A woman who has struggled to come to terms with her alopecia since she was a teenager is now working as a model.
Therese Hansson, 26, from Malmo, Sweden, first started losing her hair when she was just 14-years-old but unaware of the symptoms of alopecia, she was mostly concerned about having cancer, the Daily Mail reports.
“I first noticed it when I was standing in the mirror trying to put up my hair in a ponytail and saw a small patch with no hair close to my forehead,” she said.
“I was young at the time so I was mostly worried that it was cancer since that’s normally the first thing you think of when you see hair loss, but little did I know that this hair loss only happens after chemotherapy.”
After her diagnosis, only Hansson’s closest friends and family knew about her condition as she tried to keep it a secret and admits that’s she became “good at hiding it.”
However, as she got older Hansson learned to embrace her aesthetic and says that she is now confident going out in public without wearing a wig.
So much so in fact, that she has even pursued a career in modelling and, since being signed by agency GC Management, now works for brands like lingerie specialist Curvy Kate.
“Now I feel like I can be myself and that I don’t need to hide it anymore,” she explains.
While Hansson admits that she regrets not embracing her alopecia sooner she says that she is now happy doing what she loves and urges other sufferers to do the same.
“Don’t hide,” she said.
“It will only make you feel worse. A big stone of relief will leave your body if you can just be yourself.
“Anyone that won’t accept it is not someone you need in your life anyway.”