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NHS Choices Condition

Content supplied by NHS Choices

Claire Taylor, 32, was a young girl when she was diagnosed with alopecia. She describes how she's learnt to live with the condition and talks about her full and happy life.

“I was 11 when my hair started falling out. At first, it fell out in patches but then I lost all of it.

“When it started to fall out, my parents took me to our GP who referred me to a dermatologist. I was told that there was nothing that could be done. I tried a few steroid creams, rubbing them into my head but my hair never grew back.

“I got my first wig when I was about 13. They weren’t as good then as they are now, so it was quite obvious that I was wearing one.

“Mum and Dad were quite upset about my hair loss but I wasn't. I’ve always been an upbeat person who just gets on with life. That’s the only way you can be, otherwise you’d drive yourself mad. There was a bit of bullying at school but nothing that really affected me.

“I get a voucher every year that entitles me to two NHS wigs and I usually end up putting a bit of my own money towards them. The only problem with a synthetic wig is that it can rub on your clothes, which can create really bad split ends. An NHS wig should last for about six months but mine usually lasts about three because I wear it every day and like my hair to look as natural as possible.

“There are some difficulties. You have to be careful of the weather. There have been times when the wig has blown off, which can be very upsetting especially if you’re in a crowded street. It’s happened a few times and it’s so embarrassing chasing it down the road.

“I can’t go swimming in my wig. If I go on holiday to a warm country, it can get uncomfortable. I used to go to the gym, but my head got too hot when I was exercising. I’m not the type of person who could go without my wig.

“At the moment, I have no hair on my head, arms and legs. My eyelashes and eyebrows have also fallen out. Unfortunately. I've still got hair in my armpits and other places on my body.

“Losing my eyelashes and eyebrows was worse than losing my hair because I’ve always had big eyelashes and lovely eyebrows and enjoyed wearing make-up. I’ve had to learn to draw my eyebrows on and I’m planning to have semi-permanent make-up, which lasts for about six years.

“Because I was only 11 when my hair fell out, I’ve grown up without it. It doesn’t really affect my social life as it might do with other people. I am out with friends every weekend and I go to gigs and on holidays.

"My wig has never really been a massive issue. Sometimes when I am out I worry that it might get knocked off but, after a couple of drinks, I normally forget about it."

view information about Hair loss on www.nhs.co.uk »

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