alopecia has kept me singleThe Daily Mail recently ran an article about Kayleigh Winter, 27 from Newcastle who’s been single for five years. Kayleigh suffers from alopecia areata which unfortunately meant she lost all her hair by the age of 20. She blames the resulting loss of self confidence for her single status as she just can’t bring herself to approach men she likes.

Alopecia is indiscriminate

Alopecia areata can strike at any age (in Kayleigh’s case she was 11) and it has no fixed prognosis. Sometimes it results in patchy hair loss but it can also lead to total baldness. The condition can also disappear as fast as it came.

It’s an auto immune disease where the body’s self defence mechanisms mistakenly target healthy hair cells as though they were a foreign bacteria or virus. The effect, particularly for women can be devastating as the generally accepted ideal of female beauty is usually closely tied to having luxurious hair.

On the odd occasion when Kayleigh does go on a date she wears a wig but admits to terrible anxiety about disclosing this. Whilst it might seem unpalatable to her one option is simply to face up to the condition, challenge the conventions and accept her baldness.

There is certainly plenty of evidence that women who do this often regain self-esteem from making the conscious choice to take control of their lives again and stop worrying about being “outed” for being bald.

Making baldness a choice

HIS Hair Clinic recently ran a blog about seven women who had made the decision to go bald and as a result felt more empowered. Although the reasons for the decisions varied from health conditions to simply wanting to make a statement and be different, the thing that united all the women was that they had made the baldness their choice.

So, whilst it may be glib to simply tell Kayleigh to throw the wig away and revel in a new look, she might find some inspiration in the words of one of the seven women, Dana 34, “You know when you’re younger you hear clichés like beauty is in the eye of the beholder?… But it genuinely is true. I think I’m comfortable with who I am, and that radiates out. I just think beauty is you defining it for yourself”.