A tear-jerking video has captured the heartwarming moment when a woman with alopecia requested her boyfriend to shave her head after her hair began to fall out. However, her loving partner went one step further and shaved his head too in an act of solidarity.
Eva Barilaro, 23, from Monaco, was diagnosed with alopecia, an autoimmune disease, at the age of 13. The condition, which causes hair loss on the scalp, face, and sometimes other parts of the body, can develop among all ethnicities and can occur among both genders, according to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.
In May 2020, Barilaro’s hair began to fall out for the fourth time after she had spent a few months growing it. Barilaro asked her boyfriend, Damien Fabre, 26, to shave her head for the first time.
The firefighter was initially a bit reluctant as he felt that she already looked “too beautiful.” Eventually, he agreed to Barilaro’s request later as she couldn’t stand the thought of losing her hair even more.
The moving clip shows Barilaro seated as her boyfriend starts to carefully shave her head with a neighbor’s clipper. After thoroughly working on removing the strands of her hair, Fabre doesn’t put the clipper down but turns it toward his own head and begins to shave it.
Upon witnessing this touching gesture, Barilaro bursts into tears. Fabre told her that he was “just like you now” as she was startled at his supportive and unexpected gesture.
“My first reaction was to try to stick the fallen hair back on his head as I didn’t want him to be bald too,” an emotional Barilaro said. “But he had already drawn a highway in the middle of his head.”
The law student, who graduated from the Paris Institute of Political Studies, was so moved by it that she expressed her gratitude to Fabre that night.
“[W]hat he did was the best proof of his love for me,” Barilaro said. “I felt that from now I will never ever be alone. ...”
After the video was posted on TikTok, a lot of people reached out to Barilaro, who underwent four years of high-dosage cortisone treatment after she first got alopecia, comparing the results to chemotherapy. After seeing the video, Barilaro recalled that concerned netizens asked her how she felt, which made her a bit upset, as seeing herself bald in the mirror has become a “daily” reality.
However, Barilaro faces her everyday struggle with stride and never lets it dull her sparkle. “Indeed, I never stop smiling, I wear beautiful scarves or very natural wigs, it becomes normal for them... never for me,” Barilaro shared.
She emphasizes that though she is surrounded by people most of the time, she is always in front of the mirror by herself. Now, Barilaro is urging those with alopecia to come forward and speak about their struggles so that no one will ever feel lonely again, adding that everyone deserves to be heard.