The past 18 years have provided me with a glimpse of what living with Alopecia has felt like. At the age of 15, I started losing hair on the sides of my head around my temple area. Extreme hair styling played a big part in this which my mum would continuously express her concern about and I would repeatedly ignore.

This is where my hair journey began...I seeked advice from Doctors, had countless blood tests, attended hair consultations with various specialists, wasted A LOT of money on products that promised so much, but failed to bring my hair back. Nothing worked, nothing was going to miraculously bring it back. I went through these years with very low confidence. I used hair products to conceal the loss and was always afraid of extreme weather conditions in case it revealed what was beneath. I did everything to ensure my husband would not see it and covered it up first thing in the morning. It was exhausting to say the least!

This was until I heard about hair transplants - there was a glimmer of hope! This was luckily an option for me as I had only lost my hair in certain areas. It was an expensive procedure, one I'd have to save up for. I even took extra shifts at my parent's cafe just to put some aside when the day came. The time was never right whilst making sure I had a stable career and saving for a home and wedding. So that plan was put on hold.

Fast forward to 2020, the year we all want to forget! But for me, the year in which my son was born, meaning the year for me had been saved. I had a good pregnancy (we won't talk about the labour) but I hadn't prepared myself for postpartum effects, especially the hair loss. Of course, a natural after effect of child birth and one that so many women go through. But for me, further hair loss was a hard pill to swallow. I started to lose hair in other areas and my alopecia appeared like it had spread. My self confidence was at an all-time low.

2021 - I had the hair transplant. I've struggled with my appearance since as I had to lose a lot of my hair in the process. It's something I am slowly coming to terms with and am adjusting to my new look in headscarves and getting some confidence back. I have a long way to go as I'm just beginning the recovery process, but I know it was the right choice and am unbelievably grateful that this option was available to me. I will be able to get my hair back and for that I'm thankful.

The reason I wanted to set up this page was for people that aren't as fortunate, that don't have this option available to them due to losing all their hair. I have felt the effects of hair loss first hand and how traumatising it can be for a woman. I don't believe there is enough awareness of this condition and would love to be able to help those who are struggling. I'll be walking 100 miles over the month of August for the cause and would love any support to reach target.

For those still reading, thank you for supporting me with my fundraising efforts. I really appreciate your support and so does Alopecia UK!

Ceyda Cruft