alopecia made me an Instagram starSocial media has exploded in the last decade, and the term “selfie” is now firmly embedded in modern day language use. It has in fact, featured in the Oxford English dictionary since 2013. However, for many of us, the advent of alopecia might put us off sharing our photos with the world.

But one woman who has lived and breathed the social media revolution in recent years is 24-year-old Yasmin Taylor, who is an enthusiastic poster of selfies to social media channels such as Instragam, and has used the platform to share her own story with her many followers.

Yasmin’s case is quite unique, as she has suffered from alopecia since her teens, yet she has not let this deter her in her pursuits.

Understanding this type of hair loss: alopecia areata

When Yasmin was just 15 she started experiencing bald patches on her head, and by the end of her teens she was completely bald. This was believed to have been triggered by exam-related stress, and it a type of hair loss is called “alopecia areata“, which is an auto immune condition. This means the hair loss is caused by a fault in the body’s own immune system.

The immune system is meant to protect the body from diseases and fight against infections. In the case of suffers of alopecia areata, the immune system mistakenly believes that the hair follicles are a danger to the body, and attacks them. The result is that hair follicles shrink, causing the strands of hair to fall out, often in patches, but in severe cases this can be all over the head.

Turning a negative into a positive

For many people, hair loss can be stressful, worrying and can have a marked affect on self confidence. In Yasmin’s case, this was indeed the case to begin with, and she tried to cover her condition by wearing wigs.

She credits Instagram with giving her a platform to share her condition and to connect with people all over the world. Some of whom share her condition, others have been able to lend their support and encouragement, and have helped her develop an enviable network of friends and followers.

Today, her Instagram account @yasmintaylor5 has over 1,200 followers and she has shared over 800 posts, many of which boldly show her defiance of her condition. Her posts demonstrate her confident approach to how she has dealt with it.