mhn news & blog

Miss Delaware 2010 Kayla Martell
July 19, 2011

Diagnosed with Alopecia Areata

“I just woke up one morning and saw all this hair on my pillow and I panicked”, explains Kate.  I quickly called my doctor and he saw me that same day.  It turns out I had two bald patches, one on the top of my head and one on the right side behind my ear.  Kate’s doctor sent her for blood work and later diagnosed her with Alopecia Areata.

So what is Alopecia Areata?  According to doctors at the Mayo Clinic, Alopecia Areata is classified as an autoimmune disease, and the cause is unknown. People who develop Alopecia Areata are generally in good health. Occasionally, a few who develop Alopecia Areata may have other autoimmune disorders, including thyroid disease. Some medical scientists believe that a few people may have a genetic predisposition to develop Alopecia Areata and that an environmental trigger, such as a viral infection, stress, allergies, may activate the condition. Additionally a person with a family history of Alopecia Areata will be prone to developing the condition.  With Alopecia Areata, your hair will generally grow back, but you may go through several cycles of hair loss and regrowth.

Kate’s doctor prescribed a corticosteroid cream to rub on the areas of hair loss to try to prevent further hair loss-but there is no known cure for Alopecia Areata.  For some people, Alopecia Areata, can be a temporary condition whose effects last a few months to several years but can ultimatelydisappear.  Additionally, the scale of hair loss due to Alopecia Areata can vary from some light hair loss to complete scalp hair loss.  In order to alleviate the psychological toll of hair loss, many people turn to various form of non-surgical hair replacement.

As for my friend Kate, she ended up feeling so self-conscious that she ultimately decided to come in and see me and discuss her non-surgical hair replacement options.  With Kate feeling depressed, I decided to share with her the story of Kayla Martell.  Kayla has been suffering with Alopecia Areata since she was 10 years old.  By the time Kayla was in fifth grade, she lost most of the hair on her head.  However, hair loss did not stop Kayla from competing in beauty pageants.  In 2010; Kayla won the Miss Delaware beauty pageant and became Miss Delaware.  As Miss Delaware, Kayla went on to compete in the 2011 Miss America pageant and finished as one of the top five finalists.  Kayla used her time in the pageant spotlight to create Alopecia Areata awareness, and to prove that, with or without hair, we can all reach our dreams.

Kate opted to have MHN’s integration method of hair augmentation.  With the integration method, healthy human hair is blended with her own hair to provided length and volume allowing her hair to continue to grow.  Not only does Kate feel better about her appearance, her hair is slowly starting to grow back.  Hopefully for Kate this may be a temporary condition but she knows that either way I will always have her back.

For more information on Alopecia Areata or to learn more about Kayla Martell, visit the National Alopecia Areata Foundation: www.naaf.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Kayla_Tracker