Annette Duran
  • Female
  • Los Angeles
  • United States
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I have had alopecia for about 8 yrs now. It all began my Junior year of high school. My hair line started to rise from the back of my head. I was a cheerleader and we had to wear our hair in super high, super tight ponytails, so I figured that was the problem. But then the bald spot just kept getting bigger. For the rest of that year and the next I wore my hair in a half ponytail to pep rallys and games to conceal the bald spots.
It wasn't until my senior year that I was diagnosed with AA and even then I payed no attention because I thought it would just grow back. Slowly but surely my hair started to thin.
By 2002 I was doing musical theatre and I was getting bald spots in the front part of my scalp. My mother, who is a seamstress would make me gorgeous headbands that I would strategically place to hide the spots.
Then a year later my eyebrows started to thin. I remember I had just done a show where I had to wear these leaf looking eyebrows as part of my costume. Since my eyebrows started to go right after that show I thought maybe it was just the glue that made my brows temporarly fall, but then my eyelashes went too.
I went to the dermatologist for the second time and they said I now had Alopecia Universalis. For my next show I wore my first wig and at the end of that show I just kept the wig on.
I began treatment which included getting steroid shots on my head and eyebrows (PAINFUL), and I can tolerate pain. And at the same time I was doing phototherapy which involved me standing in a suntan booth looking cubicle daily. I had to cover every-part of my body except my head, and it was hot. My Photo-therapist Alice was so sweet and supportive.
That treatment did not work. They began to give me the pill form of steroids. And I actually got results, but the symptoms were horrible.... I was always hungry, grumpy, and I gained lots of weight. The wight was not an issue but I felt so unhealthy. I had trouble breathing and my face was constantly swollen. I was still dancing in college but I was so tired I could't keep up. So I decided to stop the pills.
I never felt weird about having Alopecia, I just hated the stares. They were just too questioning. At that time I also worked with kids and that was hard because I didn't want to have to explain it to them. I didn't know how.I felt as if people either knew it was a wig or they didn't. If they assumed it was my hair I felt as if I was lying to them. I couldn't complain, my other health was fine and the disease is not deadly. I hate having to draw my eyebrows every single morning.
8 years later I am just now starting to be open with myself that I have alopecia. This semester was the first time I said out loud in a big group of people and it felt good!
I am a full time television production student that enjoys doing dance and theatre on the side. My friends and family have always been very supportive, especially my sister. Even though I have comfortably adjusted to life with alopecia, I am just now realizing that it is easier to say it out loud. I am actually working on a PSA project for class on Alopecia because I think people with AA need to know that there are support systems out there. I haven't been to any but that will change real soon.
Do you have alopecia?
Alopecia universalis
Are you age 18 or older?
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Annette Duran's Blog

Alopecia PSA Project. Want to raise awareness?

Posted on September 11, 2008 at 5:22pm 0 Comments

Hey AW,

My name is Annette and I am studying TV Production at Cal State Northridge in Los Angeles. I have had Alopecia for 8 years now and my idea to make a PSA to support Alopecia was picked as a class project. This project means the word to me because it can help so many Alopecians that don't know that there are support systems out there. The scheduled shooting day is Friday, Sept. 26 from 3pm-7ish. Please if you are in the Los Angeles area and want to help respond or email me @…

Alopecians in Los Angeles needed for college project TV PSA.

Posted on September 4, 2008 at 1:30am 1 Comment

Hello Fellow Alopecians,

My name is Annette and I have had alopecia for over 8 yrs. I am very new to AlopeciaWorld and love the support I am getting. I am a full time Television Production student at Cal State University Northridge and I working on a short Public Service Announcement for a class project. I need a few people with alopecia as on camera talent for my project as it deals with Alopecia and support for Alopecia. Please contact me if you are interested for more details. It would… Continue

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At 11:22am on January 4, 2009, Alexandra Youmazzo said…
Hey Annette, We were wondering if we could get a copy of the PSA Project that you did with Alex in it? We were interested to see how it came out.
Cezanne Youmazzo
At 6:54pm on October 3, 2008, Tina said…
Love the profile pic! ;)
At 2:14am on October 3, 2008, JayB said…
I'm literally melting in Hollywood, a chocolate star on the Hollywood walk of fame, lol.
At 8:10pm on October 1, 2008, JayB said…
Don't be sneaky changing pictures! What's up, hit me back on your project.
At 3:58pm on September 14, 2008, Georgia Van C said…
Hi Annette - sorry for the delayed response I have been on tour and just got this. If it i not too late I would love to be part of your project!
Let me know what you need and I'll be there!
Huge smiles,
At 2:35pm on September 12, 2008, JayB said…
Your strength is admirable.
At 8:11am on September 8, 2008, Alexandra Youmazzo said…
At 12:33am on September 8, 2008, Alexandra Youmazzo said…
Hello Annette,
MY daughter Alex has Alopecia universalis. She is eight years old. We live in Valencia, Ca. If you could use her let us know.
At 10:53am on September 7, 2008, Mary said…
Hi Annette! Isn't Alopecia World great! Good luck with your project! Mary
At 4:35pm on September 3, 2008, Veronica said…
Love you baby sista.


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