Hairdresser who took pride in her long dark locks proudly shows off her bald head after coming to terms with her alopecia which started when she was pregnant
- Victoria Morgan, 41, from Burntwood, had long black hair from the age of 13
- Hairdresser began struggling to hide hair loss towards the end of her pregnancy
- She decided to shave her hair after being diagnosed with alopecia areata
A hairdresser who began losing her hair when she fell pregnant has been dubbed an inspiration after sharing her battle with alopecia on social media.
Victoria Morgan, 41, from Burntwood, always took pride in her long black locks, and started practicing hairdressing from the age of 13 – a job she loved.
However, everything began to change when she fell pregnant with her daughter Valentina-Rose, now two, in July of 2018.
Victoria attended a scan six months into her pregnancy and absent-mindedly ran her fingers through her hair whilst sitting in the waiting room. Having grown up with such long hair, Victoria was used to some hair loss, but she noticed the clumps were larger than usual.
Victoria Morgan, 41, (pictured) from Burntwood, who grew up with long black hair, was diagnosed with alopecia areata after falling pregnant in 2018
Victoria (pictured) first noticed her hair loss while waiting for her six months pregnancy scan, but continued as normal
Just as Victoria (pictured) was beginning to hit rock bottom because of her extreme hair loss, she noticed her hair was growing back
For a while, Victoria continued as normal, but soon began to notice more extreme hair loss in the shower and suspected she may be suffering from alopecia.
By the end of her pregnancy in March 2019, Victoria struggled to hide her growing bald patches. However, just when she thought she’d hit rock bottom, the hair began to grow back.
For the next four months, Victoria’s locks were back to normal, but the shedding soon started once more and by May 2020, Victoria made the decision to shave her hair completely.
She was diagnosed with alopecia areata which means her eyelashes and body hair fell out too.
Victoria (pictured) enjoyed her thick black locks for four months, however the shedding soon began again
Victoria decided to shave her hair completely and was soon diagnosed with alopecia areata, causing her eyelashes and body hair to also fall out. Pictured: Victoria and Valentina-Rose
Victoria (pictured) was put on antidepressants by her GP, after losing her sense of identity and feeling like her life is over
The sudden change in appearance came as a shock. Victoria had lost her sense of identity and feeling like her life was over, she went to see her GP who put her on anti-depressants.
The tablets were very much a turning point and as time went on, Victoria gained the strength and confidence to accept and eventually celebrate her new look.
Encouraged by her husband, Cameron, 39, Victoria began sharing her story on social media where she hopes to erase stigma around female baldness.
‘I’ve always had thick black hair and ironically, all I ever wanted to be was a hairdresser. I did this job between the ages of thirteen and thirty-six,’ Victoria said.
The hairdresser (pictured) struggled with losing her eyelashes, admitting she’s ‘not the best’ with strip lashes
‘I was about six months pregnant when it all began. I was sat waiting to have a scan and I remember running my fingers through my hair and thinking that there was more hair than normal coming out.
‘I started to notice it when I was washing my hair too. I knew this wasn’t normal because in previous pregnancies, my hair loss had lessened.
‘Alopecia patches continued to develop throughout my pregnancy. By Christmas of 2019, I could barely hide it anymore but then it started to grow back in the new year.
WHAT IS ALOPECIA?
Alopecia, which causes baldness, is thought to be an autoimmune disorder. The immune system – the body’s defense system – turns on itself.
What are the symptoms?
‘Typically, one or more small bald patches, about the size of a 50p piece, appear on the scalp. The hair can start to regrow at one site, while another bald patch develops. Hair may also begin to thin all over the head,’ says Marilyn Sherlock, chairman of the Institute of Trichologists.
What causes it?
‘For some reason, the body’s immune system begins to attack its own hair follicles. Special white blood cells in the body, known as T-lymphocytes, cause the hair to stop growing,’ she adds.
Can worry make it worse?
Stress has been shown to prolong the problem.
Is it an inherited condition?
There is strong evidence to suggest that alopecia, like other auto-immune diseases, runs in families. About 25 per cent of patients have a family history of the disorder.
Who gets it?
Alopecia areata usually affects teenagers and young adults, but it can affect people of any age. It is just as common among men as women.
Is there a cure?
There is no known cure, although there are various treatments which may be effective for some people.
‘I was left with around eight small bald patches, but I was so much happier.
‘By April of 2020, it was shedding again. I thought I was paranoid at first, but I wasn’t. Within a month, so much had fallen out that I decided to shave my head. It was a heart-breaking decision.
‘Most of my body hair came out too. That was something I didn’t mind as much – it has its benefits – but I struggled with losing my eyelashes. I’m not the best with strip lashes.
‘I didn’t cope well at all. It felt like a hole I couldn’t get out of. I hit rock bottom and cried myself to sleep.
Victoria said she felt paranoid when she began to notice her hair loss and it was heartbreaking having to shave her head. Pictured: Victoria and Cameron
Victoria revealed anti depressant tablets were a turning point and gave her the strength to accept what had happened. Pictured: Victoria, Cameron and Valentina-Rose
Victoria (pictured) who was encouraged to set up an Instagram page, said sharing her experience felt like therapy
‘One night, I lay there and felt like my life was over because I wasn’t me anymore. The next day, I booked to see my GP and I was put on anti-depressants.’
Soon after this, Victoria’s perspective on her new look began to change.
‘The tablets were my turning point,’ Victoria said.
‘They got me out of the hole and gave me the strength to try and accept what had happened. I had to create a new identity to feel comfortable in my own skin.
‘My husband encouraged me to start an Instagram page called @v.i.c.t.or.i.a.m.o.r.g.a.n. It was the right thing to do and it felt like therapy for me. I didn’t have to hide anymore.
Victoria (pictured) said she’s been labelled an ‘inspiration’ by other people who suffer with alopecia
‘I’ve had other people suffering with alopecia contact me and tell me I’m an inspiration and I give them strength which is very humbling.
‘I don’t care much for wearing wigs. I tried it for about a week, but I felt more self-conscious. Some people laugh when they see me bald but it only accounts for around one per cent of the people I encounter.
‘Your hair doesn’t define you or make you less of a woman. You need to find a way to take control of the situation and not let it control you anymore.’
Victoria (pictured) said she doesn’t care much for wearing wigs and felt more self conscious while wearing one for a week
Victoria (pictured) said hair doesn’t define you or make you less of a woman, it’s necessary to take control of the situation
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