Baring it all

Portraits of women with alopecia capture a side “invisible” to others

Photographer Christopher Soeder set out to photograph women with alopecia, but didn’t know where to begin. He started taking photos with the women wearing their wigs but realized that the most powerful images of his subjects came when the artificial heads of hair were removed. His “Unfading” series of portraits, as reported by CNN, captures the powerful beauty of the women who suffer from the autoimmune disease, that attacks hair follicles and affects 147 million people worldwide. “I was really happy for people to trust me to do this,” said Soeder, whose subjects were photographed in the United Kingdom. “They were showing an identity that is completely invisible to other people.”

Alopecia works in different ways for different people: some lose their hair and eyebrows, some go bald in patches before hair grows back again. Aside from hair loss, those with alopecia are completely healthy. The disease, however, “really seems like a threat to their sense of identity,” Soeder said. Taking these portraits helped some of the women push back against that feeling, he said.

Read the full story at CNN.


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