By Zoe Cassell
SHOCKING transformation pics of the girl who pulled all her hair out after suffering from a devastating condition will leave you stunned.
Meet the girl who went from a shaved head to growing long luscious locks down to her waist in just three years. As a teenager, she suffered from Trichotillomania which caused her to pull her hair out and left her with large bald patches on either side of her head.
To stop herself from being able to pull out more hair while she suffered from the condition, she was left with no choice but to shave it all off.
Halee Candler-Wilson (21) from Santa Rosa in California didn’t have the best start to life and admits that she was born into a ‘broken home’ as her mum struggled with substance abuse.
“When I was 14 we were evicted from our apartment that I had grown up in,” said Halee.
“At 15 my mum couldn’t afford to take care of me so I started living with my friend and her parents.
“I didn’t really have that parental figure there. Don’t get me wrong, my friend’s parents were great but it’s different when it’s not your actual parent.
“With all of that going on as well as high school, it was all very overwhelming. Pulling out my hair was the only thing that made me feel like I had control.”
Trichotillomania is an impulse-control disorder where the person is unable to stop themselves from pulling their hair, often from their head, eyelashes or eyebrows.
“It’s brutal, it really is. I always wore beanies and was extremely self-conscious about how I looked when I did it,” Halee explained.
“I could just imagine how it looked to other people who didn’t know what I was doing.
“I would just sit in the corner and pull out my hair and then fidget with my fingers.
“Everyone knew I was dealing with some demons. If anyone asked I would just tell them ‘I pull out my hair’ and they usually dropped it because they didn’t know how to answer.
“They gave me that pity look which I shrugged off. I never wanted pity, I just wanted help.”
Halee says the urge to pull at her hair first began at the tender age of ten.
“I was at a youth group when I started to split the ends because I liked the way it sounded.
“Eventually I forgot about it and didn’t do it for a while.
“At 14 I re-discovered that satisfying noise. When I couldn’t get a split-end I would pull the hair out and split it myself.”
Trichotillomania sufferers feel relief when they pull the hair out, which often leads to large bald patches.
“It would feel like a huge build-up of tension and like I was holding my breath. As soon as I would pull out a hair or two it was like I could breathe again.
“My hair got so thin. It was short, thin and different parts of my hair weren’t the same length where it had been pulled out.
One night she decided that to shave her head was her only option if she wanted to overcome this heart-breaking disease.
“I had two big bald patches on both sides of my head and I knew that there was no coming back from that.
“There was no amount of recovery time that would even out the sides.
“My hair would never be the same unless I shaved it. So that’s exactly what I did.
“I made the choice and then my best friend Emily and I shaved my head the next night.”
Although a drastic decision for Halee to make, she says shaving her head was absolutely the best decision for her and ultimately it lead to her recovery.
“In the time span that it took for my hair to get long enough to be able to pull out, I did other things to distract my mind.
“I started exercising to regain my confidence and when my hair got long enough I started wearing it up all the time.”
Now Halee boasts a full mane of all her own hair, which she has dip-dyed for blonder ends.
“I love it! It’s so long and friends from my hometown always tell me how good my hair looks.
“It’s been about three-and-a-half years since I shave my head and I’m so proud. I haven’t even had a haircut!”
She urges other sufferers to take up hobbies so that they are not constantly thinking about pulling at their hair.
“In terms of recovery, everyone is different.
“Try to find hobbies: being in nature, exercising, drawing. Distracting your hands and keeping your hair up is key.
“Recovery is hard but it is possible.”