Why Ashley Tisdale Decided to Share Her 10-Year Alopecia Journey

Ashley Tisdale admits there are days she can't even with social media, but when it allows her to share personal, relatable stories, she tells E! News, "that's what I love to do."

By Sarah Grossbart Mar 09, 2023 11:00 AMTags
Watch: Ashley Tisdale Shares Hair Loss Struggle From Alopecia

Sometimes the Internet is truly a force for good. Like the time Ashley Tisdale reminded the world—and her 15.6 million Instagram followers—that we're all in this together. 

In January, she decided to share her decade-long battle with alopecia on her wellness site Frenshe because, as the actress explained in an exclusive interview with E! News, "I love to connect with people and make them feel less alone in their journey." 

The High School Musical alum—mom to 23-month-old daughter Jupiter with husband Christopher French—had created the health and beauty platform to detail "my journey through living a cleaner lifestyle and my mental health," she continued. "It's allowed me to be vulnerable and to share these things."

The naked truth, as she'd revealed, is that she'd suffered from largely stress-induced hair loss for "probably seven to 10 years," the 37-year-old told E!. "And it's something that no one's known about. So I loved being able to be open about it."

High School Musical Cast: Where Are They Now?

Having written about discovering bald patches and the anxiety it caused (plus the treatments she'd turned to, including a process that involved microneedling her scalp), "the response was wild," Tisdale recalled. And not just the messages and comments that came pouring in from fans. 

"I saw so many different outlets doing things on alopecia, which I thought was amazing, too," she said. "I always want to make someone feel less alone in their journey. So it's just nice to share these things. And that's what I love to do with social media."

Adrian Martin

But, at other times, social media can feel like it's heavier on the trolls than the double taps. 

Which is why when the actress stashed her iPhone away for five days ahead of National Day of Unplugging, she emerged with both a finally organized storage unit and a sunnier outlook on life. 

As challenging as it was (UScellular has some tips on going analog for their challenge, Phones Down for 5), "the benefits of putting my phone down for five days and becoming way more present with my family was so helpful for my mental health," Tisdale shared. "I just felt so much pressure come off of me." 

And, not going to lie, getting a break from the constant scrolling was pretty nice. 

"Recently, TikTok has been one that flares my anxiety," she admitted. "There's such fun stuff that I love about TikTok, but then there's a lot of scary stuff and negative and toxic stuff. You just get drawn into it. And then you realize you're an hour into this TikTok situation and you're like, 'What am I doing?' It's nice to be free of that and to just be in the moment more because you really feel less pressure, you feel happier." 

Though even on those evenings when her For You Page sucks her in, Tisdale is still feeling pretty freaking great

Set to celebrate Jupiter's second birthday March 23, Tisdale admitted, "I didn't feel actually myself until recently, until the last couple of months. It's taken two years." 

She expected to feel more like her former self when Jupiter blew out the candles on her first cake. Instead, she found herself struggling to figure out why everything felt just...off. 

"I was suffering from really bad anxiety and I was like, 'What is going on?'" she recalled. "And I just didn't feel great about my body. The last couple of months, I feel so great and I feel so much more accepting of my body."

Though she's riding high now, "It's a long journey," she acknowledged of the complicated postpartum transition. "Your relationship with yourself changes, your relationship with your partner changes, your relationship with friends change. Even friends that don't have kids, it's just different now because they're not going through the same stuff."


Thankfully she's got a whole squad of fellow parents to consult, her group of music class-attending, weekend getaway-enjoying moms including Mandy Moore, Meghan Trainor and Hilary Duff

Tisdale loves that Jupiter has a crew of pals that goes way back ("They've been around each other since they were four months old") and she has the requisite village that's equal parts friends and sounding board

"Anytime I'm anxious about something, one of them has either gone through it already or knows exactly what I'm going through," she described. "You honestly can't get through it without a group like that."


Because these days life tends to revolve around Jupiter. (The toddler even helped inspire Tisdale's cellphone shutdown thanks to her penchant for walking around "with a fake phone pretending to do business calls," the actress said.) 

Set to celebrate their ninth wedding anniversary this fall, Tisdale and her husband "took the time to be with each other before having a baby," she noted. "I feel like you really need to have that trust with each other and that experience of being with each other. Because once the baby comes, it is all about the baby and you're fighting to see how to spend time with each other." 

Not that she's complaining about skipping date nights in favor of playing pretend with her best gal. Parenthood "kind of came at the perfect time for us," she said. "And it's been such an amazing experience. I create a lot of things, but i have to say, this is my favorite creation yet."