Louis Theroux Shares Sad Health Update: ‘Nature Has Played A Cruel Trick On Me’

Louis Theroux has uploaded a photo of his beard, revealing that he has alopecia barbae.
Credit: @officiallouistheroux/Instagram & Alamy

Louis Theroux has shared a sad health update with fans as he says ‘nature has played a cruel trick on me’. 

Theroux, 53, is an award-winning British-American journalist famous for hosting quirky documentaries including Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends and When Louis Met…

Now he has taken to Instagram to reveal he’s been diagnosed with a medical condition.

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In a candid social media post, the 53-year-old shared that he’s struggling with the autoimmune alopecia barbae.

Theroux writes: “Nature has played a cruel trick on me.

“Thanks to my alopecia barbae (‘of the beard’) I can now only grow a weird little Hitler moustache.

“This is what I look like after three days of not shaving.

“I have given up on my beard ever growing back to its luxuriant former glory but is too much to ask for it to ALL fall out instead of having a tiny remnant in a potentially offensive configuration?

“And now a bald patch has appeared on the back of my head making me wonder if my proper hair-hair might be next to go.

“In two years or less, I may be bald! [sigh].”

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Alopecia barbae is a specific form of alopecia which affects the beard. Healthline says it usually begins with a small circular bald spot.

The exact cause is unknown, however, psychological and physical stresses are often linked.

Genetics can also play a part, as it’s more common in those related to someone with alopecia, asthma or allergies.

Theroux first suspected that he had alopecia barbae at the beginning of this year.

Louis Theroux
Louis Theroux has revealed he has alopecia of the beard. Credit: @officiallouistheroux/Instagram

He posted a series of images documenting the ‘little triangle of stubble around my mouth’.

The journalist revealed that it had first started in 2022, adding: “So this is what my beard grows like now due to what I think is probably alopecia.

“Basically, I get a little triangle of stubble around my mouth and some more at the sides.

“It’s not a big deal, but I don’t want people to think I’m doing something creative with my facial hair and doing it badly, when it’s just what I look like when I don’t shave.

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“This is also why I don’t wear a beard as much anymore. Maybe it’ll grow back. Who knows? It mainly happened over the course of 2022.

“You get a sense of how it progressed from the other two photos taken six months before and a year before.”

Theroux has been inundated with support from fans after sharing his diagnosis.

One fan writes: “You will always be a treat for the eyes. Please don’t hide away behind a podcast, you are far too talented and loved. Hair, no hair, you are defined by your genius, not your appearance.”

Another adds: “Hair or no hair – you’re awesome – your shows are awesome.”

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Written by Aimee Walker

Aimee is a senior content editor at IGV who specialises in finding the best original stories, trending topics and entertainment news. She graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Media and Communications.