Lorraine’s Story    

My name is Lorraine and at the age of thirty three, I have two beautiful daughters aged three and seven both with big brown eyes and brown hair, life couldn’t be any more perfect.One evening in may 2009, I was washing my hair and discovered a patch of hair was missing and realised its alopecia. I knew about alopecia from my teen years as I lost a patch of my hair no bigger than a two euro coin but it grew back within the space of six months. I panicked for about an hour and said to myself it will grow back in six months at least I’m not ill.As time went on, more hair fell out slowly I tried to hide it and told nobody but inside I knew I had no control over it. I was devastated as I loved my hair, coloured it and cut it regular as to have different styles. Around a month later I noticed my youngest daughter was getting a bald patch at the crown of her head. I never thought for a second it was alopecia as the doctor had said it’s not genetic they don’t know why it happens to people there is no scientific reason as to why?

I brought my daughter to the doctor to be told yes it is alopecia but they couldn’t tell me anything else I was just added to a list to see a dermatologist in three months time. I looked for any information on the internet for weeks but there was very little support at the time and no answers. I was crying all the time so upset for my daughter her hair started to fall out rapidly every time she had a bath I would be left with handfuls of hair and tried not to let her see how upset I was. At one stage I tried calling 2FM but I couldn’t go on air as I couldn’t talk about it without crying. My own hair was falling out also at this time but I just focused on my daughter that’s how I got through the heartache, feeling of loss, guilt and being unattractive.

It had a huge effect on my eldest daughter when she saw her sister and I losing our hair she was afraid it was going to happen to her. We attended our appointment at the dermatologist to be told she had no answers and doesn’t see a case like ours regular. This didn’t give me much hope all we could do is set a meeting up to see all the leading dermatologist’s from a number of hospitals they were having their yearly get together in Crumlin hospital. I didn’t get my hopes up as my daughter had lost all of her hair at this stage and most of mine was gone. We spent the day at the hospital while meetings were taken place to be told at the end of the day, “ It’s cosmetic your not ill so there is nothing we can treat” I knew they couldn’t help me.

A few more months passed I was still searching for answers on the internet and found The Hair clinic in Dublin city centre. I brought my daughter and they started laser treatment and creams. She has been using this treatment for three months now and no result as yet. I’m not using the same treatment I’m waiting to see if it works for my daughter.
I have recently found a company called,” Hairspray” which has made me really excited and has given me hope for the future. They supply many different types of hair pieces and wigs. They also were able to give me advice and it really helps to talk about it. I also found a support group called,”Alopecia Ireland” they hold meetings every couple of months to keep us updated on new findings to do with alopecia. It really helps to speak with other people that have some understanding of what you have to go through and people have to deal with it in their own time. It took me a year and a half before I could really talk about it. I have now lost all of my hair and have learned to accept what’s happened and over time I hope to see improvements. I will never stop searching for answers but writing this has provided me with some sort of closure. I really felt like I was the only one having to deal with this issue but I’m now discovering many more like me!