Co Tyrone teen opens up about losing her hair during pandemic

A 14-year-old from Co Tyrone has bravely opened up about losing all of her hair during the pandemic.

Isla McGonigle, who is from Omagh, says she believes that the stress of lockdown caused it all to fall out.

The teenager hopes that by speaking about the condition, called Alopecia Universalis, others will be inspired and will remove the stigma.

Isla said: "It was tough originally, then I just gave in and was like 'this is who I am, I can't do anything about it'.

"On 23 October my hair was basically all gone so I got my dad to shave it, then at the start of December my eyebrows, eyelashes all fell out and next think I know I have no hair on my body."

Alopecia universalis is an autoimmune disorder that makes the hair all over the body fall out.

Isla struggled with lockdown and adjusting to home schooling.

"I think it was due to stress during the first lockdown," she tells UTV. "Stress can sometimes trigger autoimmune diseases, and I think it was to do with stress."

She says she doesn't want to hide her alopecia and hopes by speaking out she will help others.

"I think it's something you should be proud of, because you're unique as a person," Isla added. "It's something you have to get on with and live every day as you would, with or without hair."