I found my first bald patch in October 2017 while I was getting ready for my 40th birthday party, and by Christmas that year I’d lost all my hair.

Those first months were very difficult and full of anger, fear, shame and deep sadness – emotions I know many people with alopecia will recognise. One of my strongest feelings was one of anxiety: what if people realised I was bald? The absolute priority for me was finding a wig as close to my natural hair as possible so that my mortifying secret remained hidden.

But – although I could never have imagined it at the time – my feelings changed, and by the following year I found myself wanting to go out bare-headed. My first time was terrifying! But it was also incredibly liberating and I haven’t worn a wig for over four years now.

If you’ve been thinking about losing the wig but have been too scared to take that first daunting step, here are five things I’ve learned that I hope might help you too:

  1. I felt a lot better about being wig-less when I made an extra effort with my make up and false lashes. I also felt better when I was wearing big earrings which I felt gave a focal point where there should have been hair. Taking extra care with my make up and jewellery gave me a much-needed confidence boost – plus I knew people would be looking at me so I wanted to make sure they were seeing me at my most fabulous!
  1. People will look: it's human nature. But that doesn't mean they're thinking anything negative. Our brains are wired to always assume the worst but often we’re wrong. I remember being really aware of other mums whispering about me in the playground and I felt awful... until one came over to me and said "I just have to tell you, everyone's talking about how amazing you look!" If you're aware of comments being made try to consciously tell yourself people are saying nice things – because honestly, they probably are. 
  1. Prepare what you may want to say in different situations so you don't get caught out. If I notice children staring I smile at them and say "Have you noticed my bald head? I look a bit different from the other mummies don't I?" If someone assumes I’m bald from chemotherapy I say “Thank you but I’m not ill, I’ve got alopecia.” And if people ask you about it directly, try to be honest. You could say something like "I've had alopecia for a while and decided to be brave as it's too hot for wigs, but it’s pretty terrifying!" 
  1. I know this is hard to believe but most people won’t even look twice. As a Confidence Coach I’ve learned that we’re all so wrapped up in our own lives, plans and worries that we often hardly notice the people around us. You might step outside expecting to be stared at from every direction – but my own experience is that this just doesn’t happen. 
  1. Going out wig-less for the first time is scary and hard… but you are braver than you think you are. You’ve dealt with harder things than this and you’ve got through them. The first times I went out bald I was physically shaking. Now, I honestly forget I look different from other people most of the time! It gets easier, I promise.

Oh and a bonus tip to finish: don’t forget the Factor 50 – your beautiful head needs to be loved and nurtured!

Lizi Jackson-Barrett is a Confidence Coach, bestselling Body Confidence Author and a Confidence Speaker. You can find her at her website

We asked Lizi to write this blog based on a request for advice received in our private Facebook group and the fabulously supportive comment that Lizi provided. If you are in the UK and would benefit from the advice of those with a lived experience of alopecia, consider joining our private Facebook group today.