A North East mum and alopecia sufferer is raising awareness of the support available to people affected by hair loss, through the charity, mynewhair.
30-year-old Kay Fisher, from Redhouse, Sunderland, was diagnosed with alopecia when she was only 9 years-old.
As she grew up, the mum of one, Kay lost virtually all of her hair and was made to feel like a guinea pig as she underwent various different treatments including steroid injections. She also experienced people turning a blind eye when it came to finding support for hair loss
For the past 10-years Kay has been receiving support from Darren Stuart, Lead Educator and trustee of mynewhair, at East Boldon’s Tribeca Hair Design, Tyne and Wear, following a referral from her local hospital. She regularly visits Darren’s salon every two to three weeks for its affordable wig styling service.
Having regained her confidence, Kay wants to share her story so that other people affected by hair loss can get the help and support they need.
Kay said: “My hair started to come out in small clumps. Something like 10 pence pieces. It was my sister who actually noticed it at first. I didn’t think anything of it because obviously I was only nine and I was naïve.
“Gradually over the weeks my hair decided just to fall out nearly everywhere. So I went to the doctors and they couldn’t put their finger on what it actually was and then my mam made an appointment with another doctor within the surgery and they were the ones who actually confirmed that I had alopecia and referred me to the consultants at the hospital.
During her journey to learn to live with alopecia, Kay has been and continues to be supported by mynewhair, a national charity founded and inspired by celebrity hair dresser Trevor Sorbie, MBE, which offers a wig styling service for people suffering from cancer and medical hair loss.
Talking about her experiences, Kay said: “Before my hair fell out, it was lily white, poker straight and it was down my back. The hospital where I get my prescriptions from told me about mynewhair and about Darren’s salon.
“He made me feel at home and as though he actually cared about what he was doing. And that’s what made me realise there is someone that cares. Some hairdresser that does actually care about what they are doing and how they are trying to help.
mynewhair has trained hundreds of hair professionals around the country to provide a wig styling and advice service to those suffering from medical hair loss. The charity has a 960 strong-network of hairdressers and 835 salons across the UK and Ireland.
Kay continued: “I can just get on with Darren as though like a relative or a really good friend. He was able to offer me something that was actually to my style and my standard that I was expecting. It made me feel more confident.
“I love getting a new wig. Absolutely love it. Every time it’s like you’re desperate for a new pair of shoes. If they’re falling off your feet you can’t wait to actually get a new pair and that’s how I always feel when I get a new wig.”
Hair loss in women affects roughly 50% in the UK and more women are seeking methods of non-surgical hair restoration. mynewhair supports those with medical hair loss by providing unbiased public information as well as support and advice.
Kay said: “There is quite a few that do turn a blind eye when it comes to hair loss; the effects it can have on people, how women and men as well as children actually feel when they suffer from having any sort of hair loss condition.
“It is not a disease. It’s something that you learn to live with. It is hard at the beginning but look at me. I am totally fine with it. It’s always going to be part of my life.”
Founder of mynewhair, Trevor Sorbie, MBE said: “The charity offers real support to people suffering from both short and long term hair loss suffers. For many women, like Kay, having a styled wig that’s tailored just for them, can give them a confidence boost and help them feel like themselves again.
“I’m very passionate about mynewhair and it’s my aim to highlight what the service can offer and make it accessible to as many people as possible through the wide range of salons, out of hours appointments, and home visit services we offer across the UK and Ireland and we have big ambitions for the future.
mynewhair provides training seminars for hair professionals, following completion of which these professionals become part of their salon network – Salons that Care. They currently have 15 Salons that Care in the North East alone and 18 stylists operating in the salons, including 2 that work at the RVI.
You can donate to the charity by texting MYNH00 followed by the amount you wish to donate, to 70070.