Lauren “Lulu” Williams was in middle school when her mother noticed the first bald spot on her head.
“When my mom showed me, I started crying,” remembers Lulu, now 16. “I wanted to hide.”
Lulu has a condition called psoriasis (sor-EYE-uh-sis), which causes patches of dry, scaly skin. The patches were making Lulu’s hair fall out. There are treatments that can help with the symptoms of psoriasis, but there’s no cure.
The bald spots made Lulu feel self-conscious and unattractive. She was already one of the shyest girls at her school in Franklin, Tennessee. Sometimes she got nervous and stuttered when she was called on in class. Lulu didn’t want anything else to make her stand out at school.
Lulu tried to conceal the bald spots with braids, but sometimes that was impossible. Finally, Lulu’s mother took her to buy a wig. Lulu attached the wig to her head with clips and glue.
Lulu was aware that her classmates whispered about her wig behind her back, but she tried to ignore them. “My wig was like my security blanket,” Lulu explains. “It made me feel like I fit in.”