By Rebecca Drew
MEET the stunning Scottish woman who is on a mission to show that hair doesn’t define beauty after getting alopecia when she was just two years old which then left her feeling like a ‘boy in a wig’ growing up.
Hair replacement clinic worker, Sarah McManus (20) from Wishaw, Scotland, lost her hair in the space of just three weeks when she was two years old. Sarah’s condition started off as Alopecia areata, where her hair fell out in patches but developed into Alopecia universalis which left her bald and without any body hair.
Sarah’s alopecia didn’t affect her wellbeing until she started school when people would ask her if she was wearing a wig. This made her feel less feminine as a teenager and she relied on makeup to give herself confidence.
Now, thanks to her job, Sarah is celebrating her baldness after meeting women who have lost their hair through cancer treatment as although her condition has changed her life, it hasn’t threatened it.
“My hair fell out pretty quickly when I was two and never recovered from then, I lost it all in the space of three weeks,” said Sarah.
“I’m now completely bald and have no body hair whatsoever.
“It didn’t affect me too much until I started school, then it had a huge impact on my life. Someone made a comment asking if I ‘wore a wig’ which lead me to social media and explained my condition and from there I can’t say I’ve had many negative responses.
“As a teenager it was definitely hard, I felt less girly, I felt like a boy in a wig hiding my face.
“Having to turn to makeup from a young age to draw on eyebrows and give the impression of eyelashes that gave me more confidence and realise that being bald shouldn’t make me feel less feminine.
“I’m very lucky to have such supportive family, friends and a boyfriend who has always supported me, and remind me how inspiring I am.”
“I recently started work in a hair replacement clinic in Motherwell which has changed my life for the better, I would hardly take pictures without my wig on and never leave the house without it before.
“I believe I’ve started to embrace my baldness because I’ve realised my condition may be life changing but it’s not life threatening, and I see women who come to the hair replacement clinic going through chemotherapy and think how lucky I am.
“Now I have my wig off more than I have it on and it feels amazing, I’ve always wanted to work with women and men with hair loss as I can relate, and it feels fantastic doing that.”
Sarah now regularly posts pictures of herself with and without a wig on her Instagram and hopes that by sharing bald selfies on social media that she can inspire others to be themselves.
“I’m so happy I started to share my journey on Instagram with regular updates on my treatments I’ve been receiving,” she said.
“I’m so overwhelmed with the response I’ve had on social media with messages from people all over the world with the same condition looking for wig advice, makeup advice or just how to cope.
“I want others with the same condition to be themselves. I hope by me sharing my bald selfies on social media it can inspire others too. Hair does not define beauty.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/saraahmcmanus