"I can do things to my head that other kids can’t. I’m thinking now it might be fun to decorate my head with some sparkly butterflies and flowers.”
8-year-old Gianessa Wride’s hair started to fall out in clumps suddenly as her mom, Daniella Wride was brushing through her hair in January 2017. She was only trying to get rid of the tangles in her daughter's hair, but as she kept brushing, Gianessa's hair kept falling out. Twenty days later, her long, dark locks were completely gone. That's when the first-grader and her family from Salem, Utah, learned that she had the autoimmune disease alopecia and that her hair and eyebrows were likely to never grow back, according to People.
“It was upsetting to her,” Gianessa’s mother, Daniella Wride, said, “and it was hard for me as well, but not because of what she looks like. I was more upset thinking that somebody might bully my daughter and I didn’t want her to ever feel less beautiful than she is.” Now, most schools have this fun day called 'Crazy Hair Day' competition where children can come to school with their hair all decorated. It's basically like Halloween, but for their hair.
So, when Daniella heard that, in April, Gianessa’s school was holding a “Crazy Hair Day” competition during Spirit Week, she came up with quite a brilliant idea. Danielle knew her daughter hated wigs and covering her head with scarves, so she decided to do something to celebrate and embrace her baldness. After all, it was a part of who she was and there was no point in hiding it.
When Daniella was walking through the scrapbooking department at a local discount store, the 30-year-old mother came across a large selection of adhesive jewels, and she thought this was the perfect way for a glitter-loving girl with no hair to participate in Crazy Hair Day. Gianessa was initially a bit worried that her classmates may find her bejeweled head a bit weird, but all of her worries disappeared the moment she walked into her class.
Everyone not only loved her new look, but they also awarded her first place in the craziest hair competition. Also, the pictures of her new look went viral after her proud mom shared them on the social media platform, Instagram. Now, Gianessa's hoping to come up with new ideas to highlight her bald head. “I was sad at first when I lost all my hair, but now I love being bald," she said.
"I can do things to my head that other kids can’t. I’m thinking now it might be fun to decorate my head with some sparkly butterflies and flowers.” Gianessa has always loved anything “sparkly, shiny or glittery” and one day, she hopes to become a fashion designer, says Daniella, who works as a registered nurse. She has two other children, Liam, 4, and Killian, 2, with her husband, Tyler, 31.
“So putting stick-on jewels on her head really is a good fit for her personality,” she says. “And it adds some fun to what could be a stressful time for a girl with no hair. It’s my hope that she’ll continue to want to be herself and express herself in any way she feels comfortable, as she grows older.” Danielle hopes that the positive response that Gianessa has received will help raise awareness about alopecia and inspire others to be more accepting of people without hair.
She believes that her daughter’s hair loss may have been triggered by stress brought on after the death of her grandmother. “Your hair doesn’t make who you are — it’s what inside that counts,” she said. “That’s what we tell Gianessa. People feel inspired by her, and that’s wonderful. We’re hopeful that she’ll show other bald kids that they can also embrace their baldness and can rock any look they want, in any way they can.”