A little girl who suffers from alopecia and lost all her hair got the chance to celebrate “Crazy Hair Day” at school — with a twist.
In January, 7-year-old Gianessa Wride of Salem, Utah, started inexplicably losing her long, brown hair. “I was brushing Gianessa’s hair, and it just fell out,”’ mom Daniella Vinanti Wride, 29, tells Yahoo Beauty. “Then I noticed a quarter-sized bald spot on her head.”
Wride quickly booked an appointment with a dermatologist, but in the three weeks that passed before her visit, Gianessa had completely lost her hair.
Gianessa’s mom is a nurse, so she suspected that her daughter had developed alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss all over the body. While people of any age can develop alopecia, it’s commonly caused by stress. “We had a stressful year, with both my husband and me out of work,” explains Wride. “We also had moved from Tennessee to Utah to live with my husband’s parents, and six weeks after we arrived, my mother-in-law passed away.”
When Gianessa was diagnosed, she was given the option to use topical or injectable steroid treatments, but the side effects were too risky. “So we’re making bald fun and fashionable,” says Wride.
During the last week of March, Gianessa’s school had its annual “Crazy Hair Day” for kids to display unique hairstyles. “Last year, I styled her hair into a unicorn horn,” says Wride. “This year, we decided to decorate her head with stickers.”
Wride used four sheets of scrapbooking stickers to adorn Gianessa’s head with glittery designs, like an owl and big flowers. The little girl complemented her look with a pair of Christmas earrings.
“She looked in the mirror and said, ‘Mom, this is awesome!'” says Wride. “Her friends loved it too.”
While there’s a chance that Gianessa’s hair will grow back, it’s unlikely, according to her mom, especially because the girl has already lost her lower eyelashes and eyebrows. “She’ll probably be bald for the rest of her life, and since wigs make her head itch, we use beanies, hats, and scarves.”
Gianessa has also served as inspiration for others struggling with alopecia, her mom says. “People with alopecia tell me that no one has ever seen them without their wigs, but Gia simply tells people, ‘My body doesn’t like my hair.'”
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