A hairdresser who started losing her hair when she became pregnant has been cited as inspiration after sharing her battle with alopecia on social media.
41-year-old Victoria Morgan from Burntwood was always proud of her long black locks and started hairdressing from the age of 13 – a profession she loved.
However, everything started to change when she became pregnant with her daughter Valentina-Rose, who is now two years old, in July 2018.
Victoria underwent a scan six months after her pregnancy and absently ran her fingers through her hair while she sat in the waiting room. After growing up with hair this long, Victoria was used to hair loss, but noticed that the lumps were bigger than usual.
41-year-old Victoria Morgan (pictured) from Burntwood, who grew up with long black hair, was diagnosed with alopecia areata after conceiving in 2018
Victoria (pictured) first noticed her hair loss while waiting for her six-month pregnancy scan, but continued as usual
Just as Victoria (pictured) hit rock bottom because of her extreme hair loss, she noticed her hair was growing back
For a while, Victoria continued as usual, but soon noticed more extreme hair loss in the shower and suspected that she might be suffering from alopecia.
By the end of her pregnancy in March 2019, Victoria struggled to hide her growing bald patches. But just when she thought she had hit rock bottom, the hair grew back.
Over the next four months, Victoria's curls returned to normal, but dandruff soon began again and by May 2020, Victoria made the decision to completely shave her hair.
She was diagnosed with alopecia areata, which means that her eyelashes and body hair were falling out too.
Victoria (pictured) enjoyed her thick black locks for four months, but the shedding soon started again
Victoria decided to shave her hair completely and was soon diagnosed with alopecia areata, which caused her eyelashes and body hair to fall out as well. Pictured: Victoria and Valentina-Rose
Victoria (pictured) was treated with antidepressants by her family doctor after she lost her sense of identity and felt like her life was over
The sudden change in appearance was a shock. Victoria had lost her sense of identity and the feeling that her life was over. She went to her family doctor who gave her antidepressants.
The tablets were a turning point and over time Victoria gained the strength and confidence to accept and eventually celebrate her new look.
Encouraged by her husband Cameron, 39, Victoria began sharing her story on social media, hoping to remove the stigma of female baldness.
“I always had thick black hair and, ironically, I just wanted to be a hairdresser. I did this job between thirteen and thirty-six, ”Victoria said.
The hairdresser (pictured) struggled to lose her eyelashes and admitted that she isn't the best with striped lashes
“I was six months pregnant when it all started. I sat there waiting for a scan and I remember running my fingers through my hair thinking that more hair was coming out than normal.
“I noticed when I was washing my hair too. I knew this was not normal as my hair loss had subsided in previous pregnancies.
Alopecia patches continued to develop during my pregnancy. I could hardly hide it until Christmas 2019, but then it started to grow again in the new year.
WHAT IS ALOPECIA?
Alopecia, which causes baldness, is considered an autoimmune disease. The immune system – the body's own defense system – switches itself on.
What are the symptoms
Typically, one or more small bald patches the size of a 50 ps piece will appear on the scalp. Hair can grow back in one area while another bald area develops. The hair can also be thinner all over the head, ”says Marilyn Sherlock, Chair of the Institute of Trichologists.
What causes it
For some reason, the body's immune system begins to attack its own hair follicles. Special white blood cells in the body called T lymphocytes stop the hair from growing, ”she adds.
Can worry make it worse?
Stress has been shown to prolong the problem.
Is it a hereditary disease?
There is strong evidence that alopecia, like other autoimmune diseases, runs in families. About 25 percent of patients have a family history of the disorder.
Who will get it?
Alopecia areata usually affects adolescents and young adults, but it can affect people of all ages. It's just as common in men as it is in women.
Is there a cure?
There is no known cure, although there are several treatments that may be effective for some people.
I had about eight small bald spots, but I was so much happier.
& # 39; It was shed again by April 2020. At first I thought I was paranoid, but I wasn't. So much had fallen out within a month that I decided to shave my head. It was a heartbreaking decision.
“Most of my body hair came out too. This was something I didn't mind – it has its advantages – but I was having trouble losing my eyelashes. I'm not the best with eyelashes.
“I didn't get on well at all. It felt like a hole I couldn't get out of. I hit rock bottom and cried myself to sleep.
Victoria said she felt paranoid when she noticed her hair loss and it was heartbreaking to have to shave her head. Pictured: Victoria and Cameron
Victoria revealed that antidepressants were a turning point and gave her the strength to accept what had happened. Pictured: Victoria, Cameron and Valentina-Rose
Victoria (pictured), who was encouraged to start an Instagram page, said sharing her experience felt like therapy
One night I lay there feeling like my life was over because I was no longer me. The next day I booked to see my GP and I was given antidepressants. & # 39;
Soon after, Victoria's perspective on her new look began to change.
"The pills were my turning point," Victoria said.
They pulled me out of the hole and gave me the strength to try to accept what had happened. I had to create a new identity in order to feel good about myself.
& # 39; My husband encouraged me to start an Instagram page called @ v.i.c.t.or.i.a.m.o.r.g.a.n. It was the right thing and it felt like therapy to me. I didn't have to hide anymore.
Victoria (pictured) said she had been referred to as "inspiration" by other people suffering from alopecia
“Other people suffering from alopecia have contacted me and told me that I am an inspiration and I give them strength that is very humble.
“I don't care about wearing wigs. I tried it for about a week, but I felt more confident. Some people laugh when they see me bald, but it only makes up about one percent of the people I meet.
“Your hair doesn't define you or make you less of a woman. You have to find a way to take control of the situation and not let it control you anymore. & # 39;
Victoria (pictured) said she doesn't particularly like wearing wigs and felt more confident after wearing one for a week
Victoria (pictured) said hair doesn't define you or make you less of a woman, it is necessary to take control of the situation
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