When you lose your hair to the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata, which leads to sudden, patchy hair loss, it can feel like your world has been turned upside down. In fact, it can feel like your world has been swapped for one in which treatments and wigs dominate your every waking thought.
Such was the case for a young Australian named Sarah Christian when all of her hair fell out when she was nine or 10. Now, two decades later, she is putting everything she has ever learned about Alopecia Areata to good use.
Wig pulled off
Like many children with Alopecia Areata, Sarah, from Sydney, was bullied when she was at school. Other pupils would pull off her wig, and when she was in her teens she found it especially hard to feel equal to the other girls at school with their beautiful hair.
Over the years, Sarah unwittingly became something of an expert on wigs – presumably because her hair loss was so severe that treatment was unsuccessful. Today, many cases of Alopecia Areata in its patchy, scalp-only form, can be treated with a tailored alopecia areata treatment course. More extreme forms of the condition – Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis – however, lead to total baldness that currently cannot be treated effectively.
In an article in the Daily Mail – written to highlight Australia’s National Alopecia Awareness Week from 13th-19th November – Sarah explains how she has spent half her life battling in vain to find a cure that works for her. And she has devoted almost as much time to finding a wig that fits and looks realistic.
“About two years ago I was sourcing hair from a company in Sydney and I was spending close to $10,000 a year on wigs,” she says. “The quality eventually got worse and worse and the hair was falling out of the wig quicker than it was falling out of my own head.”
Mine of information
Her solution was to start importing wigs and hair from Europe and open up her own salon, which she has named The Beautiful Hair Boutique. Today, she sells wigs, hairpieces, hair extensions and hair toppers (designed to fill in sparse hair) by appointment and is a mine of information to her anxious customers who have also lost their hair.
“A lot of the time I’m more of a counsellor and the wig is just secondary,” she tells the Mail. “Women will come in and cry and just want to talk to someone who understands hair loss, because with Alopecia or cancer it’s the number one thing women fear. Lending a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on is the least I can do to help.”
If you, too, are worried about hair loss, Belgravia offers help and professional advice on all kinds of treatable conditions, including Alopecia Areata, Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss, Telogen Effluvium which is frequently stress-induced and Traction Alopecia, the hair loss condition that is usually caused by excessively tight hair styles.
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 Consultation 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.