymphocytes, cause the hair to stop growing,’ she adds.

Can worry make it worse?

Stress has been shown to prolong the problem. 

Is it an inherited condition?

There is strong evidence to suggest that alopecia, like other auto-immune diseases, runs in families. About 25 per cent of patients have a family history of the disorder. 

Who gets it?

Alopecia areata usually affects teenagers and young adults, but it can affect people of any age. It is just as common among men as women. 

Is there a cure?

There is no known cure, although there are various treatments which may be effective for some people.

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