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New Yorker Thea Chassin is founder of Bald Girls Do Lunch, a nonprofit for women with baldness caused by alopecia areata. The organization will hold a luncheon for women the condition at noon on Aug. 5 at the downtown Market Street Grill (48 W. Market St.). Make reservations at

Alopecia areata affects 4 million men, women and children? What causes it?
We’re either genetically programmed to have it or not. No cure in sight, but some treatments work for some people though they’re not always tolerable and long-term risks are unknown. Hair can regrow but it can also fall out again.

How did you react to losing your hair?
I was in shock at the start as it falls out so fast. I amassed a large collection of hats and scarves. Now I go bald, especially in hot weather, too.

What does hair mean in our society? Are we our hair?
Hair is equated with sexuality. I’ve learned that there are a lot of men who adore a smooth woman, so who needs hair?

How do men respond to female baldness?
Men seem to fall into two categories. They love women with long hair or no hair. We just wish they would identify themselves more easily.

“At least you don’t have to worry about bad hair days.” What other weird things do people say?
“If my head was as beautifully shaped as yours, I would never cover it up.” Who knew?

{::INSERTAD::}How much do you think you save not having to have your hair styled, buying products, etc.
I love the aroma of shampoo and still use a ton of it. Wigs take a lot of shampoo and conditioner, too. The savings after the cost of good wigs is not as much as you would think.

What is your definition of beauty?
Personality is more important. Nuff said.
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