Alopecia Beauty Queen Overcomes Cruel 'egghead' And 'Humpty Dumpty' Taunts To Compete In Miss England Competition

- Jan 03, 2018-


A young woman with alopecia, who cruel bullies called 'baldy' and 'Humpty Dumpty,' is now fighting back as a Miss Englandhopeful.

Stunning Chloe Ashford-Smith, 22, has shared her battle with the syndrome as she gets ready to compete in Miss Great Grimsby and District 2017.

Chloe would wake up each morning to see her pillow covered in hair and would often find clumps of it on her desk at school.

She said she faced cruel taunts from classmates, who would call her 'baldy' in the lunch queue and even 'Humpty Dumpty and egghead.'

But after trying out a series of new wigs from Angela Smith's Positive Image Clinic in Cleethorpes she has found the confidence to compete in a beauty pageant.

Chloe said: "Your appearance is so concentrated on so much these days so losing your hair is an even harder thing to deal with.

"It changes your appearance so much you feel like you've lost who you are.

"It's hard living with it because I cannot simply wake up and leave the house like other people can.

"I don't have the confidence. I need to draw on my eyebrows and glue my eyelashes on and then decide how I'm going to have my hair to cover up my patches. I can't just tie it up and go.

"Not only does this take a lot of time but having to go to the lengths to get ready everyday leads to people ending up with a bad perception of me because of how I look. I have been called vain, stuck up and fake and it hurts.

"I don't want to have to do all that just so I feel like I can leave the house and I definitely wouldn't have chosen to feel like this."

"My eyebrows and eyelashes also fell out when I was 17 and they never fully grew back so my eyebrows have to be drawn on every day to fill in the gaps.

The International Relations and Peace Studies graduate has suffered with alopecia since she was born and never had much hair as a baby and toddler.


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Throughout her primary and junior school years, she had to wear caps, hats and bandanas and had a wig made for her when she was just six years old.

"Suffering with alopecia is difficult. When your hair is falling out it's scary but when your hair isn't falling out you feel like you're just waiting for it to happen again, she said.

"I've gone three years without having any really bad hair loss so it's like I'm just waiting for the next one.

"One of the most clear things I remember from that time, was looking at the water after I'd washed my hair and being horrified at the amount of hair left behind.

"I was literally watching it fall out in my hand. If I touched my hair it would come out in my hand and my desk at school would end up covered as well.

Chloe told the Grimsby Telegraph she endured bullying while at school and was often called names by other children. "I'd get called baldy in the dinner queue but the teachers knew about my condition and knew I was quiet so always used to look out for me," Chloe added.

"I was once shouted at in a school assembly in front of everybody to take my hat off by a member of staff and I can remember another teacher having to run over to them and tell her why I was wearing a hat.

"The sad thing is, when I got to secondary school, it wasn't any girls making comments about my hair. Most girls were intrigued and would ask me questions about it - it was more the boys who were shallow and made me feel ugly. I've been called Humpty Dumpty and egghead by boys and told I look like a boy when my hair had to be cut short."

When she was younger, Chloe's mum would take her to hospital twice a week to undergo ultraviolet light treatment.

This treatment was basically a bigger and stronger sunbed where the UV lights increased oxygen, nutrient supply and stimulation of the blood circulation to the hair follicle.

For many years, Chloe also had an ointment she had to apply to her hair twice a day.

"When my hair was at its worst a few years back, I started having rounds of corticosteroids injected straight into my scalp.

"These were very painful and left bumps and dints in my head.

"After this, I started researching vitamins and home remedies that I could try myself," Chloe explained.

"A specialist came to my house to carry out reflexology and Indian head massage. I also started taking more vitamins and trying to be as stress free as I could be. I started having counselling sessions for my stress as well.

"Alopecia a difficult thing to treat because there is no cure and out of all the treatments and lifestyles changes I made, you can never be sure what it is exactly that stops the hair from falling out. These days I don't have any treatments on the patches I have.

"As I've got older, I've learnt to accept this is something I have and that it will be with me for life. I honestly thought the best treatment for me was to just be happy in myself and stress free. I found when I learnt to relax and forget about it, my hair would start to grow back.

"I wear extensions every day - this is just a confidence thing.

"My patches are no way near as bad as they once were but my alopecia has made me very self conscious about my hair and I won't go out of the house without them.

"I feel all the comments I had made to me when I was younger have stayed with me.


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"Even though my real hair isn't that short and I think people with short hair look beautiful yet I see my own hair and think I look like a boy.

"I am not able to wear my hair completely off my face either as I have still got big patches at the front and sides of my hairline which are very obvious when my hair is completely off my face.

"In the past, I have coloured in these patches with dark eyeshadow to make them less visible.

"My eyebrows and eyelashes also fell out when I was 17 and they never fully grew back so my eyebrows have to be drawn on every day to fill in the gaps. I wear fake eyelashes almost every day as well.

"I've worn hair extensions since I was 16 and have been able to experiment with different hairstyles and the placement of them so that you can't tell my hair isn't mine.

"I often get compliments on my hair now which feels so weird considering I have alopecia but I do tell people it isn't all my own hair and what hair extensions I am wearing."

Chloe has never taken part in a pageant before as she never had the confidence to do so.

Now her hair is getting longer and her patches seem to be under control she thought she'd enter.

"I never would have thought to enter, even while I was wearing a wig. But after meting Emma and learning what the pageant is really about, I've realised it's not just about what's on the outside," Chloe added.

Chloe's wigs were from Angela Smith's Positive Image Clinic in Cleethorpes and Angela is also sponsoring Chloe in her journey as a Miss Grimsby finalist.

"Angela is an amazing lady who has experience with hair loss herself and helped me not only get the wigs but helped me with my confidence and gave me someone to speak to who had an idea what I was going through. I was 16 when I first went to her and it was because my prom was coming up.

"When she showed me the wigs and said she knew what it felt like I remember just breaking down in tears of relief that I was finally going to have nice hair. Before this,

"I had been wearing really thin awful hair extensions with headbands. My hair was so bad at this point and I had lost a lot at the front, I was probably better off not wearing the extensions at all."

Chloe had her first wig for her prom, and Angela styled it in a half up half down style.

Chloe added: "You couldn't tell it was a wig at all. It was darker, thicker and longer than my real hair so obviously my friends could tell. To strangers, it looked like my own hair and I felt like a normal girl again."

The wigs put Chloe at ease and she learnt how to style them on a plastic head which she would do the night before putting it on. She no longer had to worry about clipping in hair extensions in the right place to hide the patches.

"I'm a very caring person and I think having alopecia has only strenghthened that quality. I am just so much more able to see things from another person's point of view."

The Miss England final is on Friday, April 7.