The best way to understand is through the eyes of someone who lives with it, The below is written by Megan and her experience

“I’d heard of Alopecia before I was diagnosed, but you don’t truly know anything about it until it you go through it. For a lot of people Alopecia means losing bits or all of your hair, but there’s so much more to it than just hair loss. Your identity is all of a sudden something you never imagined, and depression and anxiety plays a huge part in hair loss; ‘It’s only hair’ or ‘it’ll grow back’ even ‘being bald is the in thing now’. Things you hear a lot of but it doesn’t make the fact your living though it any less stressful. When you don’t choose to make that decision and it’s made for you due to whatever reason, stress, illness or your body has just triggered autoimmune disease because it just has, it doesn’t make that transition any easier.
People make decisions everyday to look the way they want, through clothes, makeup, tattoos and so much more; hair plays a huge part in that, when you have no control over your hair, you can feel like you have no control over yourself at all.
My Alopecia journey hasn’t been easy, I’ve gone though so many stages and emotions. First came the shock then very quickly the denial, along side feeling upset, disappointed, self conscious and extremely anxious of being judged for the fact I have bald spots on my head. What if someone laughs at me? What if my wig falls off in front of people? What if it blows away in the wind! Should I embrace the bald patches and just shave my head? Fill in my eyebrows, use fake eyelashes?
I’m sure most people with Alopecia regardless of what type, areata, totalis or universalis have gone though similar emotions, but that’s the thing, so many people have gone though it, or still are. There is no rule book for how you should or shouldn’t feel about it, and it’s a personal choice on how you want to deal with it, but most importantly when you have Alopecia you have to deal with it because it doesn’t always go away. Alopecia throws something at you, you can never prepare for.
I am just over a year into my Alopecia journey, and it’s had its up and downs. I developed Alopecia after a viral infection which triggered autoimmune disease. The first time I left the house after I lost parts of my hair I was filled with anxiety and embarrassment. But luckily I’ve embraced my condition the best I can and it no longer effects my day to day. One thing that keeps me going is that I am not alone, so many people have or have experienced hair loss at some point and I am lucky enough to say I have some fantastic people in my life that make my journey that little bit easier.
Let’s raise some awareness and sponsor the incredible Debbie for raising money for Alopecia UK, you’re an outstanding person, and you are helping thousands of people in the UK alone who are also on their Alopecia journey.

Debbie Vince