For many girls and boys too, their hair is like a crown they wore on their heads. Everyone will be heartbroken if one suddenly loses their luscious locks. That is exactly what happened to this young girl, but when her school held its “crazy hair day” her loving mom did not want her to feel left out so she created the ‘craziest’ hairstyle for her daughter.
Earlier this year, 7-year-old Gianessa Wride and her mom, Daniella, were spending some time together. While brushing her daughter’s hair, Daniella noticed a quarter-sized bald patch and her daughter’s thinning hair.
Gianessa lost all of her hair in less than a month. Her pediatrician diagnosed Gianessa with alopecia, which is an autoimmune disease that causes people to lose hair on their scalps, faces, and other body parts.
The mom and daughter consulted a dermatologist who recommended treatment involving steroids, injections, and harsh topical creams. However, Daniella refused the suggested treatment due to aggressive medications and wanted her daughter to grow up nicely and accept herself. After all, nothing severe will happen if they will not undergo the treatment, she will just have no hair.
“I want to let her embrace it and love herself as she is right now,” Daniella said.
Daniella has become instrumental in accepting her condition and her current appearance. Daniella, who is a nurse in Salem, Utah, visited her daughter’s class and explained what alopecia is. She also asked her daughter’s classmates to look out for bullies who might not understand Gianessa’s condition.
Although it has not stopped some kids from teasing Gianessa and calling her “baldy” or that she looks like a boy, the young girl kept her cool and rose above her detractors.
As a mom, she is the one who felt hurt. “It is just hard to watch as a mom when your kid cries when someone is mean to your child,” Daniella said. However, she remained strong for her child.
At home, Daniella worked on Gianessa’s self-esteem by constantly reminding her that she is beautiful no matter what.
Gianessa does not like to wear a wig because it irritates her scalp. Therefore, when Gianessa’s school held its “crazy hair day”, the rainbow-colored unicorn locks and other cool hairstyles she sported in the past were no-go this year.
While Daniella was doing her shopping, she saw jeweled stickers and immediately got an inspiration for her daughter’s look this year. Using the stickers, Daniella created beautiful patterns and on Gianessa’s scalp like flowers and an owl.
“This is awesome. I love it,” Gianessa said.
Indeed, Gianessa won the best crazy hair that day! It was a huge affirmation for her that she has not lost her identity despite losing every strand of hair on her head. Gianessa is helping others learn more about alopecia and encouraging self-acceptance.
“I cannot count [the number of] people who messaged me pictures of their own kids with alopecia. She inspired them so much to just embrace themselves and love themselves. I hope people get a lot of positivity from this and know you are beautiful no matter what you look like and what you are going through,” Daniella said.
According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, 6.8 million people in the U.S. live with this disorder. It affects people of all ages, both sexes.
Photo credit: Daniella Wride