When 11-year-old British alopecia sufferer Katelyn Payne lost all of her hair at the age of nine, she decided that instead of letting her hair loss get her down, she would try and deal with it in a positive way.
Though initially devastated when her hair first disappeared two years ago, Katelyn has gone on to embrace the possibilities offered by wigs, and the freedom they give her to change how she looks whenever she wants to.
She has even landed a modelling contract with a Los Angeles-based wig maker and is now the proud owner of a variety of wigs that help her change her look at a moment’s notice. One of her favourite things to do is to put on wigs that help her resemble some of her favourite musicians.
Life after losing hair
A keen singer and dancer, Katelyn now has a wig for whatever mood suits her – from the Taylor Swift look to a Paloma Faith “kooky blonde” style. She says she hopes she can show other children that losing their hair doesn’t have to mean they can no longer enjoy life.
Talking to YouTube channel Barcroft TV, Katelyn explained how she was “quite upset at first” when she lost her hair, but explained that she is determined to show other children that they shouldn’t be afraid of having no hair because they are still the same person they have always been.
Her family have also set up a charity called BeBold to offer support and guidance for other alopecia sufferers.
Katelyn suffers from Alopecia Universalis, a rare, and more severe form of the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata, which causes total hair loss. This makes it one of the more difficult hair loss conditions to treat.
Alopecia Areata is characterised by sudden, patchy loss of hair from the scalp and is caused by follicles prematurely entering into the ‘resting’ phase of the growth cycle.
Between these two extremes is Alopecia Totalis which presents as complete hair loss from the head (rather than just the scalp in Areata, or the whole body in Universalis) including eyebrows, eyelashes and facial hair.
Alopecia sufferers have a genetic mutation in their chromosomes and, even though the condition is present at birth, it may not be evident until later life.
Many alopecia sufferers seriously struggle with their loss of hair, with the problem often being more acutely felt among women. One report found that 96 per cent of women felt that hair was directly connected to their sense of beauty.
Help for all types of hair loss
The Belgravia Centre’s hair loss experts offer a range of hair loss treatments, tailored to each client’s needs. While there is no known permanent cure for alopecia at the present time, there are a number of treatment options for Alopecia Areata which have been shown to be effective in treating the patchy hair loss it causes.
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 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.