Going completely bald as a young adult is likely a traumatic experience for anyone.
For Singapore TikToker Adelimey, accepting her condition and loving herself is an uphill struggle.
She was diagnosed with the skin condition alopecia totalis — which causes complete baldness of the scalp — when she was around 18 and in a span of just two weeks, she lost all her hair.
In a TikTok video posted on Oct 15, she recalled: “Initially, it was really tough [and] I was very down. I didn’t dare to look in the mirror or anything [that showed my reflection].
“Because you know girls, when you have long hair, our head is not just a ‘circle’.”
Catching sight of her own shadow and seeing her round head upset her greatly. With her friends’ encouragement, the former Temasek Polytechnic student managed to “walk out of it” but it is still an ongoing battle.
It is not known how long she’s had the condition.
Adelimey said there are still times when she feels scared or intimidated, adding: “Self-love is an everyday battle and I think it is very important for us to remind ourselves that we need to love ourselves”.
Her TikTok video has since garnered 23,800 views and over 90 comments.
‘What did you look like with long hair?’
Adelimey’s TikTok account is filled with posts of her answering questions on her life in general and in relation to the skin condition.
In another recent TikTok post, she took a trip down memory lane as she shared some photographs of when she had long hair.
“I used to have quite a bit of hair. Sometimes, I would look back at my old photos to remind myself of what I used to look like,” she said as she swiped across her tablet.
Pulling the same facial expression as the one in the photograph, she quipped: “Still the same, just less [hairy]!”
Take a quick scroll through the comment section of her posts and you’ll sense the positivity, with netizens enamoured with Adelimey’s quirky and upbeat personality.
Another alopecia patient was grateful to Adelimey for raising awareness of the condition and sharing her experience.
In one of Adelimey’s more popular TikTok posts that has over 100,000 views, she explained the different types of alopecia and why her hair grows back white instead of its natural colour.
“I’m sure this is something a lot of people want to know but don’t dare to ask. But I’m not going to be paiseh (embarrassed), I’m just going to answer it,” she quipped.
She explained this is due to her white blood cells attacking both her hair follicles and colour pigment. Without the colour pigment, her hair grows out white instead.
This article was first published in AsiaOne.