By Josh Saunders
An alopecia sufferer bullied for her ‘bald spots’ has learned to embrace her hairlessness thanks to scalp tattooing.
Jazzmine Williams, 23, from Brooklyn in New York, USA, spent over ten years hiding her hair beneath hats, fabric and cleverly disguising it by wrapping it into a bun, as well as hairpieces.
She was diagnosed with alopecia, shortly after her first bald patch appeared near to her temple at 11-years-old, which she had initially confused for brushing her hair too hard.
For years she was embarrassed by the appearance of her hair and at school was humiliated after one classmate announced to others that she was ‘bald’.
But after her grandmother passed away last year, she decided she had to change her life and no longer be defined by her hair by shaving it all off.
She discovered scalp micropigmentation (SMP) – a process where thousands of tiny dots are tattooed into a person’s hairline to give the illusion of hair.
After three sessions, she is overwhelmed with her look, as shown in heart-warming footage, and is for the first time is happy having a shaved head.
Jazzmine, a model and director, said: “It started with spots near my temple and then worked to the back of my head and struggled to grow back due to stress.
“I felt sad and uncomfortable, I was embarrassed that people would judge me because of the bald spots.
“People would usually stare at me really closely, I didn’t want to get upset in front of them so I tried my best to hide it.
“Once someone announced that I had a bald spot to the entire class, I was really embarrassed until after class finished, when I broke down and cried.
“Before I would always wear my hair down or use tricks to hide my alopecia, it always affected the backs and side of my hair, I would try to wrap it in a bun with fabric or other things.
“It was stressful, I had to fiddle with my hair a lot and could only wear it in certain styles to cover my spots.
“Because my hair was falling out due to alopecia I decided not to let it define who I was any more and took it into my own hands by shaving it off.
“It did upset me at first, but I didn’t want to allow my hair to hold me back from being my true self.
“Since having SMP treatment I’m so much more confident in myself, I feel like a new person and should have done this a long time ago.
“I’m living without worry of my hair falling out now, I love what Jonathan Gerow did and how he made me feel.
“Everyone loves my look now and I tell everyone I can about SMP, people have even compared me to Amber Rose.”
At her worst, Jazzmine was left with 60% hair loss from her alopecia – the condition that affects 1% of the world’s population and is exacerbated by stress.
She knew that to accept her alopecia she would have to embrace being ‘bald’.
Jazzmine said: “I knew one day I would have to cut off all of my hair, it was very emotional when I did it and most people around me didn’t know anything about it.
“After shaving my hair off, I cried when I looked in the mirror, it was a painful reminder of the experiences I went through as a child.
“Everyone at first asked why I cut it off and friends messaged asking if I was ok, it was like they thought a woman couldn’t shave her head without being stressed, have cancer or be dying.”
Jazzmine started SMP sessions with Jonathan Gerow last year and after one final session to darken the tattooed pigment on her skull two-months-ago she’s delighted with how she looks.
She said: “I was really depressed and needed a change, I decided to research cosmetic tattooing and feel incredible now.
“I felt like I was in good hands with Jonathan, he helped to make me feel like he would help me get through this.
“Alopecia is really draining, lots of kids have it nowadays and are not allowed SMP because of their age, but I believe it could change their lives.”
Jonathan Gerow started as a tattoo artist eight years ago, after his mother lost her hair through chemotherapy he began developing his SMP practice – a tattooing that creates the illusion of hair.
His mother sadly passed away in 2009 from cancer before he had perfected the skill, so now in her memory he helps others including Jazzmine.
Jonathan said: “The difference I saw was amazing, her whole head was in uniform and had the look of a whole head of hair.
“Before she would always wear either a hair piece or a hat, now she does not have to and wears nothing, her confidence is through the roof.
“I feel I have found my calling in life and that is to help as many people with hair loss, alopecia, cancer, hair loss from chemo, scars or failed hair transplants.
“I spent years developing and perfecting the natural scalp Micropigmentation technique.
“Unfortunately, my mother passed away before I could help and treat her, but she is my main inspiration behind what makes me stand out as the world’s leading Scalp Micropigmentation artist.”
You can follow his work at: www.jonathangerow.com