Singer-songwriter, TV host, and the poster girl for alopecia in the country, Abby Asistio is singing a happy tune nowadays. And it’s all because of those precious new strands of hair growing on her previously bald head.
Diagnosed with alopecia areata since the age of four, an autoimmune condition characterized by the loss of hair due to damaged hair follicles, Abby had to contend and overcome various physical, emotional and psychological obstacles. Having exhausted almost all possible treatments to no avail, Abby finally came to terms with her condition and even rose above it.
With much grace and courage, she went public with her condition in 2012 and shaved her head. Her message was loud and clear: It’s perfectly fine to be bald and beautiful. Her message was received with loud cheers of praise and her life has never been the same since that fateful day.
Today, Abby proudly shows off her head with its short hair, like a child showing off a prized toy. “It has consistently been growing longer these past two years. My hair is significantly thicker now and I could already style it in different ways, even without having to wear wigs, turbans, and other hair accessories,” she shares with an obvious gleam of joy in her eyes.
Although it might seem like a miracle or a scientific breakthrough, Abby quickly reveals her secret: Novuhair, nature’s answer to hair loss.
After her public outing in 2012, Novuhair reached out to Abby and offered her their product. She had already heard about it from Fanny Serrano, a family friend and the brand’s endorser, but she was wary of trying another product just to get disappointed all over again.
She eventually relented and started using Novuhair in March 2013. After six months, Abby was pleasantly surprised to notice fine strands of baby hair growing in previously bald areas. “It was very exciting! It encouraged me to be more persistent in using it,” Abby recalls.
Since that day, Abby has been a loyal Novuhair user and swears by it. “I use the scalp lotion, shampoo, and conditioner religiously,” Abby continues.
It seems like a miracle, those delicate black strands of hair growing from her scalp and for Abby, the sensations are almost all new to her. “I never thought I could have a full head of hair again. I could actually “take care of my hair” now and even go to the salon to get a trim,” she says enthusiastically. “I love having hair again,” she further states.
Having alopecia is a huge part of Abby’s life journey and after successfully recovering from it, she has made it her mission to help others afflicted with the same condition. She started by putting up the first support group in the country – Alopecia Philippines, which aims to spread awareness about the condition and at the same time, inspire and motivate those with alopecia to become more secure and comfortable in their own skin.
As of now, the group’s online Alopecia Philippines Facebook group counts around 300 members from all over the country. There are those who are afflicted with alopecia themselves and some are their family members or loved ones. “People share stories there, share experiences, post inquiries as well as words of encouragement to help those in the group,” Abby states.
The group has already lined up a number of activities and campaigns for the year, especially during Alopecia Awareness Month come September, including a planned Alopecia Weekend Boot Camp and awareness concert. They also hope to formalize the organization before the year ends to do more for those with alopecia in the country.
“It’s never easy,” Abby says about living with alopecia. “But remember, you are not alone. People around you love and care for you, and accept and appreciate you for who you are. Look for someone to talk to, a shoulder to cry on, people to laugh about your journey and hair stories with,” Abby further shares.
“Everything happens for a reason. In the end, we can choose to rise above the disease and come out better, stronger, more courageous, and more beautiful. Our hair may come and go but it is who we are, what is inside that truly matters and lasts,” Abby says with a smile, the beautiful woman who has bravely battled alopecia and came out of it gloriously victorious.