Like any seven-year-old, Gianessa Wride was over the moon when her classroom announced it would be having a “crazy hair day” in school. But planning for that day would prove more challenging for Gianessa than it might for most kids — namely because she doesn’t have any hair.
Gianessa suffers from alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss when cells in the body fail to recognize hair follicles as their own. Gianessa’s mother, Daniella Wride, first noticed her daughter’s hair coming out in clumps just a few months ago. “I started to brush it, and there was a lot of hair coming out with the brush,” she said.
By the time they were able to see a dermatologist to diagnose the condition, all of Gianessa’s hair was gone. “I think I took it harder than she did,” Daniella said. “I would just bawl and cry sometimes.” The pair bought a number of quality wigs that Gianessa could wear in the meantime, but when it came time for “crazy hair day,” they decided to go bald and bold.
After a quick trip to the craft aisle and some incredible patience on Gianessa’s part, Daniella arranged a beautiful flower and jewel design on her daughter’s bare head using dazzling stickers.
“It’s crazy ‘head’ day today! I must say she looks absolutely stunning!” Daniella wrote in an Instagram post capturing the gorgeous ‘do. Gianessa and her classmates all loved it, too.
“When I walked in, everyone was crowding me about the jewels,” Gianessa told her local news station KUTV-2 in Salt Lake City, Utah. In fact, the look was such a hit that Gianessa and Daniella plan to recreate it in different styles on normal school days, too — though Gianessa still enjoys toying around with the wigs, too.
“She is still her beautiful, sassy, smart, loving, kind self,” Daniella wrote of her daughter on social media. “And I’m excited to embrace this and have fun trying new things with her. This girl is fierce and brave, way more so than I could have ever imagined. I love her more than anything.”
Now that their pictures and their story have gone viral, the Wrides hope that Gianessa’s bright spirit will inspire both alopecia awareness and courage in the face of adversity, no matter the situation.
“You have to teach your kids, life isn’t fair, you have to be able to adapt and change and make it your own,” Daniella said. “Whatever you’re going through, even if it it’s tough, if you have alopecia, still be confident, be yourself, and bald is beautiful.”
As for Gianessa’s condition, “there is no cure or medication she can take,” Daniella explained. “They can do pill steroids, but once she stops taking them the hair falls out again. Also, they can do steroid injections into the scalp. Neither of these options sits well with [Gianessa’s dad] Tyler and I, so, for now, we will embrace her new fabulous look.”
“You have two choices,” Daniella said about their situation. “You can either be sad about it and be miserable, or you can make it into something fun and enjoy it.”