My daughter went bald in three days
Kayleigh’s hair loss was making her miserable. But mum Lisa saw hope in a special hair system…
My daughter Kayleigh watched as I put the finishing touches to my make-up. ‘You’re so beautiful, Mummy,’ she told me. So are you, love,’ I smiled. Kayleigh, six frowned. ‘i can’t be beautiful. I’ve got no hair,’ she snapped.
It was true. Kayleigh had been born with fine blonde hair. Then, when she was 15months old, she’d had a respiratory infection. Thankfully, she made a full recovery, but three weeks later, her hair started to fall out i n large clumps. One day, I picked her up from nursery and her eyebrows had gone. Within three days, our little girl didn’t have a single hair left on her body.
My husband, Kevin, and i were stunned. Worried, I took her to our GP, but he could only tell us t wait and see whether it grew back again.
But we wanted to know more. We had private health insurance with Kevin’s job as an IT project manager, so we got an immediate referral to a specialist.
‘Kayleigh has alopecia – hair loss,’ he said. ‘It can be hereditary or triggered by infection or stress.’ He explained alopecia happens when an overactive immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing it to fall out.
‘Kayleigh’s hair might never grow back,’ he warned and even if it did, he told us it might all fall out again. We tried a few treatments. When Kayleigh was three, doctors recommended a steroid cream. It didn’t work. Neither did Minodoxil, a product that affects a hormone which stops hair growth.
When Kayleigh was four, we were told about other possible treatments. One could cause cancer; another had severe eczema as a possible side effect. i hugged Kayleigh. I’d rather she stayed halt, I told Kevin, 47. But going out in public was a nightmare. People stared at out little girl.
Poor thing. Has she had cancer?’ asked one rude lady. We bought Kayleigh a wig, but it looked awful – really fake. Then, when she started school, the bullying began. ‘Baldy,’ some kids hissed. They’d pulled at her caps and tweak her headscarves, too.
The teachers were supportive, but couldn’t watch Kayleigh all the time. Luckily, she had some good mates who stuck by her. But she often cried when I dropped her off at school. By then I got one, I’d be in tears, too. It was heart breaking.
Kayleigh started to become withdrawn, clinging to me or Kevin whenever we went out. In July 2004, I gave birth to my son, Thomas. He had a mop of thick hair-and he and Kayleigh adored each other. Then, last April, Kevin’s mum showed me a newspaper article. The writer described a special hair replacement system. Could this be the best answer to our prayers?
A Perfect fit
We visited the White Cliffs Hair studio in London, and saw how strands of real human hair from ethical sources were woven onto a mesh cap, handmade to fit each client’s head perfectly.
The cap is then secured with a special glut. The hair system is only removed around once a month to be repaired and maintained with special products. Kayleigh was thrilled. ‘I’ll be like all my friends, ‘she grinned, as her head was measured. It took six months for Kayleigh’s new hair to be sourced and the crap to be made. She counted down the months, weeks – and days.
Finally, last October, it was ready, and Kayleigh was given her new hair. She was so happy when she saw it on. We were all in foods of tears.
It’s the first time I’ve seen her smile properly in such a long time’. I whispered.
Kayleigh’s always been beautiful-inside and out. But since she’s had her new hair, she’s just been a different child. At euro 1,500, the hair system isn’t cheap. But it’s given Kayleigh the confidence to live like a normal child. And that makes it all worthwhile.
Lisa Burrell, 32, Gillingham, Kent.