Toy manufacturers American Girl have created a doll without scalp 'hair' to reflect the needs of its young customers. The hairless heads are part of a new range of "special needs" items including guide dogs, doll-sized hearing aids, and an allergy free lunch.
American Girl spokesperson Julie Parks explained the company's decision to make these items available, saying: "There's a variety of different issues that girls are facing."
Indeed, there are several reasons why a young girl could have to deal with hair loss: perhaps she is in treatment for cancer, or has had a bad illness, the stress of which has lead to temporary hair loss. In both of these cases, the hair loss should grow back within months.
However, some female hair loss conditions, such as alopecia areata (sudden bald patches) and alopecia totalis (sudden hair loss all over the scalp), although fairly uncommon can cause dramatic hair loss that can be extremely distressing for young girls.
These types of hair loss occur when the hair prematurely enters the telogen, or resting phase of its cycle, though what causes hair to do this is still a subject of debate and appears to vary from case to case.
Although technically an auto-immune disease, alopecia areata appears to be triggered by a variety of things, from allgergies to sudden shock, a local skin injury and chemicals. Although as a clinic we do treat alopecia areata, we would recommend that girls under the age of 16 experiencing the condition should see their GP, in order to ensure the underlying issue is dealt with.
In the mean time, an American Doll could aid young girls in coming to terms with their hair loss with confidence. With five different skin tones and multiple eye colours, the dolls are capable of mimicking the child's appearance, to the extent that knowing that some hair loss conditions are temporary, American Doll supply a second free head replacement.
Explaining their continued focus on diversity, Parks added: "By creating a doll without hair or with a hearing aid, we're just providing more options for a girl to create a doll that's as unique as she is."
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.