Four years ago, Emma Coughlan began losing her hair. After living abroad for a decade, helping to establish schools in Saudi Arabia and Thailand, she moved home following a relationship breakup. Shortly after returning to her parent’s home in Teesside, she fell ill, and was soon diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy, in which the fertilised egg implants itself outside the womb, often in the fallopian tube. As is generally the case with such pregnancies, Emma suffered a miscarriage.
While recovering in hospital, she noticed a small amount of hair loss, but at the time did not realise how severe it would become: “A lot of women experience hair loss in pregnancy because of a change of hormones, so I didn’t think much of it,” she told local newspaper the Gazette. “But when I got home and washed my hair, it just started coming out in my hands – it was like in a horror movie.”
Hair loss inspires career direction
Emma was soon diagnosed with Alopecia Areata, and eventually she lost her eyebrows and eyelashes, as well as all the hair on her scalp. She describes it as, “the most devastating thing in the world. It completely changes who you are and how you see yourself.” She added: “I can see it’s only hair now but at the time I cannot express how bad it was.”
Today, Emma’s eyelashes have re-grown, but much of her hair has not. She still wears a wig, but she is determined not to let it affect her life in a negative way, and she has used her experiences as inspiration to make a difference in the lives of other women with hair loss conditions. Having had a botched treatment to have her eyebrows cosmetically painted on, the 33 year-old decided to re-train as a technician in semi-permanent make-up. She recently opened her own clinic in Redcar, which specialises in the application of semi-permanent make-up for women with Alopecia and other hair loss conditions.
Emma told another local newspaper, the Sunday Sun: “Clients with Alopecia pour their heart out to me and it makes you feel normal again when you talk to someone else who has experienced it.”
What is Alopecia?
Alopecia can affect both men and women of any age, though it is particularly common in childhood and in early adulthood. It is an auto-immune disorder in which the body’s own natural defences attack healthy hair follicles, preventing them from producing new hair.
The exact causes for Alopecia are not completely understood, but it is thought to be triggered by stress, trauma and illness, all three of which could be the culprit in Emma Coughlan’s case.
In many cases, hair loss due to Alopecia does re-grow in time, though there is no guarantee that this will be the case, and for some individuals like Emma, the condition could continue indefinitely. The more severe and extensive the case of Alopecia, the less likely it is that the hair will grow back.
At The Belgravia Centre, our hair loss experts have found that hair re-growth for mild to moderate patchy cases of alopecia, can be stimulated by treatment with Minoxidil 12.5% cream. To find out more about our treatments for Alopecia and other hair loss conditions please contact us for a free consultation. Alternatively, fill in our online diagnostic form for a home-use treatment programme that we can post anywhere in the world.