My name is Abbie. I'm 21 and live in Cambridgeshire. I have alopecia areata and was first diagnosed when I was 19.
I first noticed my hair loss when I was 6 months pregnant and had gone to visit my grandmother. As I brushed a bit of my hair to one side my mum noticed a 50p sized bald spot at the back of my head.
Initially I felt really worried as I
didnít know what was causing it. When I mentioned it to my midwife, she got
quite concerned as your hair isnít meant to fall out during pregnancy. Many
women experience thicker hair during pregnancy! She made me an appointment with
my GP who took numerous blood samples and gave me an anti-fungal cream as he
thought I had a type of dermatitis causing it. Because of my pregnancy I wasnít
allowed any other medication until after my son was born and I had finished
My alopecia got progressively worse and my self esteem became lower and lower.
Once I was allowed to be I was referred
to a dermatologist and he was amazing. I've had about 6 treatments, some
successful, others not. But he always asks my opinion and gives me all the
information about the treatment before prescribing it and I think most
importantly he's always been realistic and never told me ďit's never going to
grow backĒ but alternatively never said "it'll be back to normal in a few
months". He's always been honest about it all which Iíve appreciated.
My hair fell out over a period of about
six months. Firstly all my scalp hair and then eyebrows, lashes, nasal, leg,
arm and partial pubic hair. The only place I haven't lost any is my armpits!
I think the biggest struggle has been
learning to accept that this is who I am. Getting used to quizzical looks and
the questions from random strangers who think it is their place to ask,
sometimes rather rudely.
Having great support from my partner has
really helped me to come to terms with my hair loss. And knowing that it could
have been so much worse. Yes, I may still be mostly bald but I have a glorious
2 year old who is happy and healthy.
I believe there are a few positives to
having alopecia. I save sooooo much time getting ready! And money on hair care
products. I never have to worry about having a bad hair day and hopefully I can
educate people that not all bald women have cancer.
My advice to anyone struggling with
alopecia would be to talk to someone. I found the more I kept things bottled up
the worse things got. My self esteem suffered and I ended up with a really bad