15 year old Joelle Amery has been named the new face of Alopecia UK, a charitable organisation that campaigns to raise awareness of the hair loss condition. Joelle is herself affected by a rare form of Alopecia, first losing her hair at the age of eight.
Within weeks of first noticing the hair loss Joelle had gone completely bald. However the hair loss did not stop there – eventually she lost all the hair on her body. Joelle is affected by the rarest form of Alopecia – Alopecia Universalis – in which all hair on the body, including eyebrows and eyelashes, falls out.
Hiding the hair loss
As a young teenager, Joelle was subject to bullying by classmates who called her ‘cancer girl’, wrongly assuming she was losing her hair as a side-effect of chemotherapy. Like many young women affected by Alopecia-related conditions, she then took to wearing a wig in public to hide her bald head.
However at the age of 14 Joelle released a music video on YouTube, becoming an Internet sensation overnight. The 200,000 hits and ensuing acclaim provided the confidence boost Joelle needed to make piece with her condition and ditch the wig. She said: “I have accepted that Alopecia is a big part of my life, but it doesn’t define me.”
Moving forward, raising awareness
Joelle is now desperate to raise awareness of Alopecia-related conditions to help other people affected by the condition to overcome social stigma.
“Hair loss in women has been ‘covered up’ by society, forcing women to hide it more, while it is acceptable for a grown man to be bald. The ultimate goal with all this publicity is to glean as much information about facts and figures, in the hope that more money will be spent on research and ultimately one day, a possible cure,” she was reported as saying.
Joelle’s new role as an Alopecia ambassador will see her working with Alopecia UK on high-profile projects designed to attract media attention and help ‘personalise’ the hair loss condition. Alopecia UK also works with a number of organisations to try and influence hair loss research planning for the benefit of their members. Alopecia UK actively canvasses people affected by hair loss to this end.
Hair loss in all its forms remains relatively rare. However any man or woman affected by hair loss should seek a professional diagnosis as soon as possible to ensure the condition is managed properly.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our online diagnostic form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our hair loss success stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.