A Wirral schoolgirl with Alopecia Universalis has decided to use her painting skills to raise money for Alopecia research. Alopecia universalis is the most extreme form of hair loss where all hair on the body is lost, including eyebrows and eyelashes.
4 year old Sydney Caraher experienced her first significant period of hair loss in September last year – though at the time the hair loss was restricted to her head. The situation escalated so quickly that parents Sarah and Dave decided have all the remaining strands of hair cut off in December. Though Sydney had already experienced some hair loss in the past, it had never been as dramatic and she recovered each time.
Sarah recalls how difficult it was for the young girl to understand what was happening to her once hip-length hair: “She was so upset, she didn’t understand. She asked if she was a boy now. We went through a period of four weeks where she wouldn’t touch anything pink.”
Alopecia universalis at age 4
Her parents believe that her hair loss is stress-related, with the condition striking particularly severely after difficult periods such as hospital visits.
Sarah said: “She’s lost hair on her arms, legs, eyelashes, it’s completely gone. She has no eyebrows now and a couple of tiny strands dotted on her head but to look at her you would think she is completely bald.
“It’s upsetting for her because people stare naturally when they see a child with no hair; they think she has leukaemia and you have awkward questions. Other children sometimes don’t go near her because they think she’s sick.
“She has lost a lot of confidence and we are doing what we can to build it back up and she’s still coming to terms with it herself. She doesn’t understand fully what’s happened. She thinks if she eats all her fruit and veg it will all come back.”
Raising awareness through art
The brave 4 year old is now looking to bring more awareness to this condition, by raising money for Alopecia UK, a charity that conducts research into Alopecia. The Overchurch school pupil has made a painting called ‘Volcano’, which will be auctioned on eBay to raise money for the charity. The painting sparked a bidding war soon after it was put up for auction: rising from a starting point of 99p to an amazing £205.
Her parents are proud of their young daughter’s determination and resilience. Sarah says: “We are proud of her, especially now she’s not affected by everyone staring. She’s still at the stage where she doesn’t really understand but we want to help her to be herself.”
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 0800 077 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.