Home and Away actor Kyle Shilling has opened up about being diagnosed with alopecia.
Shilling, who plays Mali Hudson on the Australian soap, revealed that he recently found out that he was suffering with hair loss. Although commonly associated with the top of the head, it can affect facial hair as well.
In a (now-expired) Instagram Story, Shilling wrote: "For all those Home and Away fans complaining about my beard line.... Not too long ago I was diagnosed with alopecia on the beard region, mainly my neck.
"Alopecia is a hair loss disease which can be caused by stress. The makeup team at Home and Away do the best they can do to cover up this 'insecurity' I now have. It should grow back eventually, but for now it is what it is.
"I'm not asking for sympathy as it could be a lot worse but I'm simply shedding light on alopecia so people have an understanding about it."
In a follow-up, he wrote: "Because of my recent story about alopecia, I've received an overwhelming amount of messages. Majority are from people who have gone through it with a worse experience. big love to you all, keep on keeping on.
"This is a reminder not too [sic] openly say something about someone's appearance, as you may not know what the reason behind it is. Think before you judge."
Shilling's casting as Mali was announced last December, and he has spoken about how the storyline involving Mali being upset when he learned Rose is a police officer was important for representation.
"It's an example of what it can be like here in Australia with the Indigenous community – there's a lot of police brutality, so it's a really important thing to show on screen."
Home and Away airs weekdays at 1pm on Channel 5 and 6pm on 5STAR. First-look screenings air at 6.30pm on 5STAR and the show also streams on My5.
In Australia, the show airs Mondays to Thursdays at 7pm on Channel 7 and streams on 7plus.
Selected classic episodes are available via Prime Video in the UK.
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