Woman with alopecia delights in showing off her bald head at her wedding
Aside from a little bit of what she calls "peach fuzz," Kylie Bamberger has not a single strand of hair on her head.
No eyelashes, no eyebrows, no hair on her scalp or in her nose. The Southern California woman has alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes total hair loss.
The strain that she suffers from has taken all of the hair on every part of her body.
When her sun-bleached locks first started falling out at age 12, she was mortified. Now, at age 27, she rocks her perfectly smooth pate.
"I really enjoy standing out and feeling different," Bamberger told InsideEdition.com Tuesday. Even on her wedding day.
At her October nuptials, she was crowned only by a headband, with a veil attached. "There was no way I was going to wear a wig at my wedding," she said.
As a teenager, she endured years of experimental training, ranging from steroid injections to standing on her head to increase blood flow to her scalp.
A hairdresser diagnosed her ailment as alopecia. Doctors confirmed it. By the time she was a sophomore in high school, she had only strands left.
She bought a wig to wear to her prom. "I no longer felt like I stood out," she said.
But wigs are hot and sweaty. "It's like wearing a beanie all the time," she said.
In 2005, she decided she'd had enough. She was no longer going to hide her condition, she said. She shaved her head, put on some sun screen, and walked out the door.
She hasn't shaved since. "My hair doesn't grow anymore," she said.
But her confidence does and she now speaks to groups and schools about the effects of alopecia and how not to let it affect your life.
She has learned to believe in herself no matter what she looks like, or how people react to her.
Every time she goes out in public, she says, someone asks if she has cancer.
"You would be amazed at how many people stare, point and ask questions," she said.
In Las Vegas, a very big man came up to her, hugged her and kissed the top of her head, she said. He told her she was beautiful, and kept on walking.
She tells inquisitive strangers that she's not undergoing chemo – she has alopecia, which caused her hair to fall out.
Most people give her a blank look because "they just totally expect that it's cancer," she said.
But some get it and say "Oh, that must be really difficult for you," she recounts.
"I say, 'Well, if I didn't have it, I wouldn't be standing here today talking to you.'"