Erin Walker, a nine-year old alopecia sufferer, from Broughton near Kettering, admits she was nervous as to how people would respond to her once people saw and realized that she was losing her hair. But instead of letting the nerves get the best of her, she decided to begin documenting her experiences and sharing them online in the form of a blog (see it here). Walker’s hair first began falling out in clumps when she was only seven years old. As the hair continued to fall out, classmates and teachers certainly began to notice. This called for a lot of discussion and explanation to friends and others around about what was happening and what alopecia is. Determined not to let her situation hold her back or get her down, Walker began writing about her experiences and sharing them online on a blog she created for just this reason. Opening up was hard at first, but quickly people found her words to be inspiring and it fostered an online community of support. Walker has since made new friends and one in particular, a young girl named Daisy who lives in Bath who is going through the same thing. After months of writing each other, the two met for the first time last week. What Is Alopecia? Alopecia is a form of hair loss that occurs when the body’s immune system mistakes the hair follicle for a harmful pathogen and attacks. The result is sudden and rampant hair loss. This type of hair loss happens in clumps, in a sporadic pattern all over the scalp. In some cases, while the hair may grow back in the area, if most likely will fall out in another area. The duration of the hair loss varies from person to person. Some people will see the hair regrow, but with a finer, lighter hair in it’s place. Others will experience a more permanent hair loss. While alopecia can be treated, presently there is no cure. Support, Not Just Strength, In Numbers Now knowing what sort of circumstances some face, it’s easy to see where having a sense of community can be helpful in moving forward and accepting one’s condition. Hair loss of any kind, at any age can take its toll on a person. With that in mind, we provide our own forum on our HIS Hair website. A place where men and women of all ages and various degrees of hair loss can talk openly and freely about all things hair loss, SMP, and personal experiences, our forum provides a place for clients and non-clients talk it out. Whether you want to learn more about SMP, hear about different people’s hair loss stories, or just know that you’re not alone in is, the forum is great place to start. To join the conversation, just head to the forum by clicking here and create an account. Erin Walker and her family say that by creating this online community, they’ve received an outpouring of support from people all over the world. Other organizations have taken notice, such as Alopecia UK, and have joined the community. This is just one example of what such a forum, blog, and/or online community can do for someone going through the same situation as another.