When a mom learned that her daughter’s school was holding a crazy hair day competition, she came up with an excellent idea. Not wanting her girl with an autoimmune hair disease to feel left out, she thought of a hairstyle with no scarves or wigs.
On New Year’s Day in 2017, Gianessa Wride’s mother, Daniella Wride, was brushing her daughter’s hair when she was startled by something. While combing through her daughter’s tangles, she noticed long locks of hair falling out.
Daniella said it started with quarter-sized bald patches, after which she saw her girl’s hair thinning by her temples. After nearly twenty days, Daniella said her daughter’s beautiful locks were completely gone.
An Unusual Discovery
Worried and utterly clueless about what was going on, Gianessa’s parents, who resided in Salem, Utah with their children, took her to the dermatologist.
[S]he wondered if they could help create a crazy hairstyle for her beautiful daughter.
Daniella, who worked as a registered nurse and had two other kids, Liam and Killian, with her husband of eight years, Tyler Wride, discovered something shocking. It turned out that her lovely daughter had stress-induced alopecia.
The Utah mom noted that within a short time, her daughter’s hair had vanished completely, and so did her eyebrows and lower eyelashes. She said the autoimmune hair disease made total sense because Gianessa had gone through a lot in a few months’ time.
The distraught mother said that her daughter experienced a fair share of traumatic incidents, including the death of her beloved grandmother. She added:
“Gian watched her collapse, and she lost her hair eight weeks later.”
Before the diagnosis, the family had moved to Utah from Tennessee — a move that might have contributed to Gianessa’s increased stress levels, according to Daniella.
The Wride parents said the dermatologist recommended treatments for their daughter, most of which involved injections, steroids, and harsh creams. But Daniella said she wanted her daughter to love herself just the way she was.
After much thought, Daniella visited her daughter’s school to talk to her classmates. She told Gianessa’s first-grade friends about alopecia and urged them to support her. Even at home, she encouraged her lovely girl to embrace herself. She recounted:
“I tell [Gianessa] she is beautiful no matter what.”
According to Daniella, her little princess didn’t like wearing a wig because it caused discomfort. She added that Gianessa had undergone some bullying, with children calling her names, such as “baldy,” and some saying she resembled a boy. But mostly, the Salem resident said her daughter received love, support, and encouragement from others.
One day in March 2017, the seven-year-old girl came home and mentioned that her school was holding a Spirit Week, which included a day called “Crazy Hair Day.”
The mother, who had always worked to set excellent examples for her daughter, became thoughtful for some time. In the past, Daniella said she had styled her young girl’s hair into a myriad of fun hairstyles, such as the rainbow unicorn style. But she knew that wasn’t possible anymore.
A Brilliant Idea
Not wanting her daughter to be upset or feel left out, the loving mom went to a store and found a collection of jeweled stickers, which she used to adorn her daughter’s head. And seeing her decorated head in the mirror, Gianessa told her mother, “Mom, this is awesome. I love it.”
When the youngster went to school with her adorned head, her anxiety subsided after everyone told her they loved her fabulous look. However, that wasn’t all. Daniella said her daughter won the competition, which boosted her confidence.
When Gianessa’s photos went viral, she was said to have received support from parents of other children, helping them understand alopecia and learn self-acceptance.
Daniella said her little girl loved “sparkly, shiny, and glittery” items and aspired to be a fashion designer someday. Meanwhile, Gianessa expressed:
“I was sad at first when I lost all my hair, but now I love being bald. I can do things to my head that other kids can’t. I’m thinking now it might be fun to decorate my head with some sparkly butterflies and flowers.”
Daniella said she was hopeful that her daughter would help teach others to accept their individuality and feel beautiful, no matter what. Indeed, this fantastic mother-daughter duo has taught the world that true beauty lies within, and it’s never too late to embrace it.