Alan Fletcher hair loss explained: All you need to know about the Neighbours star ahead of the soap finale

Alan Fletcher looks different on the Aussie soap these days.

Alan Fletcher hair loss
(Image credit: Getty)

As the Neighbours cast prepare to say its final farewell to viewers when the Australian soap is ending after 37 years (opens in new tab) on screens, fans want to know about Alan Fletcher's hair loss. 

The actor, who is best known for playing Dr. Karl Kennedy on the Ramsay Street set soap has undergone a transformation in recent months. But some fans of the show who are due to tune in to see the cast star in its last-ever episode (opens in new tab), featuring stars like Kylie and Jason (opens in new tab), who are re-releasing Especially For you (opens in new tab) to mark the end of an era, will wonder what's happened to Alan Fletcher's hair loss and why is his character Karl bald in Neighbours?

Alan Fletcher's hair loss explained

Alan Fletcher has revealed he has been diagnosed with alopecia (opens in new tab) areata - an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss. The 65-year-old actor recorded a special video message to reassure fans that he was OK, after he recently revealed his new bald look in an episode of Neighbours, prompting fans to raise their concerns about his health.

Alan said, "A lot of fans have expressed a little concern about my health on the internet, and there have been some media inquiries as well, so I just want to put something to rest,' he said in the video. 

"I am absolutely fine. I'm fit and well working on Neighbours and having a great time. But, I can report to you, I do have a disorder called alopecia areata."

Alan went on to explain how the disorder "causes patchy hair loss" so he decided to just shave it all off. 

He added, "I started to lose hair into my beard and then on my scalp in patches. So eventually I shaved my beard off, and then my hair became so patchy on my head, I had to get rid of most of that as well."

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His character Karl can now be seen with a bald head on the soap, as episodes had been screening since June 2nd.

And he gave fans a glimpse of his new look, "I know a lot of you are going to be pretty shocked, but I have no problem with it. In fact, it's kind of fun," he continued and acknowledged that the condition can be "quite serious for people, particularly from an emotional point of view".

"Sudden hair loss is really troubling for a lot of people, and particularly for young people, who can be terribly bullied," he continued.

Alan ended the video by reassuring fans that he's 'absolutely fit and well', while also thanking them for their concern.

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Why is Alan Fletcher bald? 

Alan Fletcher is bald because he shaved his head after being diagnosed with alopecia areata - an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss. He chose to shave his head because his hair became "so patchy". When he got his health diagnosis he was still filming for Neighbours and approached bosses to help write his hair loss into the soap after struggling to hide it any longer.

The 65-year-old actor explained how he tried to hide his diagnosis - an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss - by claiming his character Dr Karl Kennedy had a dodgy hair product fail.

"It was starting to get a bit weird. Karl was wearing caps all the time, so I went to the producers and literally said 'I need to have a little scene, just something wedged in that explains what's going on'," Alan explained.

"So we popped in a little scene where Karl comes out, with almost no hair, saying he's just used some dodgy hair product and he hasn't followed the instructions, and that is how we sort of explained it."

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What causes Alopecia?

Alopecia (Hairloss) can be caused by heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions or a normal part of ageing, according to Mayoclinic. It can affect just your scalp or your entire body and can be either temporary or permanent. But while anyone can lose hair on their head, it's more common in men.

Why is Karl bald in Neighbours? 

Karl is bald in Neighbours because he used some "dodgy hair product and he hasn't followed the instructions" so his hair fell out. That is the explanation actor Alan Fletcher gave after urging writers to help him cope with his own hair change, as in real-life the actor Alan Fletcher has shaved his head after being diagnosed with alopecia areata - an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss and asked bosses to include some kind of hair loss to his character's storyline so that he didn't have to hide his own personal diagnosis anymore.

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The final episode of Neighbours airs on Friday 29th July at 9pm on Channel 5.

Selina Maycock
Senior Entertainment Writer

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 15 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for, Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.