Tanya Huang is the beautiful, energetic and talented designer/owner of Knot Theory which offers a new and very modern look at the tie and the bow tie. In this video she celebrates her birthday by sharing with the world a tremendously personal story as well the reason behind her edgy new look.
As I was asked to share this wonderful personal testament with others, I decided this would be the best venue to reach the widest audience. I hope you will join me in honouring her birthday request to share this video far and wide.
I used to have a full head of healthy shiny hair. Then suddenly, when I was 10 years old, all of my hair fell out in days. Turned out I have Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune condition where my own immune system attacks my hair. It's a genetic disease that can affect anyone at any age. Men and women have equal chance of developing it. If other autoimmune conditions run in your family (e.g. type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, or vitiligo the skin discolouration disease Michael Jackson had) you are more likely to develop alopecia reata.
There are varying degrees of alopecia. Alopecia Areata (bald spots) affects 2% of the population, and Alopecia Totalis & Universalis (head an body hair) affect 1 in a 1,000 people. In some ways I have Universalis because I never grew armpit hair...and I'll let you guess the rest of my body hair, haha ;)
Having Alopecia made a huge impact on my life and my personality. Hair has always been valued as such an important thing, especially for women. Not having hair really devastated me, for a long time. Even when I thought I was over this hairloss thing because I had top of the line wigs that Tyra Banks and Beyonce wear, I was not quite ok. It is only recently, that I feel confident enough and love myself enough, to tell you about my alopecia and show you my alopecia!
Now my goal is to raise alopecia awareness, and help more alopecians get support instead of feeling all alone in the world. It would mean so much to me if you could share this video with friends :)
For more information on support for alopecia:
Alopecia World - a worldwide network for alopecians, with over 13,000 members.
You can find my Vancouver support group here!
NAAF - National Alopecia Areata Foundation, with several thousand members and yearly conference in the US.
CANAAF - Canadian Alopecia Areata Foundation
Children's Alopecia Project - for kids with alopecia!