Hey there my lovely readers!!! 💗
So this blog post…..IT IS A BIT DIFFERENT… I wanted to write about someone who has really touched my life. Carly Barrett; a fellow alopecian, friend, role model…..and well – ANGEL who walks this earth.
So I have so many friends and family and people who have touched my life – and I wanted to start to share a little about some of these people……. and I will write more as time progresses.
I wanted to start off by writing about this girl! Some of you may know Carly, and some may not! Carly is a bit of a TV superstar, and more than that – she is a friend – a good friend….. she has a heart of gold….. and there is so much about this phenomenal woman that many of you will not know!
Carly is the owner of a hairless solutions company called “ALIKINS HAIRLOSS SOLUTIONS” and this is not just a “wig shop” Yes, she sells products that are all things hair loss – but she provides a HOLISTIC service. Not only addressing the needs physically of us bald barbies out there – but she provides so much emotional support – giving so much of her own time voluntarily to ensure that others walk an easier path than she has at times with her hair loss journey
Carly is a kind of one man band to sorting out the world and making hairloss not only manageable – but to be seen as an exceptional part of you – to make you love yourself and appreciate the real YOU within! And to learn to accept and love your wee bald head!!! Because Carly recognises that YOU are BEAUTIFUL!
Carly’s Alopecia Story – (well as told basically by me)
So, Carly first noticed that she lost some hair at the young age of only 11 years old. (I remember being eleven, and I can’t even imagine having to contend with alopecia at this age of hormonal turmoil that we all experience!)
Anyway, so Carly noticed a 5p piece size patch initially……… and in only a few months, this rapidly progressed to 80% scalp hair loss. This pattern for Carly came and went for the next ten years until the age of about 21 years old! At twenty one, Carly had regrowth, and most of her alopecia seemed to have dissipated – she once again was hairy on the head – no major problems for the next 13 years in regard to the alopecia – this rock chick sported a head of long flowing locks, and life in the hair front was pretty good! Then age 34 happened…..
So at 34, Carly noticed her hair begin to thin….. patches of skin began to shine through her hair – it began to vanish from the back of her head and sides. From May 2015 until summer 2015, Carly only had hair at the top of her head (Ophiasis pattern of Alopecia Areata).
September 2015 saw some regrowth for Carly, but this was short lived – by February 2016, Carly had no hair remaining. She had progressed to Alopecia Universalis – hair free / aerodynamic / smooth all over!
So as time progressed, Carly began to wear headbands whilst she had some hair, and then wore wigs on and off. In public, Carly would smile and put on a brave face to anyone who knew about her hair loss – but inside, Carly was struggling so badly. The emotional hurt was immense. She threw herself in to life as a mummy of 2 gorgeous kiddies, and threw herself in to work – giving all of her love and care to those she looked after in her daily work.
I remember the first time I spoke to Carly – it was via the ALOPECIA UK charity closed Facebook group. I remember speaking to this timid, shy girl. A girl who desperately wanted to show so much love to others that she spoke to – but that was deeply hurting within. A girl so beautiful with a heart of gold – yet, a girl that had absolutely no recognition of the beauty she had. A girl who had so much to give, but that struggled to love herself the way that she loved others. I felt an instant connection to Carly, and we began to talk – we had both recently bought Dimples “Feather Premier” collection wigs and had a wee blether about this – and then a blether about all things life. Something about this girl just seemed different – something within me recognised something very rare – a spirit of just pure love. However, something within me wanted to cry for the hurt this beautiful girl was living – the feeling of shame she had for her GORGEOUS bald head (it is gorgeous by the way – I am telling you – I have seen it – it is kinda awesome!)
THE CHANGE AND ACCEPTANCE
I asked Carly what was the change in her. What helped her to really accept the Carly in her? Carly said “With everything, we have a choice in life. We let it break us, or let it make us. I had been broken enough in life. It was time to MAKE ME!”
NO BODY’S PERFECT – THE TV DEBUT
So back in February and March 2016, Carly took part in the incredible BBC 4 programme “NOBODY’S PERFECT” with the renowned photographer RANKIN and with the beautiful ALISON LAPPER. The Programme wanted to challenge the perception of what is beauty – to encourage people with physical differences to embrace those rather than hide them.
You can watch this documentary HERE. I highly recommend it – it will tug at the heart strings – I can tell you that!
You can see Carly in action – it is apparent that she does not have confidence in herself, and through the work of Rankin and Alison, Carly starts to realise that she is not only beautiful wearing hair (she really does rock EVERY wig)…… but that bald beauty is just absolutely stunning without covering up her smooth head. She is stunning, and it is very emotional to see that very personal moment of her really SEEING herself for the first time……. the way that we see her…….. the beauty that is her wee bald head! The beauty that is Carly – inside and out.
DETERMINED TO HELP OTHERS LOVE THEMSELVES
At the end of the show, we see Carly walking bald down the streets of Colchester. Now, for those of us who know Carly – we don’t see that as a “big deal” for her now….. as we know that she regularly will be out in public au natural….. HOWEVER, for those who knew Carly prior to filming this show – she would not even go out to her bin in the garden without hair on. THIS WAS JUST A WHOLE NEW LEASE OF LIFE!!!
Carly says that Rankin and Alison helped her to absolutely change her view of herself. Carly wants to help others with hair loss and a changing body image to accept themselves, and to learn to love the person within. From this, ALIKINS HAIRLOSS SOLUTIONS was born, in may 2016. ALIKINS is Named after Alison and Rankin……… This girl is now on a mission! Not only providing all products hair loss, but emotional support and assistance with all things acceptance of body image. The girl is amazing!!! I highly recommend using Carly for any needs – wigs / brows / toppers / MASUMI headwear….. you name it, she has it……. and as Carly is working on her site in her “spare time” (what spare time is that?)…… you can contact her via the site for information on JON RENAU, ELLEN WILLE, TRENDCO, RENE OF PARIS, DIMPLES and many more!!!!
THE YEAR AHEAD
So I asked Carly what lies ahead for the following year in her life…… as well as working part time in health care, Carly works full time with her baby ALIKINS, as well as being an inspirational, loving caring mummy to a beautiful boy and girl! I kind of feel like she should be wearing a cape! superhero in my eyes!
So the year ahead for Carly: Volunteering at Alopecia UK fundraiser events, Travelling to a college in the Midlands for a week to talk about positive body image to students, she is working on a very exciting FASHION PROJECT with the renowned STEPHEN TAI and raising funds for the charity CHANGING FACES. Carly also is currently working on a bridal headwear range as we speak – where does she have the time?! Really, though?!
ALIKINS now has a studio based in Colchester. However, Carly plans to have POP UP SHOPS throughout the UK – this is so exciting, and I hope she can make it as far north as sunny Glasgow!!! Although, I fear that the world may not be ready for us out together painting the town BALD!!!
I have NO IDEA where this phenomenal woman finds the time to do everything – and to do it so successfully!
It is an absolute honour to call Carly a friend, and it is just beautiful to see this little timid flower bud bloom in to a gorgeous, confident, amazing, inspiring woman – on a mission to help others find themselves and accept the person within……. no matter how that person looks on the outside. Carly wants to help everyone embrace the person they are – to love that person……… this is such a positive message.
I love Carly, and I owe her so many thanks. Carly does not realise the way she touches so many of our lives. It may seem odd that I have chosen to write an article on someone else – when my blog is so new, and I haven’t even shared much about myself at this time.
I feel that this girl has touched my life, and I wanted to really write something about people who are special to me.
I will be writing about different friends as time progresses – whether hairy or baldy, it is no odds to me! I am so thankful for my pal AL (opecia), as this girl is a true blessing to me. Thank you Carly for being so awesome! Just keep being your incredible self, and you will change the world – one person at a time – think you are at a good few thousand lives touched already – you wee angel!!!
A wee extra thank you – I competed in a beauty pageant, and Carly gave me an amazing JON RENAU wig as a gift to compete at the world finals – a new business, and I know that this cost her personal money – this just shows what an incredible heart she has – always thinking of others first.
Carly, remember to also look after you – you are one outstanding and wonderful woman!!!!
I love you lots my gorgeous bald barbie buddy!!!!
Thanks guys for reading this, and please do watch the documentary on youtube as linked above – it is an incredible programme.
And for all your hair loss needs, check out Carly’s site x
lots of love,
Miche (bald barbie)
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