Hairietta Hairison is a beautiful girl with a beautiful head of hair. The book, Introducing Hairietta Hairison The One, The Only Me, follows her, and her hairstyles, through her first couple of years.
Hairietta learns to hop, skip, jump, and so much more. She is not bothered by her hair that reaches the floor.
Then one day, she starts to loose her hair (from Alopecia). While most young girls would be devastated, she doesn’t let it stop her from being the beautiful girl she truly is. Instead, she continued to pursue her hobbies and do the things that she thinks are fun.
Hairietta’s story is funny, cute, and endearing. As I read it, I couldn’t help but see myself and my sister, Denyse, in it. Denyse and I are both affected by Hay Wells Syndrome. One of the most common characteristics of Hay Wells Syndrome is sparse, coarse, wiry hair. As I have mentioned a few (or few hundred) times, I am a life long baldie. My sister, however, had hair while we were growing up. Although she had a bald spot on top of her head, she was always able to style her hair to cover that bald spot without it being obvious that she was covering a bald spot. Then, one day, her hair started falling out. She would wake up in the morning with a clump on her pillow. This happened for a couple of weeks.
Then one day I came home from work (I was a Pizza Hut waitress) and Sis had shaved her entire head.
“Does it look okay?” she asked me.
I have to admit, I was a little surprised. Not just that she had shaved it all off, but also that she had asked me, her sister who had always been bald, if it looked okay. Of course it looked okay! She was (and still is) beautiful. Her hair had nothing to do with it. I can’t help but wonder if Hairietta had a Mom like mine. She must have, to be such a confident young woman. My Mom taught us that beauty is from within, and your appearance has nothing to do with it.
This book is a great book for all kids, not just kids dealing with hair loss—whether from alopecia, chemotherapy, or a rare disorder like mine. Teaching children to be confident no matter what they look like is a powerful lesson, indeed. As is teaching children to be empathetic toward others who are different.