The online business helping women cope with hair loss
PUBLISHED: 00:00 28 September 2020
A mum from Standish is using her experience of hair loss to help others
Tracy Darwin has lived with thinning hair for years, but in March her condition became more acute. ‘It started coming out in handfulls,’ she said. ‘By June it had all gone.’
The mum-of-three has suffered from an auto-immune disease for many years, meaning her immune system has turned on her body and has attacked her liver, her thyroid and her hair. Her liver and thyroid conditions are controlled with medication.
‘No-one really knows why it should have changed so suddenly,’ she said. ‘I wondered if it could be something to do with stress maybe, caused by the Covid pandemic, but I was told no, it was my immune system attacking my hair.
‘I’ve sort of accepted it now because what else can I do, but it has been quite a difficult time. Sometimes I’ll catch a glimpse of myself and get upset. For a time I wouldn’t even answer the door because I didn’t want to be seen.
‘As a woman, hair is a part of who you are. If you’re going out, you get dressed up and do your hair. I have found it difficult at times, watching my hair disappear down the drain day after day. I’ve cried, I’ve tantrumed, I’ve asked ‘Why Me?’, and I’ve felt suicidal.
‘Hair loss has such a terrible affect mentally and it changes how you feel about your appearance and your sense of security.
‘I don’t think people realise the anxiety and the low self-esteem associated with the condition. It has changed me as a person, I have gone from being a confident out-going, fun-loving person into someone who has little confidence, and who would rather hide away than meet up with friends.’
The 52-year-old former teacher now has a semi-permanent weave – similar to hair extensions – but says she still feels self-conscious every time she leaves home.
‘I’ve been surprised at the way people stare and point and at the tactless questions and comments. I also have been shocked at the lack of support or communication from some I had considered friends, but I have also been touched by how the situation has reinforced some friendships and helped me make new ones.’
Tracy is now using her traumatic experience to help other women who are losing their hair. She has launched an online business providing quality wigs, scarves, products to help regrow hair, and products to disguise hair loss.
‘I’m very impatient and want everything done last week, but the business only went live at the end of June, so I know I’ve got to learn to be patient,’ she said. ‘I’ve wasted money on poor items in the past and I sympathise with anyone going through this extremely difficult journey. My experiences will help me be empathetic and supportive to others going through what I have been through.’