Abby Jensen is a happy, confident 24-year-old from Cleveland, Ohio. You couldn’t tell from looking at her, but Abby has been a HairClub for Kids client since she was just four years old.
A Medical Discovery Affects Hair Growth
Abby was born eight weeks prematurely. According to her mom, Chris, it was a difficult pregnancy. As Abby developed and became stronger, doctors realized she had been born with an amniotic band wrapped around her head. It was discovered a few months after she was born, because her full head of dark hair made it difficult to see.
Abby’s family ended up working with doctors at the Children’s Hospital in Akron, where they treated her condition as a burn. Eventually a scab formed and once it healed, Abby was never able to grow her own hair. Despite being a premature baby, Abby was a healthy child full of energy and joy.
Facing Challenges Through Childhood
As a child, Abby would usually wear a hat whenever she would go out in public. Chris says that even on Halloween, they would choose a costume that entailed wearing a wig in order to cover Abby’s head. Unfortunately, Chris says that they would get a lot of stares, and her daughter was treated differently than the other children because of the way she looked.
Summers were especially difficult. Going to the pool was always a challenge. Chris said that some moms wouldn’t let their kids play with Abby, or even let her play with their toys. She could hear them whispering amongst each other and moving their kids away from Abby.
As a mother, it broke Chris’ heart.
When Abby turned four and was about to start school, Chris, a teacher herself, knew they had to do something. They turned to a wig company, however, as an active and playful four-year-old child, a wig wasn’t going to work.
Persistence Leads to HairClub
Chris then turned to the internet to do some research, and one day she came across HairClub. When they went into their local center, they met with a few stylists, including Laurie, who made them feel comfortable and right at home.
Abby was fitted for a hair replacement solution and from that point forward, her life was forever changed. “One of the best things we’ve done is come to HairClub,” she says.
Even when she had her hair, kids were still mean at school. Abby remembers being made fun of because sometimes her hair was blond and other times it was brown, depending on the style she chose. She eventually accepted that some kids were just going to keep teasing her, but it didn’t stop her from being herself and living her life to the fullest.
Her hair gave her confidence and allowed her to do things other kids her age did, like swim, style it in different ways, and so much more. HairClub for Kids allowed Abby to feel like a ‘normal kid’ and she knows that without them, her life would’ve been very different.
To this day, Abby still gets her hair done with Laurie every month. “She knows everything about me. I know everything about her,” says Abby. “HairClub has been phenomenal.” She has confidence and can do anything and everything with her hair system. She can swim, go to her favorite indoor cycling studio, sweat, shower, you name it.
Abby’s advice to parents who have children affected by hair loss? “Be persistent and ask questions,” she says. “Don’t take no for an answer.” Abby says had her and her mom taken no for an answer, she’d still be wearing a hat at 24, and hiding from the world.
About HairClub for Kids
HairClub for Kids was founded in 1992 to help children with hair loss feel less self-conscious and more confident. We offer non-surgical, hair replacement services for children 18 and under at absolutely no cost. Learn more