Girl’s tragic tears over losing her hair: Mother shares heart-breaking snap of daughter, 12, who’s been left nearly bald in less than a year due to alopecia
- Lola Robertson’s parents fear she will become a target for cruel school bullies
- She has suffered condition age five but clumps started falling out last summer
- Her parents from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, said her self-confidence has dived
A 12-year-old girl with alopecia is distraught after losing nearly all her hair to the condition in a matter of months.
Lola Robertson’s parents fear she will become a target for cruel school bullies and are fundraising for a wig to cover the bald patch.
She has suffered the condition from the age of five but big clumps started falling out last summer.
After prescription steroid creams did nothing to stem Lola’s rapid hair loss, her parents from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, said her self-confidence has dived.
Mother Charlotte Newbold, 33, said: ‘She’s always had an amazing network of friends but now she’s gone into secondary school, it’s a whole new world and I worry that she could be bullied in the future.
‘She’s feeling a bit lost; she’s always been a really upbeat, happy and confident girl but I am concerned that this amount of hair loss will really start to affect her as she’s getting older.’
Lola Robertson, 12, is distraught after losing nearly all her hair to alopecia in a matter of months
Her parents fear she will become a target for cruel school bullies and are fundraising for a wig to cover the bald patch (pictured wearing a wig gifted by the Little Princess Trust)
Along with father David Robertson, 34, Ms Newbold wanted to raise awareness of the hair-robbing condition.
She added: ‘I had to take a picture to show people how bad it is. She felt particularly sad because of the amount of hair she has lost in such a short space of time.
‘I put the picture on Facebook to ask for help. It was my last resort. Posting a picture and exposing Lola was the final step for us.’
The couple, who also have a seven-year-old daughter, said alopecia does not run in the family.
Ms Newbold said: ‘No one in the family has alopecia; Lola is the first so I had never really heard much about it.
‘In the beginning, Lola had a £2-sized bald patch behind her ear which would grow back and because it was behind her ear, she could always hide it and it didn’t affect her.
‘In the past year, she’s gone from having a few bald patches to losing half a head of hair. She doesn’t have a hairline and the top of her head is entirely bald.’
Lola pictured with her parents Charlotte Newbold, 33, and David Robertson, 34, and her younger sister Lily
Lola has suffered the condition from the age of five but big clumps started falling out last summer (pictured a year before losing most of her hair)
The youngster previously had been able to cover the bald patch with the rest of her hair, but these spots began getting bigger last year and now her hairline has completely vanished
Lola is now looking at the wigs she can use and exploring new hairstyles.
Her mother said: ‘Since sharing the picture and story on Facebook, I have received more information in the past week than I have in the past seven years that Lola has been diagnosed.
‘She’s quite optimistic so she always finds a positive way at looking at it, like wearing new wigs and having new hairstyles.
‘The support and reaction has been amazing and we’re definitely going to go back to the doctors and get some more tests done.
‘The Little Princess Trust has been incredible and has already given two wigs to Lola which will really increase her confidence.
‘We just want more awareness out there; there’s not a lot of information and it’s a difficult condition to live with.’
As of Tuesday morning, £1,550 had been raised, exceeding the £700 target.
What is Alopecia? Autoimmune condition that causes hair loss
Alopecia, which causes baldness, is thought to be an autoimmune disorder. The immune system – the body’s defense system – turns on itself.
What are the symptoms?
‘Typically, one or more small bald patches, about the size of a 50p piece, appear on the scalp. The hair can start to regrow at one site, while another bald patch develops. Hair may also begin to thin all over the head,’ says Marilyn Sherlock, chairman of the Institute of Trichologists.
What causes it?
‘For some reason, the body’s immune system begins to attack its own hair follicles. Special white blood cells in the body, known as T-lymphocytes, cause the hair to stop growing,’ she adds.
Can worry make it worse?
Stress has been shown to prolong the problem.
Is it an inherited condition?
There is strong evidence to suggest that alopecia, like other auto-immune diseases, runs in families. About 25 per cent of patients have a family history of the disorder.
Who gets it?
Alopecia areata usually affects teenagers and young adults, but it can affect people of any age. It is just as common among men as women.
Is there a cure?
There is no known cure, although there are various treatments which may be effective for some people.