By Alyce Collins
THIS MUM felt like a freak growing up with ALOPECIA but giving birth to her daughter changed that and now she wants people to see her as SEXY and would love nothing more than to ‘model lingerie in a shop window’.
Hotel receptionist, Shannon Holme (24) from Bridlington, UK, first began losing her hair when she was only 10 years old, and after two years of finding bald patches she was finally diagnosed with alopecia universalis.
Shannon now lives in Newcastle with her husband, Jack, and their three-year-old daughter, Olivia, who she views as her reason to be brave and proud of her journey.
Shannon’s mum noticed Shannon’s first bald patch on her head when she was just 10, and that small patch spread and developed into multiple patches.
In just a couple of years, Shannon was diagnosed with alopecia universalis and was wearing a wig full time at just 12 years old. Growing up proved incredibly difficult for Shannon as she worried what others would think and feared that no one would ever find her attractive.
Eventually, Shannon learned to embrace her alopecia as she realised there was nothing she could do to change the situation. Now Shannon loves inspiring other women to love their imperfections, regardless of what they may be. Although, Shannon doesn’t just want to be seen as ‘beautiful’, but she wants people to see her as sexy, with or without hair.
Having alopecia certainly knocked Shannon’s confidence when she was younger, but after years of coming to terms with it, she now wants to show her daughter that being different is positive.
“It was my mum who first noticed I had a bald patch at the age of 10, it was roughly the size of a 10p piece,” said Shannon.
“One patch turned into three which then became five patches, and so on. Eventually I was diagnosed with alopecia universalis and by the age of 12 years old I was officially wearing a wig full time.
“There was no evidence proving why I lost my hair; however, it was discussed that there was a possibility that it was triggered by the stress of my parents’ divorce. I personally don’t believe it was that which caused it, but I believe maybe the stress sped up the process. I think I was always going to go bald.
“Losing my hair was awful if I’m being completely honest. When I was about to go into my teenage years all I was thinking about was how anyone would ever find me attractive with no hair.
“I had the occasional comment made at school, I was called ‘wiggy’ and ‘baldy’ which really cut deep because there was nothing I could do to fix it. I was just faced with having to look like this forever.
“But then, in reality no one really cared that I was losing my hair and I imagined it was going to be much worse than it was.”
Shannon has since learned to embrace the condition which she used to hate since having her daughter has given her a new positive perspective on her life and taught her new values.
Shannon admits that she wants to be seen as sexy, not just pretty, as she doesn’t want the condition to devalue her confidence or her sexuality.
“I would absolutely love to be an inspiration for others, especially other women with alopecia,” said Shannon.
“I always get told ‘oh you’re so beautiful Shannon’, which is a compliment obviously, but as a woman I want to feel sexy. A woman being told she’s sexy has a totally different effect on her self-esteem and it makes her feel more confident.
“Alopecia is a very common condition but still makes so many people doubt themselves. I would love nothing more than to be in a shop window modelling lingerie with a bald head, to show people it’s normal and sexy.
“I feel most sexy when I have a new set of underwear on, when I’m feeling toned, bronzed and bald.
“Now I am so confident, and I think it’s because different is seen as being good these days. A lot more people are brave enough to take the plunge, so I don’t feel the need to wear my wig all the time anymore.
“I have someone looking up to me now, so if I can’t show her how to be brave then how can I expect her to be. She needs to know that if she develops alopecia that it’s no big deal and I want her to know that she will still be attractive regardless.
“Olivia has given me a different outlook on things and I am so proud of who I am now. It took a while to get to where I am and I couldn’t be prouder of myself.
“My friends and family are in amazement at me because they’ve waited so long for me to see what they saw all along.
“My advice to anyone else would be that it’s really not as bad as it seems. It seems awful at first and you feel like a freak, but people aren’t actually as bothered as you think.
“I don’t know if it’s the alopecia, the people I surround myself with, the compliments I get but I just feel amazing lately with my body and my head.
“I want to show women that bald heads are coming in and it’s mind over matter. People find it attractive and to prove that I would love to be a bald model, even a glamour model to prove my point.
“It’s 2018 now, we’re allowed to look and be different. I’d also like to show other girls that they are still sexy and attractive, no matter what.”
You can follow Shannon’s Instagram page @shannon.holme to see more of her posts.