The vibrantly coloured backgrounds in French photographer Christoph Soeder’s (1989) series Unfading immediately catch your eye, but the people that he portrays in front of them pull you in. These women are all affected by the autoimmune disease alopecia, a condition in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body, usually from the scalp. For some, hair loss may go hand-in-hand with a loss of identity. For others, it may lead to the discovery of an inner strength, both astounding and beautiful.
Absent the hair on their head, including eyelashes and eyebrows, their appearances are cause for intrigue. Soeder portrays his subjects with bright lighting and precision focusing, fresh faced, and often looking head-on at the camera. In Unfading, as the title suggests, those portrayed present an image of identity that appears confident and undiminished.