Overcoming Alopecia and Becoming an Inspiration for Other Sufferers

The one thing that you can say about hair loss is that, in all the years that we have been looking after our clients, we have learnt that it is non-discriminatory. We have people come through our door from the very young to the more mature and across all ethnicities and backgrounds.

As we go through a client’s hair loss journey with them, we see the impact it has made on their life and how they gain in confidence once they have the solution that works for them.

We are so proud to share with you the story of Jessica Hartnett.

We first met Jessica when she was just 7 years old. Jess was suffering from alopecia totalis and did not have a single hair on her head. As you can imagine wearing a wig at that young age was not comfortable and we worked with Jessica and her family to investigate the possible causes and effective solutions that would help mask the hair loss and encourage hair growth.

Like many others who suffer from alopecia, Jessica would experience regrowth and then have another episode and the hair would completely fall out again. By the age of 12 Jessica had lost her hair three times through this condition. It was this last bout of hair loss that hit Jessica hardest.

“The last time I lost my hair I hadn’t long started secondary school. One day my hair was fine, the next morning it was all over my pillow and falling out in my hands. Despite my efforts to keep my condition a secret and cover my condition with a wig the word got around that the hair on my head was no longer my own.

"As you can imagine as a result I was subject to the most vile and cruel bullying, whereby my wig was pulled off of my head in-front of a room full of people, I had names shouted at me on a regular basis, crowds of students following me asking if my hair was real and trying to touch it… I even had a girl pour her lunch over mine as I was mid eating. All because I was different for having Alopecia.” Said Jessica

We worked with Jessica to improve the condition of her scalp and remove crystallisation of her hair follicles whilst providing nourishing treatments to help feed the follicles and using magnetic pulse therapy to stimulate growth. The treatment worked and, despite still losing the older hair, new hair was beginning to grow and within 3 weeks of losing her old hair, Jessica could now see her new hair was already working it’s magic.

Despite everything she was going through emotionally as well as physically, Jessica is a fighter. She was determined, even at such a young age, to not be defined by her condition.

Jessica is now 21 and has been shortlisted for Miss England 2020! We know the battle that Jessica faced, and she now wants to share her experience and raise awareness of Alopecia.

“Losing my hair was probably the most traumatic, harrowing and life changing experience that I will ever go through – some days I couldn’t even bring myself to look in the mirror because I was horrified at what would be staring back at me. This effected my self-esteem more than words can explain and for years I believed that I deserved that treatment.

Tina at Christos and her girls have given me an indescribable amount of support since the age of 7 and I cannot imagine my journey without them. I have had a few scares along the way where I was terrified that the nasty condition had made its return and the team at Christos put in countless hours of work to prevent my hair from falling out.

I want to show people that there is light at the end of the tunnel, I now have a full head of hair that I couldn’t be more proud of. My confidence has returned (most days) and I hope that I can inspire and give hope to any other sufferers out there.” Jessica

Helping You Through Your Alopecia.

Alopecia is a condition that it is very easy to dismiss as a response to stress. However, in our experience, it is rarely a single “stressful” incident, but more the body having an ongoing reaction to the triggers causing a stress response.

When you come through the door at Christos we will always sit down with the family as well as the client if this is appropriate so we can get a full account of what has happened. In Jessica’s case we were fortunate to have input from Jessica, her mum and even her nan and grandad. This helps us to look at the bigger picture.

There is a natural shedding cycle with hair and this is perfectly normal. But for hair to fall out in clumps or leave areas of noticeable thinning is not normal, and there is always a reason. It could be that the immune system is not functioning correctly and is attacking hair follicles as if they were a foreign body, an undiagnosed thyroid condition, vitamin and mineral imbalances or even a hormone imbalance.

As part of the consultation we will take a full medical history, we will ask lots of question about your diet and lifestyle and how you are feeling. We will then assess your scalp to check for signs of inflammation and debris build up.

When you are suffering with Alopecia it is natural to fear washing and brushing your hair in case you cause more hair loss. The opposite is true. Having a great scalp care routine that includes using an anti-inflammatory shampoo and gently buffing the scalp to remove debris and dead skin is essential in allowing the new fine hair to grow.

Looking after the fragile new growth is different for everyone and hair growth can quickly become unstable. During these periods we would see Jessica up to 3 times per week, taking charge of washing and drying her hair as well as using treatments such as the BioMag magnetic pulse therapy, Pharma Hermetic Hair Recovery and Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy to actively stimulate growth and IV nutrients and dietary recommendations to ensure the body is receiving the building blocks necessary to support this condition.

We know the impact that alopecia can have, it can leave you feeling isolated and self-conscious. We are so thankful to Jessica for letting us share her incredible story in hope that it will inspire other sufferers to take control and we are so incredibly proud of Jessica and wish her every success in Miss England 2020.

You can vote for Jessica by texting MISS PHOTO09 to 63333, texts cost 50p

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