The Coffee Press

Behind the Hat: A Student’s Experience with Alopecia

Kathryn Welch, reporter/photographer

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Current 17-year-old senior, Trever Henderson, shared his experiences and knowledge surrounding alopecia.

Students may have walked the halls and noticed a person wearing a hat among them in the crowd, and those who don’t know Trever might ask themselves why teachers don’t stop him in the hallway to enforce our school’s dress code. Trever Henderson has had alopecia since the age of two. For those who do not know about alopecia areata , it is a condition that causes round patches of hair loss. There are two advanced forms of alopecia areata- totalis and universalis. Trever has alopecia totalis, a condition known for complete loss of hair on the scalp. Alopecia universalis is another form and is known for the characteristic of complete loss of hair on the scalp and body.

Despite his circumstances, Trever does not let his condition bring him down. He can’t imagine or remember a time when he had hair, and if he was given the choice he wouldn’t choose to suddenly have hair. Not having hair is what makes Trever who he is. His life is as normal as every other high schooler. Trever’s disorder does not limit him from pursuing his dreams to become a history teacher or professor after high school.

Having a condition where little can be done to start regrowth, Trever tries to keep a positive mind set about his circumstances. He looks at the greater odds of being born with a more serious disorder rather than his less likely condition. “I mean really I just don’t have hair; it doesn’t affect anything else,” says Trever. “I couldn’t have picked a better debilitation to be born with or to develop.” In his opinion there are not many negatives to his condition. The occasional looks he finds from wondering eyes have become something to which he’s accustomed. His confidence overall has increased through his experiences with alopecia. He tries to live his life in a positive way coping with his situation the best he can. Trever chooses to embrace his lack of hair, believing that when he gets older it will not be a big deal and happens to most men as they age anyways.

Alopecia, an autoimmune disorder, causes  Trever’s immune system to be weakened. As a result of this, he has to get blood work done twice a year. As a kid he experienced varying and frequent sickness due to his weakened immune system. Now that he is older, Trever experiences less frequent sickness because his immune system has gotten stronger.

Alopecia areata is common; there are more than 200, 000 U.S. cases per year. The age of onset does, however, vary in the likelihood of developing the disorder. In babies alopecia is very rare, in toddlers through teenagers the disorder is rare, and the odds of developing alopecia is commonly found in young adults through senior ages. Though his olds were rare, Trever developed alopecia at the age of two. He has learned to live with his disorder for the past 15 years of his life. When his hair started thinning,  his parents were startled and unsure of what was happening. They sought medical advise and the diagnosis was given. 

Trever is not aware of any current treatments for alopecia. There are, however, several charities for finding a cure. In Trever’s opinion he doesn’t see the point of these multimillion dollar research companies when this money could be used for kids who are dying from other more serious disorders and diseases. Few cases of alopecia have spontaneously gone away, but it has rarely occurred.

One thing that Trever would like people to know about alopecia is that, “It’s not that big of a deal; I just don’t have hair.” Behind the hat he wears, Trever is who he’s always been.


2 Responses to “Behind the Hat: A Student’s Experience with Alopecia”

  1. Trever on March 15th, 2018 9:15 am

    TrevEr, other than that, fine job! haha


    adviser Reply:

    Thanks for bringing it to our attention-we corrected it.


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Behind the Hat: A Student’s Experience with Alopecia