- Nicola Phelan, 28, has suffered with alopecia since she was just five
- The mother-of-two would never let anyone see her without her wig
- Weighing 13st7lbs, she sought a hypnotherapist to help her lose weight
- It helped her lose three stone and is now happy to show off her bald head
An alopecia sufferer afraid to be seen without wearing her wig is now confident enough to show off her bald head.
Nicola Phelan, 28, who has suffered from the hair loss condition since she was five, had hypnotherapy in an attempt to lose weight.
The mother-of-two, who weighed 13st7lbs, would not let her friends and family ever see her without her wig.
But after losing three stone as a result of therapy, she unexpectedly felt confident enough to take off her wig.
The carer, from Leeds, who now wears her bald head with pride, even traded in her job and partner.
Ms Phelan said: ‘I have always been someone who has accepted I have alopecia, but I was not someone who would just take my wig off and show people.
‘Before, even with family members I had never let them see me without my wig
Ms Phelan added: ‘I am a totally different person now – I am happy and confident in myself. It has changed my life so much.
‘I count myself as being lucky as I’m not poorly, I just have no hair. I’m proud to have alopecia and won’t hide the fact I have it.’
Ms Phelan has suffered from alopecia since she was five due to an autoimmune disorder which attacks her hair follicles.
In the past she underwent treatment and took medication without success and had relied on wearing a wig from a young age.
Weighing 13st7lbs and wearing size 16 clothes, in May last year, she approached Krystyna Szczygiel about weight loss hypnotherapy.
After just one session she found she could eat healthier and go to the gym.
And in the last year, she has slimmed down to a size 10.
Unexpectedly, the hypnotherapy also gave Nicola the confidence to find a new job, leave her partner of seven years and begin venturing outside without her wig.
Last July, she found the confidence to leave her former partner before meeting a new one this February.
She added: ‘Before the hypnotherapy I was fat, I was miserable and I was unhappy in my relationship.
‘I was just really depressed – it was not a good look.’
Ms Phelan had tried various weight loss groups but felt she couldn’t stick to the regime.
She would often go for a couple of weeks, lose a stone and then begin to eat badly again.
She added: ‘I can only remember bits of what Krystyna said to me during the session but I remember her saying I should go to the gym and feel a lot more confident.
MS PHELAN’S DIET BEFORE AND AFTER
Dinner: Slimming World recipes such as Spaghetti Bolognese, but with an unhealthy side such as cheesy garlic bread.
Snacks: Binge on chocolate, cakes, biscuits and anything sweet.
Breakfast: Shredded wheat with one per cent fat milk or poached or scrambled eggs on wholewheat toast.
Lunch: Jacket potato with salmon.
Dinner: Homemade meals such as chicken curry or chilli with lean mince.
Snacks: Fruit or crisps and chocolate in moderation.
‘She wanted me to be more confident about myself in order to stick at losing the weight.
‘Now I live a much healthier lifestyle, and if I have one day where I don’t eat healthily I get back on it the next day.
‘I didn’t think I would even lose weight, so being more confident with my alopecia has been a bonus.’
Ms Szczygiel hit the headlines last year when her hypnotherapy dog Princess mesmerised Simon Cowell during an appearance on Britain’s Got Talent.
She said: ‘I always say as a warning to my clients, “this may positively change your life!”
‘I work to get my clients to take control of their thoughts – if they are trying to lose weight there will be certain thoughts which can be replaced with different ones.
‘Once they have gained control over one area of their life, it is really easy to replicate that in another area of their life.
‘Very often, after clients come to me for weight loss help they then tend to make big life changes because they have learned this skill.’
For more information about therapy visit www.empowerandenhance.co.uk.