A hairless body; An interpretative phenomenological analysis of alopecia universalis.
(2017) A hairless body; An interpretative phenomenological analysis of alopecia universalis., no. 63.
Alopecia areata is not a life-threatening condition, but it is life-altering and it can affect an individual's psychological, emotional and social well-being. Yet little research has explored the personal experiences of individuals living with alopecia areata particularly outside of the UK or USA. This research set out to explore what it means to live with hair loss diagnosed as alopecia universalis in Finland. Semi-structured interviews were conducted via Skype with three women. Using Interpretative phenomenological analysis, this thesis investigated individuals' narratives of making sense of their experiences and further adjusting and coping with the condition. It was revealed that the hair loss on the head and around eyes was most distressing aspect of the condition along with the uncertainty and unpredictability. Although the individuals felt that their lives have not been restricted by the condition, the altered appearance raised questions about 'the self' and identity, particularly in the beginning of their AA career.