Emily’s Story

I was 10 years old when I lost my hair.

My friend and I were playing hairdressers when she noticed a bald patch in my hair. The second she told me; I ran into the living room to tell my mum in a panic. She said she already knew but didn’t want to upset me. Since that moment, I tried to cling onto every last strand of hair for as long as I could, but it was pointless.

That one discovery seemed to speed up the process and by the summer I had no hair left.

When we went to the hospital, they told us that I had Alopecia Totalis, meaning that my hair would never grow back on my head. They also revealed that it was hereditary from my mum, who has Alopecia Areata. My mum didn’t tell me originally as she didn’t want to worry me and hoped that it would go away on its own. As a child, I didn’t truly understand everything that was happening, only that I was going to be bald. I was confused and devastated, waking up to see hair coming out on my pillow, in the shower, on my clothes. I remember feeling so different to my friends and I hated it, I just wanted to have my own hair back.

When I finally lost my hair, I went into year 6 with a number of wigs that were extremely uncomfortable and just didn’t feel like me. I wanted to look like my friends and those around me, but again, I still felt like I stood out. I felt like eyes were on me all the time and I suffered through my final year of primary school a shell of who I was before. I didn’t want to start high school with this mentality, and something needed to change.

Then my mum found Andrea.

Mum was doing research into places in Leeds that supplied wigs and found Andrea’s Hairoom in Morley. I have lived in Morley all my life so to find something right on our doorstep, we couldn’t believe it. The first time we went, I remember feeling so nervous, I had no idea what to expect, I had so many questions that I was so afraid of asking. Ever since that day, however, I have never looked back. Andrea has helped me in so many amazing ways since that day. She advised us about the Little Princess Trust, CCG prescriptions, human and synthetic hair and so much more. She has been a pillar of support for me and mum for so many years. Every year for the past 10 years, she has been there, supplying and filling me with confidence to be the best version of myself, through times where I wanted change and times where I wanted to feel my best. And as the team grew with Jan and Wayne, the empathy and compassion they feel for all clients, including myself, felt so warming and welcoming.

I began working part-time for Andrea’s Hairoom in the summer of 2021, doing a few days a week whilst I was on break from university. It was an honour and privilege to be asked and taking this role has been the best decision I have ever made. When I went back to university in September, I was miserable. I was in denial with what I wanted to do with my future and a few breakdowns later I came clean with everyone in admitting that university wasn’t right for me. I sought advice in Andrea, Wayne, and Jan about what I should do and, as always, they were understanding, encouraging and compassionate to my situation. They helped unscramble everything that it was in my head and put it back in for me.

On November 1st, 2021, I began working full time at Andrea’s.

Every day, I feel so grateful to be involved in the company, as well as being surrounded by such an incredible group of people, who are passionate and committed to helping others who live with hair loss. Being a part of someone’s journey is such a personal thing and by telling my story, I hope that my experience with hair loss can give you some comfort in your own journey, in knowing that whatever stage of life you are in, there will always be someone to be your confidante.



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