Model with alopecia: Amber Jean Howard talks about her hair loss

Amber (29) is bald today and wants to encourage others with hair loss.

Amber Jean Roward / Instagram


Amber Jean Roward lost all of her hair when she was 15 years old. After years of doubt, she loves her bald head and encourages other sufferers.

Even as a little girl, Amber had only one dream: she wanted to be a model. When she wanted to show a friend the little highlights she had just done at the hairdresser’s when she was 15, she asked about a bald spot on her head. “From then on I lost tufts of hair and within a year I was bald,” explains Dublin-born Amber to The Sunday Times. A doctor then diagnosed her with alopecia.

Alopecia is defined as excessive hair loss. Hair loss usually occurs on the scalp, but all of the rest of the body’s hair, such as eyelashes, eyebrows or intimate hair, can also be affected. the Alopecia areataAmber suffers from is considered an autoimmune disease, the causes of which are not fully understood. The body attacks its own hair follicles, which no longer grow back on them. It is a mostly harmless disease, but for many it represents a major cosmetic and psychological problem.

Years of shame and hiding followed: “I just wanted to be a normal teenager, date guys and have fun,” says Amber. She bought ill-fitting wigs that itched and hoped fervently that no one would find out about her secret. Only her family and closest friends were privy to it. Amber says: “Wigs became my shield. Only there weren’t any that felt natural and didn’t look like carnival. “

A model with a wig

When the Irish woman was approached by a model scout at the age of 18, she couldn’t believe her luck. Her dream finally came true, she moved to London and had her first orders with wigs and artificial eyelashes.

A few months later, her eyebrows also fell out. Her agent, who knew about her illness and would support her until then, advised her to withdraw from the modeling business out of self-protection.

Amber took advantage of this break and went to India on a yoga retreat. “I vowed to use this time-out to make peace with my bald head,” says Amber on social media. She deliberately did not put a wig in the suitcase. “It was so liberating to feel the water on my bare scalp while swimming,” she says. After these weeks she had a completely new self-confidence and wanted to share this feeling. Back in Ireland, she founded an online platform called “Hair Free”, on which she wants to encourage other sufferers.

She created her own line of wigs and is now again a frequently booked model and actress. She also gives helpful tutorials, such as applying makeup to eyebrows – a technique that she has now perfected:

«I am happy and grateful for my experience. Today I love myself – with or without a wig. Because hair doesn’t define who we are, ”says Amber. She just wished that she had found more information and inspiration on the subject as a teenager.

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