Alopecia was a condition that I hadn't heard of until late last year, and if most of you are like me you may not have heard of it either.
According to the Australian Alopecia Areata Foundation (AAAF), Alopecia Areata is an immunological disease under genetic control, which disrupts the normal biology of the hair follicle. For more than 30 years, leading Dermatologists around the world have been studying hair growth patterns, genetic and immune theories, striving for a cure and an acceptable treatment for Alopecia Areata. There are three types of Alopecia Areata; Alopecia areata, alopecia areata totalis and alopecia areata universalis. There are different types of alopecia, with the most common being androgenetic.
Alopecia areata, the most common variation of the autoimmune disease, presents itself as round, smooth patches of various sizes anywhere on the scalp. In over half of those affected, the hair regrows, without any treatment. Alopecia areata totalis is complete loss of hair on the scalp occurring either all at once or within a short period of time. Alopecia areata universalis is the rarest form of alopecia areata and presents itself as the loss of hair over the entire scalp and body.
I met this beautiful girl named Mel just under a year ago, totally unaware of her condition (she has the coolest wig) and when I found out she had alopecia I had to ask what it was and was in disbelief that she had this! As I got to know Mel better, I found out many things about her - she makes the best cookies you'll ever eat, she has the coolest vintage style and she has an amazing outlook on life, and I for one count myself very lucky to have met her and have her as a friend.
On Saturday night she had a girls night in to celebrate her 4 year "wigaversary" and raise funds for the AAAF - a foundation that does amazing work for people with alopecia. We watched a documentary created by Australian actress Georgia van Cuylenburg titled; Baby Let Your Hair Hang Down, which goes through her journey with alopecia, a journey that is both heart warming and heart breaking, confronting and real. We wore wigs, ate delicious treats and talked for hours - as girls do, it was a special night and it really opened my eyes about alopecia and the wonderful work the foundation does. Mel raised over $650 and $400 covers one wig for a person with alopecia, the foundation also has a support network and do amazing things to support people with alopecia.
Today, there is no cure for alopecia but that does not mean you can't make a difference. You can donate money (all donations are tax deductible) and you can donate your hair too, visit www.aaaf.org.au to read about the amazing things the foundation does and find out how you can make a difference.
It's a cause worth supporting!