The Internet basically stopped when dancer Jojo Siwa chopped off her signature high pony into a pixie with an undercut in early April. The edgy, short haircut was a drastic transformation for the dancer, and despite the length (or lack thereof), she has still managed to wear her pixie in a variety of different styles, whether that be in pigtails, slicked back with a headband, or adorned with sparkly rhinestones. On July 26, she shared an update about her hair that viewers may not have expected: she’s displayed her bald spot, which she explained is the result of a stress rash from childhood.

The former Dance Moms star shared two Tiktok videos addressing her bald spot. In the first one, Siwa runs her hands through her hair, revealing the bald spot on the side of her head with the text, “When someone notices my bald spot and wonders what it’s from…” floating above her. Then the short video transitions into several throwback photos from her time on Dance Moms with her hair styled in tight ponytails and buns. In the caption, she noted that the stress rash happened while she was on the popular reality show. 

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Many folks flocked to the comments to say they “warned” Siwa, most likely referencing the potential hair damage she could receive from constantly wearing ponytails such as her former signature one. In a second video, she clarified that it actually wasn’t her ponytails that caused the bald spot but the result of picking at a stress rash when she was a kid. As a child, she would fuss with the rash while working on Dance Moms and essentially “damaged every single hair follicle that has ever been right there.” 

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Board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, notes that there could be a lot of things that led to Siwa’s scalp rash and bald spot but confirms that stress can cause rashes, due to the fact that the levels of cortisol, which is the main stress hormone in the body, rise. When cortisol increases, it “puts the body and skin in a pro-inflammatory state, that means acne, eczema, and other rashes can start or worsen,” she shares. 

That stress can lead you to pick at the rash on your hair or skin and even result in autoimmune bald spots, which are called alopecia areata. “We, as dermatologists, see a lot of hair and skin picking as a result of anxiety,” she says. Hair picking, which is specifically known as trichotillomania, or inflammation can potentially damage the hair follicle, causing scarring and abnormal growth, leading to hair thinning or bald spots, she adds. 

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