I first found out because she was supposed to be a part of an important meeting with a company that might fund some research that eventually had to be cancelled. I set up the meeting, but a couple of weeks out from the meeting, I tried to contact her for logistical information. No luck. After a week and growing desperation, I started asking around. Finally the administrator filled me in with the strict instruction that I not reveal that I know.
Okay. Lips are sealed.
Said faculty member has been back for awhile now. However, starting last week she started wearing a wig. She's not the type that would wear a wig. It's in the exact same style as her usual haircut, but the color is a bit off. From the back, you'd probably not guess. But from the front, it's fairly obvious. She's a blonde, and the wig is just a smidge darker and too homogenized. A blonde's hair is never just one tone. And yeah, when you notice the color is off you realize the whole wig-aspect.
I guess we're not supposed to notice--at least those outside of her research group. So, we have a blonde elephant in the room.