Skip to main content

Meet Queen Sarah, a teenager who pulled all her hair out while battling crippling anxiety and depression, now a stunning beauty queen!


Be Inspired! Sarah Pennington, 18, has trichotillomania - a disorder which led to an "irresistible urge" to pluck out her strawberry blonde locks, eyebrows and eyelashes

After developing the condition seven-years-ago, Sarah describes it has an "irresistible urge" to pull out her hair.

But two-years-ago, after receiving psychiatric help she started to embrace her condition and stopped hiding her baldness in public.

To raise further awareness, Sarah, from Philadelphia, America, started entering beauty pageants and has placed multiples times while share her empowering message that she's beautiful without hair.


Sarah, a cinematic film student, said: "I used to feel ashamed of my appearance, but now have worked through my anxieties and want to promote self-love and awareness in pageants.

"I have dealt with this hair-pulling disorder for seven years, I started pulling out my eyebrows and eyelashes, then the hair on my head and now I'm pretty much bald.

"The compulsion is like an irresistible urge, like an itch you need to scratch but rather than scratching, you pull out your hair and don't realise you're doing it.

"When I started pulling out my head hair, I started wearing hats, bandanas and wigs to hide it, no one knew about it until two years ago.

"I received help to show my baldness for the first time two years ago, I was very uncomfortable, my anxiety hit the roof for ten seconds and then I realised no one died and nothing bad happened.

"I feared taking my hat off in public for five years and when I did nothing bad happened to me, I realised I don't have to hide this big massive secret from the world.
"From there, I started entering pageants to spread awareness of trichotillomania and used my platform to talk about being able to stand proud without hair and be happy.

"I've had an outpouring of positivity from people who have been very supportive, since being more open about my condition and others have spoken to me about their issues too.

"Now I frequently enter pageants to show that the magazine image of beauty of people with long hair is not necessary and that you can be happy being bald.

"I enter to share my story and with this is my platform I love talking about trichotillomania, telling others why it happens and when I do win it's great.

"I'm confident enough to say now that I don't need long hair, I'm happy and beautiful with short hair."

Sarah was bullied during her early-teenage years for being an 'outcast', she believes the stress of that led her to start hairpulling.

Five-years into her trichotillomania her depression and anxiety worsened, leading her to seek professional help.

Sarah said: "I couldn't function and wasn't really leaving my room, so I agreed to go and get psychiatric help.

"Their treatment worked towards being confident enough to stop hiding my hairpulling and to take off my hat in public.

"When I took the plunge, in that moment of truth when I took my hat off, the world didn't end and it gave me confidence to be bald in public ever since."

Sarah says the response to her hairpulling has been accepted since revealing the effects of her disorder.

She added: "I have a condition that makes me pull out my hair, I had no idea whether people would be accepting, so it was a big leap.

"But it's been really positive, it's showed me how much good there is in the world and despite some negative comments I know I'm helping others."

Sarah explains the compulsion of her condition, she said: "There is a pain when I pull my hair out but I'm not thinking when it happens, it's a subconscious reaction, it's hard to explain to people.

"The impulse in general is like nail-biting, it's a behaviour that a person doesn't even realise they are doing."

Sarah's been entering beauty pageants for two years now, winning first place and runner-up positions and using her platform to talk about trichotillomania.

She said: "I was honestly astonished and elated when I won, I entered with the mindset that it could go really wrong and people wouldn't understand.

"I'm ok with having trichotillomania now, I can't believe where I am today, I'm dead serious when I say I wouldn't change it as this has defined me in the best possible way."

Sarah went to Prom three-months-ago and while she admits she looked different to how she previously imagined herself, she enjoyed the experience.

She said: "Everyone pictures being beautiful with long hair at prom, but that didn't bother me, it was a cool experience not relying on extensions or make-up to feel beautiful.

"Going to prom is a big moment universally, so I've since posted my picture on Facebook groups to show them not only did I look pretty but I felt beautiful and confident too.

"I am content with how I look now, sometimes I wear a wig but only when I want to, I don't have eyebrows or eyelashes and my hair is short and patchy, but I wouldn't change it for the world."

Sarah is fundraising to continue her pageantry work, you can donate by visiting: www.gofundme.com/trichawareness

Comments

Did You Miss These posts?

HotShots; Namibian beauty vs Nigerian beauty

Namibian model Maria Nepembe and Nigerian Beverly Osu teamed up with African top photographer @Spotlightpi to release these unique adorable shots, captioned- "Let's make our world a beautiful place of habitation by loving one another, strong women support one another"
See more loveable photos.....

Hlengiwe Twala crowned Mrs south Africa 2017

Hlengiwe Twala, from Hartebeesport Dam, was crowned as the 2017 Mrs South Africa, at a glittering grand finale at Emperors Palace, Johannesburg.hosted by the sensational Minnie Dlamini, and produced by one of Africa’s leading show producers, Jan Malan. It featured a star studded guest list of top South African talent, South Africa’s very own Mrs World who was Mrs South Africa 2016, Candice Abrahams and celebrities, dancers, designers as well as breath-taking entertainment by the Joburg ballet. Olwethu Leshabane was crowned first princess and Lilliana Lulli-Marruchi won second princess. While Claire Gardiner

Depression!! Model commits suicide during a video call with her husband

The beautiful young model and mother-of-one killed herself during a WhatsApp video call with her husband

Ladieeees could this be for real?

Just imagine!!! Ladies please don't tell me you knew about this shii...

Keke palmer (Akeelah) has been criticized by fans at her latest hot, half-nude shot for Galore Magazine

Fans of Akeelah reacts negatively on various social media at seeing the latest shots of adult Akeelah (Keke palmer) featured in Galore Magazine, Probably they don't like to see her hot edges, they still wish for the innocent Akeelah, but just like the saying "change is one thing constant, and the young shall grow" so, behold the changed Akeelah as she glamour for Galore Magazine.....whooops!

See how hot Sudanese model Adut Akech can slay for a top Magazine

The beautiful, melanin-overdosing Sudanese model, Adut Akech Bior slayed hot and dashing for Laud Magazine; a fashion and hair magazine. See one more hot photo

Miss New Nigeria Heritage shares lovely photos to mark her 21st birthday

Queen Kayla Onunkwo is the reigning Miss New Nigeria Heritage she turned 21 today 8th December, and shared the stunning new photos to mark her birthday. More photos twerk...

Checkout the 13 finalists for Queen of South East Nigeria 2017

The Organisers of Queen Of South East Nigeria Pageant have unveiled photos of the 13 outstanding delegates for the maiden pageant

Mauritius Crowns Top Queens!

Urvashi Gooriah was crowned Miss Mauritius 2018 during the finals held October 13 at the Hennessy Park Hotel in Ebene.The 19-year-old graphic designer will head on to compete at the 2018 Miss World contest in December in Sanya, China.

Angie Callychurn Miss Mauritius wins Miss Supranational Africa 2016

Angie Callychurn, Miss Mauritius reached among the finalist and placed at the top 25, miss Rwanda also got to the top 25 list, making it the two African countries that reached the top 25 list admist other african contestantsat the Miss Supranational World contest 2016