A schoolgirl who went bald due to relentless bullying and abuse has received a £5,000 “life-changing” hair loss treatment just in time for Christmas.
Bonnie Pullan, 11, began losing her hair three years ago after classmates at her primary school reduced her to tears day after day.
Mother Wendy, 38, a special needs teaching assistant from Halifax, West Yorkshire, said she first noticed a bald patch forming on Bonnie’s head after her little girl turned seven.
Now she has been fitted with a prosthetic hairpiece created from a 3D mould, which is sealed in place using long-lasting adhesive.
The non-surgical treatment, called a CNC medical hair replacement system, fits seamlessly onto Bonnie’s head, making it very hard to tell that it’s a prosthetic.
It means she can wear the wig for years without having to take it off, which Wendy says will help her get her confidence back.
Bonnie said she was ‘blown away’ when she was fitted with the hair piece on Wednesday, after an anonymous donor helped her hit a fundraising target of £5,000.
She said: “The excitement has been building waiting to get my CNC and yesterday I had it fitted. I was super nervous, but I don’t know why because I love it.
“Straight away I said ‘it feels like I can’t even feel it on’. It’s like I’m used to it already.
“I have been and shown all my school friends and now I just want other children with hair loss to feel the way I feel right now – happy, confident, and amazing.
“I’m so grateful to everyone who’s helped me to get the CNC system. For making it all possible. My smile is so big. I have hair again.”
Bonnie would come home crying every day from school and at one point wasn’t eating.
Doctors later diagnosed her with alopecia, a sometimes-permanent hair loss disease, which was brought on by the stress of her daily school experiences.
A range of factors are thought to cause alopecia areata, including severe stress. The body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing hair loss.
And while Wendy managed to halt the harassment, her hair failed to grow back due to her ongoing issues with anxiety.
Bonnie’s mental health began to spiral following her hair loss. She would heartbreakingly tell her mother: “My friends are pretty, I’m not pretty.”
A local hair clinic campaigned to raise the £5,000 that Bonnie needed for the treatment, which was smashed earlier this year thanks to online donations.
Speaking after Bonnie was fitted with the hairpiece, Wendy said: “Bonnie is the most incredible girl I know.
“We love her unconditionally and told her that she rocked having no hair every day.
“After four years without any though, she decided she wanted hair and being her mum, I will support her through every choice the best I can.
“Watching her smile with her friends at her fitting, just in time for Christmas, was magical. I couldn’t be prouder.
“Her confidence came flooding back, especially knowing that she can wear her CNC day and night – to school, to drama classes and to sleepovers – without the anxiety that it might ever come off.
“I’m a happy mum. My girl is happy.”
Bonnie will wear it 24/7 for up to 4 weeks at a time before visiting Yorkshire Hair Clinic for her complimentary maintenance appointments in their dedicated private suite.
Made from 100% human hair and custom colour matched to Bonnie’s hair and scalp, the hair system can be washed and styled as though it were her own hair.
Hayley Jennings, 42, co-owner of Yorkshire Hair Clinic, where Bonnie had the piece fitted, said: “We see the difference that a CNC hair replacement system makes to those struggling with hair loss.
“Watching Bonnie’s confidence soar after her fitting is the reason, we do what we do and is the reason that our fundraising will never end.
“As Bonnie grows older, she’ll start to outgrow the 3D printed cast we made from her head when she was 11 and there are other children and young adults still struggling with alopecia.
“We’re determined to help them all.”