An alopecia sufferer who first lost her hair when she was just two-years-old has finally decided to stop the condition ruining her life – and has gone completely BALD.
Brave Robyn Bridge, 27, has shaved her head after being sick of trying to cover up ever-increasing bald patches that left her feeling “disgusted” with herself.
Since braving the shave three months ago, she has found a new lease of life in which she can finally step out into the rain and go swimming with her children.
The mother-of-two said: “I went swimming with my boys for the first time ever as I didn’t have to worry about wearing a wig.
“I can now go to the gym without fear of messing up my strategically styled hair.
“This has been the most freeing thing I have ever done.”
The carer, from Westhoughton, Bolton, Lancs., also laughs that she and engineer fiance, Andrew Farrell, 39, now look the same as he is bald too.
“We’re practically twins,” she said.
Carer Robyn had her first episode of hair loss when she was just two-years-old, when her parents split up, with her mum noticed she had bald patches on her head.
She said: “Of course, I wasn’t aware of that incident. It wasn’t until I was around 11 or 12-years-old that I had the first episode that I was actually aware of.
“I remember my friends telling me they had seen a bald patch on my head. I wasn’t even aware I had been losing it. My hair loss was always very gradual.
“My friends were ever so lovely at the time and I remember we drew smiley faces on my bald patches.”
Robyn, who has two boys, aged one and three, says her alopecia is caused by stress, with her hair falling out at trigger points in her life like taking exams and taking her driving test – three times.
She added: “I was never an overly anxious person, but the hair loss made me anxious, it is a catch 22 situation.
“Aside from losing my hair, my hair is actually really thick and long, I loved my hair, so losing it was particularly hard.”
Robyn would fashion her hair in different styles and partings, use root spray, or wear cheap £30 wigs from Amazon or a baseball cap.
But her main way of hiding her hair eventually became to hide away altogether.
Robyn said: “I suffered a little with postnatal depression after having my firstborn in January 2017 and, that, combined with the stress of being a new mum, meant my hair loss accelerated.
“I thought that I was disgusting.”
At the end of her tether, Robyn reached out to a friend, Erin Oakey, who actually worked in hair loss systems.
Robyn would get a small discount on costly and time-consuming treatments – where a mesh is bonded to the existing hair and strips of extensions sewn through.
Through being extra careful with the delicate hairs, Robyn found she could stretch up three months between procedures.
At one point the treatment was so successful that she had a full head of hair.
But her mane of luscious locks was fleeting, only lasting until she had her second child in February 2019 when her hair loss went into overdrive.
Her beautiful long dark tresses were now barely covering her head and it was impossible to cover.
There was not enough hair to be able to continue with the hair loss treatment and Robyn hit an all-time low.
As she spoke to others in alopecia forums Robyn came across other women who had embraced their smooth craniums.
In June, Robyn got Andrew’s clippers and shaved it all off.
“I then cried for three days,” said Robyn, “and then I felt free. I felt an enormous release of pressure and stress.
“I have felt amazing since.”
Robyn at first continued to wear her wigs but would take them off without a thought when she was nipping out to the shops or at work when it rained – you can’t get synthetic wigs wet.
“There was no big moment when I decided to brave the world with my new self, I slowly eased myself into it so that I didn’t actually even notice the transition.
“But now I don’t wear a wig at all.
“The benefits of no hair are amazing – I can shower in two minutes, I save money on hair products, I can go out in the rain without a care and not worry about my boys pulling at my hair.
“I have had a few funny looks and some will even ask me what’s happened, but I expect that and I’m fine with that.
“People mainly think I am going through chemotherapy, but I am happy to explain about alopecia. The more people know about the condition the better.
“Some of said I have a good head that suits being bald – which is funny.
“Luckily, I do not have a life-threatening condition, I am fit and healthy and I now embrace that.
“The way I feel now, I can honestly say I am not wishing for my hair back.
“Of course having a natural head of hair would be a bonus but I am completely happy the way I am.”