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