My name is Maggie. I am 24 years old and live in Ilford. I have alopecia areata and was diagnosed at the age of 5.
As I was only very young at the time of my diagnosis, I donít remember much about how my hair loss was first noticed. I only really became aware of my hair loss myself when I was 7 or 8 years old. When I realised I had alopecia, I felt like there was something wrong with me Ė not a nice feeling to have.
I hated visiting the hospital because at 8 years old I just wanted my hair to grow back. I didnít like the fact that I needed to keep having blood tests.
I was given a liquid form of medication that was applied to my scalp daily. I stopped after a while because I felt it was too disappointing because it wasnít helping my hair to grow back.
The biggest struggle for me was the disappointment. One moment I would see improvement and then out of nowhere it would fall out again and I couldnít get any answers why.
My family have been very supportive and Iíve found praying is something that has helped me at times when Iíve been struggling.
With a view to helping others with alopecia, I have recently started a YouTube channel to help create awareness.
I feel having alopecia has helped to make me stronger. I have come to recognise that my hair does not define me. Having hair, or not, isnít what makes us beautiful. I am still beautiful without my hair, as are others with alopecia. I think sometimes we need to remember this. And also remember, youíre not alone with your hair loss.