NHS Choices Condition
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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.
âI was 11 when my hair started falling out. At first, it fell out in patches but then I lost all of it.
âWhen it started to fall out, my parents took me to our GP who referred me to a dermatologist.Â I was told that there wasÂ nothing thatÂ could be done. I tried a few steroid creams, rubbing them intoÂ my head but my hair never grew back.
âI got my first wig when I was about 13.Â They werenât as good then as they are now, so it was quite obvious that I was wearing one.
âMum and Dad were quite upset about my hair loss butÂ I wasn't. Iâve always been an upbeat personÂ who just gets on with life. Thatâs the only way you can be,Â otherwise youâd drive yourself mad. There was a bit of bullying at school but nothing that really affected me.
âI 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 butÂ mine usually lasts about three because I wearÂ it every day and like my hair to look as natural as possible.
âThere 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 youâre in a crowded street. Itâs happened a few times and itâs so embarrassing chasing it down the road.
âI canât go swimming in my wig. IfÂ 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. Iâm not the type of person who could go without my wig.
âAt 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.
âLosing my eyelashes and eyebrows was worse than losing my hair because Iâve always had big eyelashes and lovely eyebrows and enjoyed wearing make-up. Iâve had to learn to draw my eyebrows on and Iâm planning to have semi-permanent make-up, which lasts for about six years.
âBecause I was only 11 when my hair fell out, IâveÂ grown up without it. It doesnât really affect my social life as it might do with other people. I am outÂ with friends every weekend and I goÂ to gigs and on holidays.
"My wig has never really been a massive issue. Sometimes when I am out IÂ worry thatÂ 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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