Session 1:  Introductory Session

Simon Ray

Jen Chambers

Jen is the Charity Development Manager for Alopecia UK having been with the Charity, initially as a volunteer, since 2012.  Jen has taken a key role, alongside colleague Amy Johnson, in developing the Charity and moving it forward from a completely volunteer-led organisation to one with six employees & a head office.  Jen has led on many of the Charity's national events, research involvement and overall structuring of the charity.  Jen is passionate about getting the voices of those with alopecia heard and ensuring that Alopecia UK is a needs led organisation with this underpinning all of its workstreams in support, awareness and research.  Prior to joining Alopecia UK Jen researched alopecia throughout her Psychology with Health Studies undergraduate degree as well as in an Art Psychotherapy Masters degree.  Her previous job roles equipped her with experience in events & project management, participation and the Charity Sector.  Jen first developed alopecia aged 11 and has experienced various forms of alopecia areata through to alopecia universalis over the last twenty-four years, currently experiencing alopecia totalis.  

Amy Johnson

Amy is Alopecia UK’s Communications Manager. She started volunteering for Alopecia UK in 2012 and left her former job to help Jen develop the charity. Being a small charity team, Amy has always had her fingers in many pots including Alopecia UK’s communications (social media, newsletter, supporting media enquiries), fundraising, bookkeeping and accounts. Amy helped to develop an e-learning module with the Royal College of GPs and has undertaken work, including a published report, to try and tackle the inequality of wig provision in the NHS. Amy started the Leeds Alopecia Support Group in 2013 and continues to hold support meetings.  Amy also leads the Yorkshire Kids and Birmingham Kids groups. Amy lost all her hair in 2010. After nearly two years of alopecia universalis, Amy has had different degrees of regrowth over the past 7 years.

Serica Hunter

Amy Harmsworth

Session 2:  Alopecia Areata - Overview & Q&A 

Teontor Simakou 

Teontor Simakou is the lead researcher on a project at the University of the West of Scotland studying the effects of nanovibrational stimulation on immune cells. He has just completed, and had published, his literature review in which he has been scoping out the Alopecia Areata research landscape.  This means he has all the latest information on the theories currently out there about alopecia areata - what it is and what might be causing it. 

Dr Matthew Harries 

Dr Matthew Harries is a Consultant Dermatologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer with a specialist interest in hair and scalp disorders.

He was awarded a PhD from the University of Manchester for his research into the hair’s immune system in scarring alopecias. Matt is a member of Alopecia UK's Research Committee. He is also the British Hair and Nail Society's Committee Member for Research and also sits on the UK-Dermatology Clinical Trials Network steering committee.

Session 3:  Other types of hair loss including Androgenetic & Scarring Alopecias - Overview & Q&A 

Dr Anita Takwale

In addition to being a Consultant Dermatologist in Gloucestershire, Dr Anita Takwale is the British Hair and Nail Society’s regional expert for hair disorders and their current Clinical and Educational Lead. Her clinic provides a secondary and tertiary hair and nails referral service that serves patients who live throughout the South West.

Outside of the UK, she is a member of the European Hair Research Society, has worked on hair cases in Australia, and attended World Congresses for Hair Research in Japan and Barcelona. She regularly reviews hair papers and has published articles discussing hair loss in multiple peer reviewed journals. Frequently, Dr Takwale is invited to speak at various events on a regional, national, and international stage.

Dr John Gray

Dr John Gray trained in medicine in London and for many years was a Family Practitioner during which time he developed a special interest in hair and scalp disorders. He has published widely on hair loss affecting men, women and children and the impact it has on patients. He continues as a Consultant to the Hair Care industry on all aspects of hair.

He is a member of several Hair Research Societies and an elected member of the European Academy of Dermatology. He has been inducted into the Institute of Trichology as an Honorary Fellow in recognition of his long service to hair science. 

Session 4:  Alopecia & Me

Session Speaker:  Nick Sharratt

Nick is a research fellow at the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR), a World leading research centre focusing on the role of appearance and body image in people's lives and which conducts high quality, applied psychological research.

Having previously qualified and worked as a solicitor Nick completed a post-graduate conversion Diploma in Psychology with the Open University before undertaking an MSc in Health Psychology at the University of Bath.

In 2014  he then joined CAR to begin working on a PhD. Earlier this year, he submitted his PhD, which explores the intersection of appearance altering or disfiguring conditions ('visible difference') and romantic relationships. Nick is now working on developing materials to assist those with a visible difference in their romantic lives.

Discussion Facilitator:  Kerry Montgomery 

Kerry completed her PhD (Title: Mindfulness and psychosocial distress in visible skin conditions) in 2017. Over the last six years Kerry's work has focused on the psychosocial impact of skin conditions, with a particular interest in alopecia, whilst looking at what support would be beneficial to help people who are experiencing distress.

In 2008 she started work with the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Service, an NHS initiative to increase access to talking therapies to those experiencing anxiety and depression. Working alongside GP’s she provided guided self-help (based on cognitive behavioural therapy techniques) to people with anxiety and depression.

Kerry has worked with Alopecia UK over the last five years presenting at events and running workshops, all the while increasing her knowledge of the impact of alopecia and what interventions could support people. Kerry is now Alopecia UK’s Support Project Manager.

Guest speaker 1: Harry Brunt

Harry Brunt is one of Alopecia UK’s Trustees. When Harry was 18 he noticed the first bald patches on the back of his head.  For about 8 years they came and went with varying degrees of severity. 

Despite trying various treatments, at the age of 26 the disease progressed much more rapidly and within 12 months he had lost virtually all the hair on his head.  After shaving what was left of his hair, Harry decided to try and do something positive and raise money for Alopecia UK. 

In January 2014 he committed to a month long ‘Dryathlon’ to raise money for Alopecia UK – a challenging but rewarding experience!  Harry kept in touch with Alopecia UK and it didn’t take long before he was being propositioned and encouraged to become a Trustee!

Guest speaker 2: Naomi Hall

Naomi is Alopecia UK’s Charity Administrator. Having met Amy and Jen in late 2016 she expressed a keen interest in a job with the charity should the occasion ever arise. After a stint of travelling that very opportunity presented itself, joining the team in February 2018.

Naomi has had alopecia areata since 2014. Her hair started falling out quite rapidly and within around 6 weeks her alopecia had progressed to alopecia totalis, which over the next few months developed to alopecia universalis. In late 2016 she saw some minor regrowth happening that continued into a full head of hair…. and then the patches came again. Naomi has experienced all versions of alopecia areata and continues to go through cycles of loss and regrowth.

Guest speaker 3: Jo Tucker

Jo Tucker first noticed a bald patch in December 2017. The hair loss rapidly escalated to alopecia totalis, in around 2 weeks,  and then progressed to alopecia universalis by March 2018. 

She started an Instagram blog @baldmothertucker to document her journey from the beginning.  Which at the time she thought would be temporary. 

Jo uses the social media platform to talk about looking at the positives of living with alopecia universalis, sharing insight into her journey and her new found wig obsession. 

She is married with 3 young daughters, and wanted to prove to her daughters especially, that the hair-loss didn’t hold her back. 

Guest speaker 4: Nikky Odutayo



Session 5:  Products & Services

Michelle Moffatt 


Amy Johnson

(See Session 1 above)

Janan Farjo

Managing Director at Farjo-Saks Ltd, a wholesale specialist for Hair Loss Cosmetic & Medical Products. Dedicated supplier of Toppik, DermMatch, HairMax, Revivogen, Help Hair & Revivogen.

Dawn Forshaw

Dawn’s passion for Permanent Make Up (PMU) began in 1996 when she founded Finishing Touches Group, originally as a clinic offering cosmetic and medical tattooing treatments.

Dawn’s expertise in PMU, Scalp Micropigmentation and Medical Tattooing has resulted in her being a keynote speaker at leading industry conferences including BAAPS, BAPS, ORBS and BASO, as well as lecturing throughout Europe and the USA.

A multi-award-winner, Dawn continues to be an industry leader with Finishing Touches Group who are leaders in training and product supplies for Semi-Permanent Makeup, Medical Tattooing, Digital Skin Rejuvenation, Scalp Micropigmentation and Tattoo Removal.

 Session 6:  Alopecia Areata: Research Overview

Discussion Facilitator:  Professor Simon Milling

Simon received his PhD in Immunology in 1996 from Imperial College, London. He then worked as a researcher in Philadelphia and Oxford. Simon took up a position as a lecturer in Immunology in Glasgow in 2007. He is a member of Alopecia UK's Research Committee. 

The work in his lab focusses on two areas, both involving the immunology of the intestine: basic studies of the functions of 'dendritic cells' in controlling healthy intestinal immune responses ; and more applied projects to understand potentially intestine-related inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.

Discussion Facilitator:  Matt Harries

(See Session 2 above)

Session 7:  Support Options

Dr Kerry Montgomery

(See Session 4 above)

Jen Chambers

(See Session 1 above)

Viv Allen



Workshop 1:  Moving towards what you want from life and away from appearance concerns

Fabio Zucchelli

Fabio is a Research Associate at the Centre for Appearance Research, UWE Bristol.  He is working as part of a team on a project funded by the Vocational Training Charity Trust (VTCT) Foundation to develop psychological support, training and public education on visible difference in the UK.

Fabio’s primary research interest lies in the application of mindfulness-based therapies (such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) in improving people's body image and overall health and wellbeing.  

He also has experience of research in cleft, exploring the experience of health professionals and affected families.”

Workshop 2:  Informing another of your (in)visible difference

Nick Sharratt

(See Session 4 above)

Workshop 3:  Wonderful Me Doodle Workshop


Toria was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata aged 9 years old, when her hair began to fall out at primary school.  She was teased and bullied by class mates and despite her hair growing back in time for high school, she never forgot the effect it had on her self-esteem.

Over 25 years later, after a stressful period in her life, her hair began to fall out once more, slowly developing into Alopecia Totalis and eventually Universalis.   Having always been a creative person, Toria found her way back to drawing and illustration, quickly realising it had a calming and positive effect on her mental health. 

She launched an illustration business in 2017 selling bespoke artwork and running workshops in her local community.  Inspired by her childhood struggles, the workshops include well-being sessions such as the ‘Wonderful Me Workshop’ promoting positive self-esteem, self-worth and positive thinking. 

Having lived with Alopecia since childhood, Toria is passionate about using her direct experience of the disease and her own personal mental health challenges to make a difference to other people’s lives.  She works with schools, clubs, companies, charities and individuals spreading joy and positivity in a fun, creative and memorable way.