September is Alopecia Awareness Month. I am supporting Alopecia UK by becoming an AUK Charity Champion, raising awareness and funds.

Alopecia UK is a small charity working to improve the lives of those affected by alopecia. The charity has aims around Support, Awareness and Research.

As well as this general fundraising page I have also created a special range of handmade earrings for Alopecia awareness month, which are available to order from my Etsy Store in the AUK Fundraising section of my shop! From any sales of this range of earrings I will donate ALL the profits and add them to this fundraising page in the hope of reaching my target of £150. After the sucess of last year's animal drawings challenge I will also be selling some artworks towards this fundraising throughout the month!

This can be accessed via or by searching 'SamanthaGarrettArt' on Etsy!

This is a cause that is extremely personal to me as I have Alopecia Areata, where my hair falls out in patches often spreading to my whole head including eyebrows and eyelashes. My Alopecia journey began around 8 years ago when my hair first fell out suddenly and within a few weeks nearly all went. I remember the worst of it being when I was in year 11 of school and it was the end of the Easter or Half term Holiday. Suddenly I was faced with the prospect of having to go to school with 3/4 of my hair missing and no eyebrows. For weeks I hid the loss overheating under a woolly hat, because it was the only hat that would cover it up, and I remember how badly it impacted my mental health from that moment.

We saw numerous Doctors but most just dismissed everything and either blamed me for getting too stressed or just shrugged off the whole hair loss as a case of 'it'll grow back in a few weeks' (it didn't, and then when it did it just fell out again in random cycles and has continued to this day). There was one or two Doctors who I remember were so supportive and made me feel so much less shut out. This is why I am particularly supportive of Alopecia UK's work in spreading awareness of the management and importantly the psychological impacts of hair loss to Medical Staff and GPs in the form of providing information on awareness training which I believe will help so many.

Now I have grown to accept my Alopecia and the fact my hair may not ever grow back properly, which is completely okay. From a few months after the first major bout of hair loss to today I have been wearing wigs (Making changing hair styles and colour much easier!) and the become less fearful of people realising I’m wearing them.

I remember feeling so isolated and alone when my hair first fell out and felt ashamed of my hair loss but thanks to the amazing Alopecia community and Alopecia UK groups I now feel so much more comfortable about my hair loss to the extent I am actually able to open up about it today.

As well as support from this community AUK has also provided me with so many useful resources such as information on wigs fittings (so they actually fit comfortably) and trustworthy suppliers for these. Also every day tips such as advice on putting on false eyelashes without having any eyelashes on your eyelids (even if I haven't yet managed to master that entirely!)

Having gone through the traumatic first few years of hair loss and the journey to acceptance I want to be able to help as many other people going through the same situation and help make it even just slightly easier in any way with the support of Alopecia UK.

Alopecia UK relies on the support of fundraisers and donors to continue the valuable work it does.

Thank you for supporting me with my fundraising efforts. I really appreciate your support and so does Alopecia UK!

Samantha Garrett