Alopecia Areata is thought to be an autoimmune disorder in which a misguided immune system damages hair follicles. It affects over 6.8 million people in the United States.
One such little girl living in Citrus Heights, California, five-year-old Malia Hayes knows all too well about misguided people doing damage too. Hayes has Alopecia, and on a recent trip to the park some children made comments that hurt her feelings. Although the children didn't intend to be mean, that was the result.
Malia's parents set out to help heal those wounds, by letting her shave her dad's head. In an interview with KCRA, father, Zach Hayes said:
I asked her if it was OK if I looked like her. I told her it would be an honor of mine to have her cut my hair for me.
Malia's mother, Ashley Hays recorded the experience and the resulting video went viral on social media.
The family maintains a Vlog to bring awareness to Alopecia.
✨https://t.co/vRST2q6QX8✨— Hayes Family Vlog (@AZHayesVlog) May 2, 2018
Yesterday was a hard day for our family but Dad made it better by shaving his head to look like our lil beauty 💙#baldisbeautiful #alopeciaawareness #SpreadLove #BeKind #lovealwayswins pic.twitter.com/YOTRZ5yFP3
The public was touched by the strength of the family and their willingness to share their journey.
I just saw this vlog and cried my eyes out. As someone who has had alopecia since I was 4, I’ve heard so many things. It’s hard as a child and she’ll learn and she has amazing parents who will support her and be there for her!! 😊— darlingshineon (@darlingshineon) May 3, 2018
I too had Alopecia. I know how embarrassing it can be when people around you make fun. Stay strong girl. You have got amazing parents.— Gyaan (@Dnyanesh1111) May 4, 2018