From her carefully contoured makeup and much-publicised enhanced lips to her ever-changing hairstyles – mostly thanks to her own wig and hair extension line – looking good is clearly important to the reality star – she even shows fans how to recreate her looks via tutorial videos on her own app. Yet, despite her own fascination with cosmetics and hairstyles in particular, it seems Kylie is also quick to recognise the beauty in those who look more unconventional.
As part of her anti-bullying social media campaign #Iammorethan, designed to applaud individuality and celebrate each others’ differences, Kylie recently introduced her 42.1 million instagram followers to a young lady called Shalice Ader. Shalice is completely bald due to hair loss from Alopecia Areata.
Shalice’s alopecia story
Explaining how Alopecia Universalis – the most extreme version of the autoimmune condition Alopecia Areata, which causes a complete loss of hair from head to toe – struck when she was just one year old, Shalice told Kylie’s followers about her experiences. She did not, however, speak about her eyebrows and lashes which she may have been lucky to retain – this can happen but is rare; some people opt for false brows and lashes or have brows tattooed on.
“I remember in kindergarten I’d get bullied for wearing a hat a lot and getting teased thru elementary as that girl who was bald. It really hurt me that people everywhere would look at me differently. Thru out the years I’ve gained confidence slowly. I started wearing a wig in 6th grade til Junior year of high school.”
“I decided to start a Instagram the beginning of my junior year of high school, towards the end of junior year I’ve gained so much confidence to go to school without my wig, Trust me guys I was so scared to face my biggest fear. But guess what! it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Everyone supported me and accepted me for who I am. On social media I had the best supporters ever! To support me and make me happy!! I don’t even know what’d I do without you guys and my family and friends.”
The sudden onset, highly visible and uncertain nature of all forms of Alopecia Areata can have a drastic effect on people’s self-esteem, knocking their confidence. As the hair follicles are not damaged by the condition and are simply forced into suspension, preventing hair growth for as long as they remain dormant, there is always an element of hope attached.
Whilst hair often regrows naturally or a treatment for Alopecia Areata specially tailored by a hair loss specialist can be used to promote regrowth in its moderate stage, for those with Alopecia Totalis or Alopecia Universalis the outlook is generally less positive. Many have to accept coming to terms with their baldness and decide whether or not they want to wear a wig, due to a current lack of established, effective treatments.
Thanking everyone who follows her and has provided physical and virtual support, Hawaii-based Shalice, who has a popular YouTube channel dedicated to positivity and enouraging people to be themselves, said, “I’m so grateful to make you guys happy with my positive thoughts and my YouTube videos