ZaraLena Jackson has opened up about her battle with alopecia after losing her hair earlier this summer.
The 2017 Ex On The Beach star has decided to document her journey with the condition in hope that inspires others in her position.
ZaraLena first noticed clumps of her hair falling out while she was in the shower and, within five weeks, most of it was gone.
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𝐓𝐨 𝐦𝐲 𝐚𝐥𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐚 / 𝐡𝐚𝐢𝐫𝐥𝐨𝐬𝐬 𝐀𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐥𝐬.. 👑♥️🙏🏽 𝘚𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘴𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘺 𝘣𝘰𝘳𝘯... 𝘞𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘨𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦. 𝘞𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘸𝘦 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸 𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺. 𝘞𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘴 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘥 𝘩𝘪𝘨𝘩 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘪𝘦𝘥. 𝘈 𝘸𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘸𝘩𝘰𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘮 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘷𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘥. 𝖬𝖺𝗅𝖾 𝗈𝗋 𝖿𝖾𝗆𝖺𝗅𝖾, 𝗁𝖺𝗂𝗋𝗅𝗈𝗌𝗌 𝗈𝗋 𝖺𝗅𝗈𝗉𝖾𝗂𝖼𝖺 - 𝐖𝐄 𝐀𝐑𝐄 𝐖𝐀𝐑𝐑𝐈𝐎𝐑𝐒 !!!! #baldisbeautiful #alopeciaawarenessmonth #alopeciaawareness #wearewarriors #keeponsmiling😊
The dressmaker has also lost hair on her body, too. Although not vanished completely, she has noticed her eyelashes and eyebrows starting to thin.
Speaking to BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat, Zara said her instant reaction when she realised what was happening to her body was to hide away from the public eye.
“At first I thought 'I'm coming off social media,” she said. The pressure was going to break me.”
But after thinking long and hard about it, ZaraLena has decided to be honest with her fans and use her online platform to help others.
And as a result, the star has admitted that she feels pretty liberated.
She went on to tell the radio station: "I am bald, bald is beautiful. Life's way too short to worry about hair.”
Just weeks after her alopecia symptoms began showing, ZaraLena posted her first picture of her thinning hair on Instagram.
The star has 225,000 followers after her appearance on MTV’s Ex On The Beach three years ago and she explained she wanted to raise awareness of the condition that had been cruelly sprung upon her.
Writing next to the photos, Zara said: “Well, if you’d of told me 3 weeks ago I’d be facing losing all of my hair I doubt I’d of believed you.
“But this is now what I’m dealing with and there is sweet FA I can do about it but DEAL WITH IT. “So I’m choosing to do my best to help spread awareness and hopefully I can help other girls/guys feel more accepted with this heartbreaking diagnosis.”
Less than three weeks later, Zara updated fans with a new picture and admitted her hair had thinned out dramatically on the sides.
As a result - and understandably - she said her emotions were all over the place.
Zara, who is from Preston in Lancashire, admitted: “So I’d be lying if I told you I’m dealing with this amazing on a daily.
“Each day is different. Some days I crumble and have to push myself mentally to not allow the image in the mirror to affect how I feel about myself.
“Other days I look in the mirror and embrace that Ive lost the majority of my hair and think what wig should I put on today.”
Days later, Zara decided to completely shave her head - and she looks both fierce and incredible.
I am very much inclined to agree with her own words: “Eat your f***ing heart out, Amber Rose.”
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𝘈𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳 𝘙𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘌𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘧𝘶𝘤𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘰𝘶𝘵 👊🏽 𝐁𝐚𝐥𝐝 𝐢𝐬 𝐁𝐞𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐟𝐮𝐥 .. So on Friday I decided to brave the shave. My hair has fallen in the space of just 5 weeks and it was time to deal with it all leaving me for a while. Still an unknown cause but with the radical fall it’s looking like a viral hit to my immune system causing it to attack itself. Despite the past month being the hardest challenge I’ve faced I’ll be damned if I let it take over my life as well as my hair. For those also suffering with alopecia this ones for you. I’m there to hold your hand through every step of the way, regardless of the good or bad days. 👑👑 Things get put into perspective when you’re tested with challenges like this, but it is just a test and I’m hoping it’s the making of me. 🙏🏽 I’m thankful I’ve got this opportunity to show a raw/ real fight to whoever sees my posts. Because unfortunately we live in a world where the pressures to be something special are immense to a point where people hide their struggles and pretend life is perfect. It’s not. And that’s ok sometimes. Hopefully a year from now I’ll look back and have not only thicker hair, but thicker skin too. 👊🏽 Thank you so much to @thehairalchemistofficial for all your help and support, and to everyone for being there for me every step of the way. ♥️ I’ll never forget who’s been apart of this journey with me. 🙏🏽 Any negative comments will be deleted and blocked. Karma can deal with you. 👋🏽😁 #alopeciaawareness #baldbold #bravetheshave
Zara has admitted that she doesn’t yet know the exact cause of her sudden alopecia, however doctors believe it could be the result of a virus.
But she is determined to grab all the positives she can.
One of those is that she has already fallen in love with her bald head.
Taking to Instagram this week, Zara said: “I never thought I’d say this, BUT, I quite like being bald 🤭.
“I’ve had the most fabulous offers of hair loss systems from so many kind amazing places but For now I’ve decided it’s not my time.
“I’m adapting to my new image, I’m loving doing my cardio and not having to wash my hair or worry about it getting greasy!”
Zara went on to explain just how much she enjoys wearing wigs, too.
“Being able to chose what persona I want daily with the fabulous wigs available these days is so much fun, and less daunting now I know how to applicate and style them,” she said. “I’ve come to realise, I’m more confident in my own skin now than when I had hair!! I’ve always been critical of myself, I’ve always judged myself or wanted to change things.. strived for a perfection that DOESN'T EXIST.
“Yet now I look in the mirror and I see a unique strong lady that I’m proud of and don’t want to change.”
Zara continued: “It’s been the making of me, and I’m proud to walk along side so many amazing people in the hairloss community.
“If my hair comes back, amazing. Don’t get me wrong that would be the best outcome BUT If it doesn’t, I’ve adapted, I’ve grown with the loss of my hair and challenged myself to be a better person in the process.
“So whatever my outcome is, I’m prepared either way and truly thankful for the opportunities that have come from the loss of my hair.”
ZaraLena should stand tall and proud.
She may have only recently been diagnosed with alopecia but she will absolutely already be a huge inspiration to thousands.