MEET HAIR CLUB FOR KIDS CLIENT: SARAH PENNINGTON

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

Hair Club for Kids is a philanthropical program that was created to give children between the ages of six and eighteen non-surgical hair replacement—completely free of charge. No matter the reason for a child’s hair loss, Hair Club stands ready to help boys and girls enjoy their childhoods without having to worry about their hair.

Teenager Sarah Pennington discovered Hair Club for Kids while she was attending the Trichotillomania Learning Center’s annual conference. “I consider it a miracle that I stumbled upon Hair Club for Kids and their services,” said Sarah. “I can honestly say that discovery changed my life.”

Trichotillomania is an impulse control disorder that drives individuals to pull out their own hair, resulting in noticeable hair loss. “I developed trichotillomania in fifth grade and three years later I had virtually no hair on the crown of my head,” said Sarah. “I was beyond ashamed that because I pulled out my hair, I had giant bald patches. No one outside my immediate family knew about my hair loss.” While she wore bandanas, headbands and hats to cover her hair loss, it was becoming increasingly difficult to hide her bald patches. Sarah says she hadn’t considered herself beautiful in months and worse yet, she was starting to lose hope. But, with the help of Hair Club for Kids, “I finally felt beautiful again. I felt like me,” said Sarah.

Out of that hope grew something miraculous. “I never imagined I would be competing in a Miss America pageant, let alone openly sharing my experiences with a hair loss disorder,” said Sarah. After suffering with depression and anxiety, Sarah’s hair pulling continued. Her condition worsened to the point where it impeded her daily functioning. That’s when she decided she needed help and agreed to go to a psychiatric hospital nearly 1,000 miles away from her home. “After three months of treatment, I came out the most confident I had been since the first time I joined Hair Club for Kids,” said Sarah. “It was at that point that I decided I didn’t want to hide anymore. I chose to embrace my disorders as being everyday obstacles that I had to overcome.”

Sarah embarked on a quest to spread awareness about hair loss disorders to help other kids and their families face similar challenges. In this brave and selfless effort, Sarah stumbled upon the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen program, a scholarship-driven pageant organization. “The unique aspect [of the pageant] for me was that they required a platform. I knew I had the perfect platform and two weeks later I was competing in my first local pageant,” said Sarah. “I was excited to compete and discuss my hair loss, but I was also extremely nervous about how the judges would react to my openness.” She needn’t have worried. Her extraordinary courage and compelling story helped propel Sarah to be crowned Miss Freedom Forge’s Outstanding Teen, along with a slot to compete in the Miss Pennsylvania Outstanding Teen pageant.

Sarah prepared for months for the state pageant and in that time, decided to compete with her long hairstyle she got at Hair Club. “Although I didn’t come away with the title, I have never been more proud of my accomplishments than I am about the outcome of that state pageant,” said Sarah. “I spoke about my platform in my interview, sang my heart out in talent, nailed the on-stage questions, earned a spot in the finals competition as a Top 12 contestant, and at the awards ceremony, I received the Outstanding Academic Life Award for a combination of extra-curricular activities and a high grade point average.” Sarah was also chosen to win the Legacy Award because of an essay she wrote for the topic: Be the change you wish to see in the world.

“I can’t thank Hair Club enough for their services and support. And, you never know, maybe I will be competing on the Miss America stage, rocking a Hair Club style and changing the way people look at those with hair loss once and for all!”

We are so proud to share Sarah’s extraordinary story and thank her and her family for giving us the opportunity.

For more information about Hair Club for Kids, please visit our website. Learn more about our non-surgical hair loss solutions and how they can help you regain confidence in your appearance. Our team of over 1,100 licensed cosmetologists and hair loss experts understand the emotions behind hair loss and are here to walk you through every step of the hair restoration journey.