‘I felt ashamed after I went bald however now I am a selfie queen after mourning my hair’

When Jo Tucker’s hair first began falling out, she thought nothing of it and simply assumed she was a bit run down.

However simply weeks after she seen the primary few strands falling from her head, complete clumps have been popping out at any time when she brushed or washed it.

The 39-year-old, from Tub, Somerset, was recognized with alopecia universalis early final 12 months.

The auto immune situation means the physique mistakenly assaults hair follicles and makes them fall out.

TV star, Gail Porter, is likely one of the most excessive profile girls to undergo from alopecia.

Jo had simply turned to work aftergiving delivery to IVy when she first seen her hair was falling out

Gail Porter additionally suffers with alopecia

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Initially horrified, Jo admits she felt ashamed of being bald.

However now the mum-of-three is a self confessed selfie queen who does all she will be able to to assist different individuals battling the identical situation.

Jo mentioned: “In these terrible early days, the very last thing you need to hear is any person telling you it’ll all be okay.

“You virtually need to undergo a mourning course of in your hair first.

“However actually attempting to see the positives does assist. Alopecia hasn’t stopped me from doing something. In actual fact, it’s most likely given me much more alternatives.

Jo thought nothing of her hair loss till she seen a bald patch

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“Hair loss is a taboo, particularly for girls. As soon as, I felt ashamed, however now I do know hair isn’t every little thing, I embrace what’s occurred to me.”

Jo, who has three daughters, Matilda, 10, Elsie, six, and Ivy, two, along with her businessman husband Joe, additionally 39, started shedding hair in December 2017.

She had simply returned to her job as a retail purchaser after Ivy’s delivery so assumed it was her physique reacting to being run down.

Then she seen a bald patch.

Jo mentioned: “I’d had some bald patches as soon as earlier than, after having Elsie.

Jo saysher hair was falling out in clumps each time she washed or brushed it

“I had checks to point out I used to be low on iron, and was given tablets, nevertheless it all grew again high-quality, so I figured the identical factor would occur once more,” she mentioned.

“However this time was totally different. My hair loss quickly escalated to the purpose the place complete clumps have been coming away with ease, like fur balls. It wouldn’t even harm, which was all of the extra scary.

“I’d dread washing and styling my hair as that will make it fall out extra.”

As increasingly of her hair fell out, Jo tried to disguise what was taking place with hats and hair wraps.

With Christmas 2017 approaching she eager to get some solutions earlier than her docs’ surgical procedure closed for the festivities.

By the point Jo obtained her analysis, she solely had just a few strands of hair left

Her GP gave her the devastating information that sh prbably had alopecia.

Jo mentioned: “I had heard of alopecia earlier than however again then was naive to the unpredictable nature of it.

“I believed it’d be so simple as my hair falling out, then rising again,” she mentioned.

“When the physician talked about it, I simply stored pondering, ‘I can’t be bald. That form of factor simply doesn’t occur.’

“At the same time as I waited for my blood check outcomes although, increasingly of my hair fell out.

“By the point I went to get the leads to early January, I had only a few strands left.”

Jo says she needed to mourn her hair loss earlier than she got here to phrases with what had occurred

Whereas her alopecia analysis was confirmed, Jo’s blood checks gave little indication of what had prompted it.

She mentioned: “I had a barely low iron depend, however other than that, every little thing was regular.”

Referred to a specialist, Jo was then given a course of oral steroids, which may help to stimulate regrowth.

However she suffered so terribly with negative effects, together with low temper and painful zits, she determined to wean herself off them.

Jo mentioned: “The spots weren’t even from an arrogance level – they genuinely actually harm.

“The one constructive was having way more vitality in my spin class however except for that,I struggled with temper swings. I had some actually fairly darkish ideas.”

Jo initially took steroids to encourage re-growth however suffered from horrible side-effects

Since her analysis, Jo, who wears wigs roughly each day – normally blonde ones to match her previous hair – has discovered solace in on-line help teams.

And, as soon as she started accepting her situation, she grew to become decided to assist others – establishing an Instagram web page, @baldmothertucker , the place she shares candid posts concerning the highs and lows of dwelling with alopecia.

Jo mentioned: “I get tonnes of messages from individuals all around the world, which is absolutely rewarding.

“Earlier than this I wasn’t precisely a selfie queen however now I publish photos of myself most days.

“Generally I fear it appears useless however I’m doing it and placing myself on the market to assist individuals.

“With posting on-line there’s nonetheless some house between me and different individuals whereas out in the true world somebody standing in entrance of you, taking you in, could be very totally different.

Jo is now a queen of selfies and needs to do all she will be able to to assist others with the identical situation

“I attempt to simply get it on the market from the primary occasion, so it isn’t an elephant within the room however I do nonetheless put on wigs after I go away the home.

“My ladies are very used to seeing me bald however after I’m in public I simply don’t need to be stared at.

“Folks typically assume my hair loss is as a result of I’m sick or having chemotherapy therapy so I don’t need to need to cope with my ladies overhearing one thing worrying that isn’t true.”

Now, Jo – whose husband has been very supportive – has additionally misplaced her eyebrows, eyelashes and physique hair and is not sure whether or not it’ll ever develop again.

However by talking out, she hopes to encourage others dwelling with alopecia to seek for the positives.

She mentioned: “I’ve tried arduous to not let my youngsters see me distraught over this.

“I need to educate them that they’re robust no matter bodily look.

“And the reality is that hair doesn’t outline you. The individuals who cherished you with hair will nonetheless love you with out, and can look previous any situation to see you for who you’re.”

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