Photo provided by Brandon Robinson

Brandon Robinson tells us about being diagnosed with alopecia
and how he has handled the condition. Read on to learn about
the tools he uses to manage stress.

Describe how you reacted when you were diagnosed with
alopecia.

I kind of knew what the end result would be once I walked into
the doctor’s office. It was last summer and in between taping a
show in the studio I went to give blood. I was told that I had
alopecia areata, I had to get shots in my head to treat it. I
cried after my first session. Yes, 6-foot-5 big and bad; I
cried and I never came back. God bless the nurse —when she
finished, she apologized and ran off. I never saw her again.

What is the best piece of advice you would give someone
dealing with alopecia?

Don’t panic. Stress only makes it worse. Find people who share
a similar story and compare notes. A buddy of mine is in the
entertainment business and deals with the same issue. She’s
been encouraging. The other strong point is to own it when you
are ready. It took me a year to be open about it and it felt
good and it was genuinely a vehicle to inspire others.
Thankfully, it has!

What medication, if any, do you take for
alopecia?

Well, since I ran the nurse off that one time in the dermatologist’s office;
nothing. I am not a fan of that needle process. I’ve done scalp
massage therapy and have been seeking more natural treatments.
I have faith that my hair will grow back. I’ve also embraced
the bald look. Michael Jordan is my favorite athlete and
[being] bald is distinguished, so they say.

How do you manage?

Thankfully, the only place affected is my head and not my beard
or eyebrows. So I shave my head every other day. Exercise and
stress management is so important. Not taking that pressing
phone call, swimming laps, cooking in the kitchen, playing
video games, playing basketball and doing laundry are all
therapeutic in management.

What is the biggest misconception you’ve heard about
alopecia?

That it is contagious. It’s not. In all actuality, it is an
autoimmune disease with no
cure.
My family keeps both funny and interesting. One of my
uncles before knowing what it was told me I had a really bad
haircut. The running joke with some of my close friends is that
we recount that scene in Barbershop where the
character played by Cedric The Entertainer makes fun of the kid
who had a patch accidentally cut into his head and says that
the kid looks like a leopard. Humor makes things interesting
and creates awareness, however.

What is next for you? 

No formal plans yet. I recently chatted with NBA player Charlie
Villanueva about his condition and he shared with me how he
coped. He’ll be appearing on my Scoop B Radio Podcast to
discuss it soon. Stay tuned for that. I also met Dory Kranz,
CEO of the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. Hopefully, I
can learn more about the foundation, disease and be part of the
cause.

Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson is managing editor and a columnist
at RESPECT Magazine.

The sports and entertainment writer and personality has 20
years in the industry in radio, television and print.

Twitter: @ScoopB Instagram: @Scoop_B

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