Alopecia has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Although I was diagnosed at around six years old, I can't remember my life without it. I do recall my mother trying every home remedy and diet that she could find to help my hair grow back. I was the only kid in school grade with alfalfa sprout and full-grain bread sandwiches. After a year or so of trying just about everything, we gave in to the fact that this was something that I would just have to get used to. I specifically remember my first wig. It was made with stiff synthetic hair (not that fancy stuff they have today) and it didn't look natural at all for a child. Over time, I got nicer wigs, but my confidence still suffered and I was terrified of people knowing about my alopecia. I hated sleepovers and playing sports for the fear that I would have to take my wig off or that it would fall off during activity. This was certainly no way for a child to have to live.
As I got older, I gained a bit more confidence, but it took me all the way into my early 20's to truly accept and love myself with alopecia. Eventually, I began wearing scarves instead of wigs and fully embracing who I was. Today, I'm able to enjoy wigs as a want and not as a need, and I get to have fun with so many different looks and styles. I've learned that living with alopecia is a beautiful thing and something that makes me unique and special. We're all individually different and beautiful in our own ways, and having alopecia is not something to hide but to celebrate and love. If I have any advice for girls going through the struggle of losing their hair, it's just to practice self-love, embrace all that makes you who you are, and never doubt your inherent beauty.