This Woman With Alopecia Is Breaking The Stigma Behind The Condition

"I feel like my old self again after sharing my story. I feel free."

For something that is actually dead to begin with, our society seems to place a lot of value on hair. Mainstream media would even have us believe that hair is a feature that can make a person beautiful or not, depending on its style, length, texture, color, etc.

But putting so much stock in hair, presents a very narrow perspective on beauty, and those who don't fit in are left feeling alone. The limited ideal also negatively impacts those who suffer from hair loss.

But our definition of beauty doesn't have to be limited at all.

This is part of the message that Yasmin Taylor is helping to spread, while breaking the stigma about female hair loss. Taylor has alopecia, a condition causing the immune system to attack hair follicles, making them to fall out. The hair loss can happen on a person's head or all over their body.

Taylor began losing her hair at 15. She wore a wig for a few years and she was very self-conscious about having others see her when she wasn't wearing it.

Then she made the decision to lose the wig and embrace her baldness.

In an email to A Plus, Taylor explained how living and working in Australia for a year prompted her to stop wearing her wig. 

"My friends would be playing in the sea and I'd be sitting on the sand watching them absolutely dripping with sweat under my wig, thinking to myself, 'I wish I could take this wig off and not care,' " she said. "A few months passed, my friend and I planned a five week trip up the East Coast where we had booked lots of different activities. Our first activity being surfing. I said to my friend a few weeks before we left that I'm just going to have to brave it and take my wig off. I just got to the point where I didn't want to have to sit and watch her do all the stuff I wanted to do just because I was too worried about what people would think of my bald head."

"I suddenly thought to myself, 'Why do I care SO much about what others think of me? [These are] people I'll probably never see again!' I'd been hiding behind the wig for three years and couldn't bare to any longer. It was stopping me from doing the things I wanted to do, it was making me miserable."

Taylor began to share her story on social media to help spread her message of self-love within the alopecia community. She told A Plus that when she wore her wig, she was inspired by others who would post positive alopecia photos online. At the time, she wished she could have that confidence. 

Now, she does. Taylor uploads shots of herself wig-free along with comments about her feelings and her condition. She captions them with body positive tags such as #alopecianbeauty, #thebaldmovement, and #alopeciaawareness. 

In a nutshell, her message is there is more to life than hair. "I got a lot of positive feedback and private messages asking for advice and saying my posts really helped them, not only from girls but from guys, too," she told A Plus. "It made me feel so happy that I was making a difference, so ever since I have continued posting my pictures."

Not only has sharing her story helped others, it has also helped Taylor. 

"I feel like my old self again after sharing my story, I feel free. I don't have to pretend to be someone I'm not which is what I did for three years with the wig on."

"I feel a lot more confident, happy, and a lot more positive about life. I used to be very pessimistic about things but that has all changed since the wig came off.  I found a new love, which is giving advice and helping others through the same or similar situations. I've become a lot more open minded, I appreciate everything I have in life, and I'm just such a happier, more bubblier person now." 

Taylor's positive and confident alopecia photos have already touched many people including herself. She wrote that she hopes those who view her account don't get so hung up about hair, "Don't let alopecia stop YOU from being YOU. Don't worry about what others think of you."

"Focus on yourself and love yourself."

"Life is tough, but so are you. Beauty fades, personality doesn't, let your personality shine through. Don't worry about your hair, worry about being the best possible person you can be, not only will that make you feel better but that will attract people to you a lot more than hair will."

It's a message that everybody can get behind.

(H/T: Popsugar)