Lizi Jackson-Barrett is a member of our Alopecia UK Facebook group and is a newly-published author. We caught up with her to find out more...

Your book ‘How to Feel Beautiful’ has been published, tell us what motivated you to write the book

Since losing my hair two years ago my life has changed completely. I found myself regularly being told by other women that they found me an inspiration, and I knew I was able to help them find happiness and confidence where it had been lacking. I believe so strongly that feeling beautiful is intrinsically linked to confidence and self-esteem in all aspects of life. But I have also learned that feeling beautiful has nothing to do with how you look and everything to do with how you look at yourself. I knew that writing a book would mean I could share my message with more people and hopefully inspire other women to think “well if she’s got no hair and can still feel beautiful, maybe I can too.” 

How did losing your hair impact you in the early days?

It felt like my world was ending. I couldn’t imagine how my husband could still want to be with me, and I felt like I was an embarrassment to my children. I bought a wig that was as close as possible to my natural hair in the hope that no-one would find out. I was so ashamed that I couldn’t even bring myself to say the word “wig”! I shut myself away, refusing to even put the bins out without putting on a hat. I couldn’t stop crying and just couldn’t imagine a future where I could ever look in the mirror and be happy with what I saw.

How do you feel about having alopecia now?

I’ve gone from thinking it was the worst thing to ever happen to me, to knowing it was the best thing. Losing my hair has enabled me to look at myself in a completely different way and I’ve given myself permission to stop trying to look like the “swishy haired” girls I always envied and just learn to love the way I am, flaws ‘n’ all. Having alopecia has enabled me to really understand what it means to feel comfortable in your own skin, and it’s given me a precious opportunity to show my children that there’s more than one way to look beautiful. It’s also helped me to build an entire business! I’m a qualified coach and I specialise in helping other women to fall in love with the way they look – even if, like me, they’re short, fat and bald!

What can readers expect from ‘How to Feel Beautiful’?

As well as telling my own story of learning to love myself after losing my hair, I also share many stories of the women I’ve helped to find their own confidence in their beauty. The book is also filled with practical exercises to guide the reader through her own transformation as she works her way through the book. The exercises are adapted from the work I do with clients, and teach the reader how to look at herself with love and positivity.

How to Feel Beautiful is available to purchase now