We caught up with one of our young fundraisers, Emma Needle, who has raised over £3,000(!) with her Justgiving page for her headshave.

When did your alopecia start?

I first noticed my alopecia around the 10th of January and it escalated quickly from there with my hair loss reaching a point whereby it was hard to conceal it. 

How did it make you feel? 

At first I felt overwhelmed and upset and thought I needed to hide it until i realised that it doesn’t make me weak or different. It just gave me that platform to turn something bad into something good and this is why I decided to do some fundraising for Alopecia UK. 

What made you feel like it was the right time to shave your head?

I’d given up with my hair after a month of alopecia as there was a patch right at the front of my head and my hair didn’t feel like a part of me anymore. I realised that I had enough hair to donate and do something good with rather than let it fall out naturally. I dreaded it falling out in the end and the feeling of shaving my head seemed less frightening than the clumps of hair I find on my pillow when I woke up or the amount of hair that fell out in the shower so I knew it was the best thing to do.

You’ve raised over £3,000 for Alopecia UK with your headshave and received lots of positive comments on your page, how do you feel about this?

It’s absolutely surreal! Our aim was to raise £200 but we’ve far exceeded with my page having just reached £3,000! It has made me realise how many people I have supporting me no matter how I look and I’m glad it goes towards such an amazing cause. 

How did you feel immediately after the headshave? 

I felt good about myself for the first time since the alopecia started. It was uplifting and I felt fierce. Now, I miss my hair but still feel confident and positive!

What advice would you give to any other young people who might be struggling with alopecia?

Nothing about your appearance makes you who you are. It’s how you deal with things and how you are towards other people and your confidence in yourself that makes you beautiful. You aren’t any less beautiful if you have less hair. 

A huge thank you to Emma for using her initial headshave as an opportunity to raise funds for Alopecia UK. 

You can make a donation on Emma's page here