I once was “normal.” I was like every other little girl. I had beautiful brown hair and I used to love playing with it. When I was 7 years old, the spring of 1st grade, my hair started falling out in patches. You’d think that little me would be freaked out at this sight, but shockingly I was never afraid. My mom and I went to the doctors to find the answer as to why my hair was falling out. They told us that I had an auto immune disorder called Alopecia. Alopecia areata occurs when the immune system attacks hair follicles, and may be caused by severe stress. They said there is no cure, but treatments may help. My hair completely fell out when I was 8 years old and in the 2nd grade. We started using creams and oils, and nothing was working. One day I was searching for something in the dining room and I found my application for Locks of Love. I asked my mom what it was, and she told me that she and my grandma each wrote a letter explaining my story and I was soon going to start receiving wigs from Locks of Love. Excited as I was, I went to school and told EVERYONE (even my teachers) that I was going to receive my first wig. In the 3rd grade, my wig finally came. To this day, I remember walking into my class room and showing off my wig to all the teachers who wanted to cry tears of joy at the sight of my excitement. I barely did anything without my wig. I loved it to pieces. It made me feel normal and I felt that I actually belonged with all the other kids.
In the 4th grade, I went without my wig for a couple days due to swim class, and I still remember how shocked all the kids were because they forgot about my condition. I started receiving more and more hair pieces as I got older and I took great care of each and every one of them. I wore it every day. One day in the 8th grade, I decided that I wanted to go one day without my wig. I showed up to school in a t-shirt that said “natural beauty” on it, and I walked down the hall with the biggest most confident smile on my face. Every single person that I passed that day told me how beautiful I looked and how proud they were of me. I went home that day with my heart filled with great joy. My local newspaper even wrote an article about me and a piece of my story. Freshman year I had my days where I wore my wig and some days where I didn’t wear it at all. Sophomore year was the first year I took a school picture without my hair piece. Junior year was the year my best friend convinced me that I should go to one school dance without my hair piece, and I did. I also had the privilege to fly to Florida and be a part of Locks of Love Camp 2014. I got to share my story with girls my age who went through and are going through the same thing I am. Today marks 4 years from when I showed the world the real me. I am now 17 years old, a Senior in high school, and I am beyond proud to say that my hair is growing back. I have learned to control my stress level, and even though some days are easier than others, I am taking it one day at a time and living life to the best of my ability. I still talk to some of the girls I met at Locks of Love camp and they have became some of my best friends. Alopecia isn’t easy. Especially on a typical teenage girl who stresses at the sight of a broken nail or a bad grade in school. Alopecia has definitely showed me who my true friends are, and I am eternally grateful for the ones who have stayed by my side through everything. I have my days where I am super confident in the way I look and I am proud to go outside and show the world the real me, but I also have my days where I rather lay in bed all day and cry because I hate the bald head God gave me. I don’t know where I would be without Locks of Love. Their hair pieces have gave me enough confidence to go out and be myself. Whenever I need a confidence boost, I put my hair piece on, I turn on Fight Song by Rachel Platten, and I dance around my room until there is a smile upon my face. I have came so far over the years and I just want to thank Locks of Love for everything they have ever done for me. Without you guys I would be a scared little teenager who still didn’t know her self worth and walked around like a lost puppy dog. I am beautiful. Inside and out. And I thank Locks of Love for finally showing me that ❤