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Last Updated: Wednesday April 15 2009 15:02 GMT

I lost my hair by the age of 11

Press Packer Jade

Press Packer Jade has a condition called alopecia, which made her hair fall out before she started secondary school.

Here she reports on how she copes with being different.

"I have got a condition called alopecia, which is hair loss.

I have had alopecia since I was five years old, when my hair started to come out in patches. At first it could be covered by the rest of my hair, but then it become more noticeable, as it was falling out in larger clumps.

By the time I was 11 years old I only had small tufts of hair. A few kids at school were nasty, but most were kind but inquisitive, wondering why my hair was like that.

Press Packer Jade
Jade ended up shaving her hair off

In the end I decided it looked really silly so my Dad shaved it off completely.

People think it's cancer

I remember once I was at a wedding doing karaoke and I made some of the guests cry because they thought I had cancer and said I was brave to do the karaoke.

I had to explain to them that alopecia is just hair loss caused by the antibodies in your body attacking your hair follicles.

I never let my alopecia bother me. I just get on with my life. Once I explain to people that I have alopecia, they tend to think I am brave going through so much at such a young age.

Wearing a wig

Press Packer Jade with her wigs
Jade with her wigs

I am now the proud of owner of four wigs: two long and two short. I met a boy at school who also has alopecia and we became good friends. He gave me the confidence to go to school without my wigs.

I was very nervous that first morning I went to school without a wig but did it anyway. It didn't seem that any of the pupils and any of my friends noticed or cared.

The future

I'm undergoing another set of treatment. I have had some good reaction but now my hair growth seems to have stopped again. If it doesn't work this time, I may be completely bald for good.

However, I'm not worried because I have got my wigs, and I think that it's my life, and it's what I make of it that counts."

Jade, 14, Leicestershire.

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