In celebration of Alopecia Awareness month, we would like to share a story about one of our clients...
Jeanine, has been through a tremendous amount of stress this year. In late January, Jeanine’s mother passed away after a long battle with cancer, then two months later Jeanine’s sister had emergency heart surgery. Thankfully, Jeanine’s sister is recovering well but through the stress of her mother’s passing and looking after her sister, Jeanine began to experience hair loss.
“I just woke up one morning and saw all this hair on my pillow and I panicked”, explains Jeanine. I quickly called my doctor and he saw me that same day. It turns out I had two bald patches, one on the top of my head and one on the right side behind my ear. Jeanine’s doctor sent her for blood work and later diagnosed her with Alopecia Areata.
So what is Alopecia Areata? According to doctors at the Mayo Clinic, Alopecia Areata is classified as an autoimmune condition, and the cause is unknown. People who develop Alopecia Areata are generally in good health. Occasionally, a few who develop Alopecia Areata may have other autoimmune disorders, including thyroid disease. Some medical scientists believe that few people may have a genetic predisposition to develop Alopecia Areata and that an environmental trigger, such as a viral infection, stress, allergies, may activate the condition. Additionally a person with a family history of Alopecia Areata will be prone to developing the condition. With Alopecia Areata, your hair may generally grow back, but you may go through several cycles of hair loss and regrowth. According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, there are over 6.5 million Americans living with alopecia areata.
Jeanine’s doctor prescribed a corticosteroid cream to rub on the areas of hair loss to try to prevent further hair loss-but there is no known cure for Alopecia Areata. For some, Alopecia Areata, can be a temporary condition whose effects last a few months to several years but can ultimately disappear. Additionally, the scale of hair loss due to Alopecia Areata can vary from some light hair loss to complete scalp hair loss. In order to alleviate the psychological toll of hair loss, many people turn to various form of non-surgical hair replacement.
As for Jeanine, she ended up feeling self-conscious that she ultimately decided to come in and visit us to discuss her non-surgical hair replacement options. With Jeanine feeling depressed, we decided to share with her the story of Kayla Martell. Kayla was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata at 11 years old. By the time Kayla was in fifth grade, she lost most of the hair on her head. However, hair loss did not stop Kayla from competing in beauty pageants. In 2010; Kayla won the Miss Delaware beauty pageant and became Miss Delaware. As Miss Delaware, Kayla went on to compete in the 2011 Miss America pageant and finished as one of the top five finalists. Kayla used her time in the pageant spotlight to create Alopecia Areata awareness, and to prove that, with or without hair, we can all reach our dreams.
Jeanine opted to have an integration system made to fill in her areas of hair loss. With the integration method, healthy human hair is blended with her own hair to provided length and volume allowing Jeanine’s hair to continue to grow. Not only does Jeanine feel better about her appearance, her hair is slowly starting to grow back. Hopefully for Jeanine this may be a temporary condition but she knows that either way the team at Unique Hair Concepts will always be on hand to help her.