alopecia schoolHair loss is difficult enough for adults to come to terms with, but imagine losing your hair at just 11 years old. That’s exactly what happened to American Emma Dye, right as she was about to start junior high. Now, she’s helping to raise awareness of Alopecia areata and is proving bald can definitely be beautiful.

Emma’s inspirational story

It was during the summer 11-year-old Emma started noticing clumps of hair on her pillow. Both she and her family were confused as she was an otherwise healthy girl. Her father even suspected she had cut her own hair with scissors, or potentially burnt the hair off with straighteners. However, after taking her to the doctor, it was revealed she was suffering with Alopecia areata.

Although it largely affects adults, alopecia areata can develop at any age. It’s the most severe form of hair loss and as of yet there is no cure. It occurs when the body’s white blood cells start attacking other cells, such as those found in the hair follicles. While it varies in severity, some sufferers like Emma, do end up completely bald.

The diagnosis affected Emma’s confidence and self-esteem. Initially she started to wear hats to cover the issue, but thanks to the encouragement of a friend, she gained the confidence to start ditching the wig. Now, she’s helping to spread awareness of the condition and showing other young girls that going bald doesn’t need to negatively impact your life.

Can alopecia areata be treated?

Although there is no cure for Alopecia areata, there are some treatments which may help. It all depends upon how severe the condition is and how much hair has been lost.

Some treatments can block the attack from the immune system, as well as stimulate new regrowth. However, before seeking treatment, it’s important to see a doctor to determine whether treatment is likely to prove effective.