Emily Kight spent much of her life hiding behind wigs, hats, and disguises to conceal her bald spots. At age 7, the Philadelphia woman developed trichotillomania, a condition that causes her to compulsively pull out her hair.
“At school, I would leave the room and cry in the bathrooms when classmates would ask why I didn’t have eyelashes, why I had bald spots, or called me ‘freak,'” Emily told Caters News. “I used to look bald, but there were hats and wigs that I hid behind for many years — and pencilled in my eyebrows — until now.”
The 27-year-old is now a biomedical engineer researcher. She has developed a conditioner that is believed to be a potential cure for trichotillomania. It creates a hot-and-cold sensation that helps reduce the urge to pull one’s hair.
Emily used herself as a guinea pig, today she has a full head of hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes — all thanks to her own invention.
“For me now, the impulse is no longer engraved in my brain. I’m able to say ‘no’ and choose not to pull instead of instinctively doing it without realizing,” she said.
Emily’s conditioner has won prestigious awards. She hopes to create an entire line of products for people with the same disorder.
“I hid under makeup, hats, wigs and pushed people away so they wouldn’t know me. I’d like for people not to have the experiences I had,” she said.
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