Me and my son in the Austrian alps 2022.

All My Hair Fell Out

But it was my response to it that destroyed me.

Tim Rees
3 min readJan 11, 2023

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“You could be forgiven for thinking this is all centred around vanity, but the thing that crushed me was that it made me feel like a fraud.”

Three years ago my hair started falling out for the second time. In fact, I’d only had it all back for about 6 months before I got gut-punched standing before the mirror. “It’s not as bad as last time,” I said to myself.

But like an unstoppable rebel force (name the movie) my immune system killed my hair follicles and the hair dropped away like oak leaves in autumn, minus the orange. Alopecia Universalis, not a single hair remained on or in (I’m told) my body.

At the same time, the entire world went into lockdown and the corporate presenting side of my business died along with my self-esteem, my confidence and my monthly hairdressing appointment. There had never been a better time to hide.

You could be forgiven for thinking this is all centred around vanity, but the thing that crushed me was that it made me feel like a fraud. I was so embarrassed the thought of people discovering my secret presented as physical pain. Alopecia, one of the most visible autoimmune diseases one can have, undermined my work and, I thought, my credibility as a nutritionist helping people with autoimmune conditions.

But that’s not true. I’ve done amazing things with nutrition for myself and my clients. Until fairly recently I had lost my hearing to the point that I could no longer use the phone and was conducting sessions using Skype subtitles and talking non-stop in the hope I’d cover their questions before they thought them up. I have a whole list of reasons-why-I’m-not-a-fraud but I won’t bore you with them, after all, most of these insecurities are in my head.

But, here’s the thing. I think I can reverse this condition. Two years ago I stuck to my exclusion diet for four months by which time I had quite a lot of regrowth. Fluffy like a baby owl but still, living follicles. In fact, I remarked to my helpless doctor that I wasn’t worried about the hair, that it was coming back and all was fine. Ever the optimist. But after some bad luck, I began…

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Tim Rees

Registered clinical nutritionist. At war with autoimmunity. Diets & tips on website. The Nutrition Chronicles (Substack). Meat eater. Tim-Rees.com