Beauty

Selma Blair has shaved her head, and the reason why is so powerful

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Kayleigh Dray
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Selma Blair shaved her head with the help of her 7-year-old son – and the photo quickly made waves on Instagram.

Selma Blair shaved her head with the help of her 7-year-old son – and the photo quickly made waves on Instagram.

“I am disabled,” Selma Blair announced when she went public with her multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis last October.

“I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken GPS. But, we are doing it. And I laugh and I don’t know exactly what I will do precisely but I will do my best.”

Since then, Blair has been incredibly candid about the realities of living with MS. She walked with a cane at the Oscars, significantly raising awareness of the condition. She posted a series of lighthearted videos to Instagram, in which she explained how MS has affected the way she applies make-up (“my fine motor skills aren’t, like, fine at this moment,” she joked during her tutorial). She cut her hair into a bob because she no longer has the strength to lift her arms and brush her hair.

And now, with a little help from seven-year-old son Arthur, Blair has shaved her head.

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Taking to Instagram to share an artistic photo of her new pixie haircut, Blair explained that she was going “back to my roots” – referring to the brunette pixie cut she wore during the early Noughties.

“Zen barber who still says butthole whenever given an opportunity,” she added of her son.

“I love him.”

During a previous interview with Vanity Fair, Blair said that MS had changed the way she looks and sounds – so much so that it had, at first, impacted her relationship with her son.

“He wants to be closer to my body more, and I can tell he wants to make sure I’m still here inside,” she said of Arthur at the time.

“I used to be so athletic with him,” she added. “Now I fall in front of him.

“There’s a humility and a joy I have now, albeit a fatigued joy.”

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Blair, whose films include blockbusters Legally Blonde and The Sweetest Thing, was diagnosed with MS in August 2018. However, she has been suffering symptoms of the disease for years.

She says she was “never taken seriously” by doctors until she collapsed in front of one while struggling with what she thought was a trapped nerve (in fact, it was caused by brain lesions picked up by a subsequent MRI scan). 

MS is an incurable condition affecting the brain or spinal cord, causing vision, balance and muscle problems. It’s most commonly diagnosed in people in their 20s to 30s (although it can develop at any age) – and it’s about two to three times more common in women than men.

However, much like many other “invisible” diseases, MS is rarely discussed openly. And this is despite the fact that an estimated 2.3 million people live with MS around the world.

“I’m pretty much a nobody in Hollywood,” Blair said previously. “But when I read comments on Instagram from people who were suffering, whether it was from MS, or anything, I thought, there’s a need for honesty about being disabled from someone recognisable.”

She added: “I am in the thick of it but I hope to give some hope to others, and even to myself. You can’t get help unless you ask.”

Do you or a loved one suffer from MS? Seek help and support with MS Society now.

Image: Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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