People who suffer from the autoimmune disease which causes hair loss say that losing their eyelashes and eyebrows can be particularly difficult to cope with.
She said: “It is the eyebrows that really got to me, I didn’t realise how important they were until I lost them, I remember looking in the mirror and it was like looking at a stranger, I couldn’t recognise myself.”
But Edinburgh-based beautician Gemma Cormack, 32, who specialises in microblading, a method of semi-permanent makeup which leaves the client with new brows, is offering help.
For the last two years, the beauty guru has been giving out free appointments at her Rose Street salon to people suffering from medical hair loss.
She said: “I just saw an opportunity where I could do my bit to help people and thought ‘why not’.”
One of Ms Cormack’s client Jennifer Horne, 19, was only three when she was diagnosed with alopecia and at nine she was left without hair, eyebrows or eyelashes.
The Edinburgh College student from Corstorphine said: “Having alopecia was hard at school because we were all young and nobody understood and people would point out when they noticed I was wearing a wig.”
“I hid my condition for a long time but getting the microblading gave me so much confidence I don’t feel the need to wear wigs anymore. They have given me back a part of myself that I had lost and just allowed me to get on with life.”
Microblading lasts around three years and sees the beautician draw tiny hair-like strokes that mimic real eyebrows.
Ms Craig also received the service and said the treatment was “life-changing.”
She said: “I used to draw my eyebrows on every day but going through the menopause and getting hot flushes made this difficult, I was always concerned they would rub off.
“I didn’t go out much at this time because I was always worried that my makeup would run but microblading gave me a lot more confidence, I remember the first time I looked in the mirror and I was like ‘it’s me, I’m back’. I recognized myself again.”
The beauty treatment costs between £300 and £800.
Bekki Berry, 26 lives in Livingston and was diagnosed with alopecia at seven and lost her hair in 2015. Since getting her eyebrows microbladed by Ms Cormack, Miss Berry says that she is “back to her normal self” and “feels happier again.”