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Your hair is such a big part of what it means to be a woman. 'I was desperate to find a way to love myself and my life again.' And Michelle bravely decided to share her condition with the world.
'After meeting people on the group, I 'came out' publicly about my alopecia by posting a bald photo on Facebook,' she said.
'I wanted something that would make me feel sexy, feminine and pretty, as well as meaning something to me and reflecting my alopecia journey, and the tattoo does just that,' said Michelle, whose husband, Andrew, 39, is a salesman.
The former teacher has since spent a whopping £5,600 on wearing a variety of wigs.
After trying to disguise her condition with wigs and strategic combing, the mother-of-two has now opted for a tattoo on her scalp The intricate tattoo includes two flower-buds, symbolising her two children, an 'A' for her husband Andrew and decorative, swirly lines.'It's meant to mark the journey I've been on,' said Michelle, of Kettering, Northampton, said.
'It makes me feel free.' Michelle became increasingly self-conscious about her hair loss – even having ginger rubbed on her scalp by a Chinese herbalist, believing it helped promote regrowth.
'I've started going out in the garden without my wig on now, which I would have never of done before, and soon I will venture out in public too.' She is even considering having another tattoo on the other side of her head in the future.
Increasingly frustrated, she hit on the idea of making a feature of her hair loss, with a tattoo.'After the two hours of getting it done I looked in the mirror and felt fantastic,' she beamed.'It means something to me.' Michelle's confidence has also grown substantially since having the inking.And all the while, the bald patch was getting bigger and bigger.' But Michelle was determined to get on with her life.When, aged 26, she married Andrew, she wore a non-surgical hair replacement system, like a weave, where extensions are sewn into the person's hair.
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'I'd really come to terms with the fact that I was completely bald by this point and was desperate to talk to others, who have been through something similar.