Daily Mirror | Student loses all his hair at just 15 after ‘GCSE stress’ triggered alopecia
Sam, of Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, saw all the hair on his head, face and body fall out and his confidence plummeted, as strangers asked if he had cancer, aged just 15.
A student has told how he lost all his hair on his head and body at just 15 when he believes GCSE stress -triggered alopecia.
Sam Taylor, now 19, first realised he was balding when a balder suggested he was suffering from the hair loss condition alopecia.
A GP visit confirmed the issue – and within months, all the hair on his head, face and body fell out, leading strangers to ask if he had cancer.
Doctors “can’t say for sure” what caused his alopecia – the medical term for hair loss which can cover the whole body or be restricted to the head – according to Sam.
He said: “I reckon it was exam stress. I was 14 or 15, going into year 10. I had GCSEs coming up.”
But Sam who has a brother Harry, 18, said: “I wasn’t too worried at first, as it was only a little bit of hair loss. I didn’t understand how severe it would get.”
Given blood tests, Sam was then referred to a dermatologist and put on to a light-sensitive treatment therapy, where a cream was applied to his scalp which he then had to keep covered for two days.
Sadly, the treatment didn’t work and the hair loss only spread, soon causing bald patches all over his body.
He said: “The patches on my head just got more and more. Eventually, it came to a point where it would have just looked better if I shaved all my hair off, so I did.
“I was only young and blond, so didn’t have much visible body hair. But that started going too.
“Because I was so young, I stuck out like a sore thumb at school. There was nobody my age who was bald and it was a very difficult time.”
Eventually, Sam came to terms with the hair loss on his head and started studying for a degree in business and marketing at De Montfort University in Leicester.
He made good friends and kept his hair closely shaved, accepting that many men choose this style.
Last month, inspired by his mum, Tara Taylor, 51, who works in procurement, he had permanent make up eyebrows applied.
Sam said: “A lot of men go bald or shave their heads. That’s not uncommon. But not having eyebrows made me feel really different.
“I didn’t want to go out or approach people for relationships and I lost friends. My lack of body hair you can’t really see and some men are bald, so it’s not as bad. Not having eyebrows was the worst part.
“It made me feel less than normal. Now I feel so much more confident and don’t get as many weird looks.”