An active and fashionable young woman, Filipino singer/songwriter and Alopecia awareness advocate Abby Asistio was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata at a very young age.
Abby tells her story: ”I have had Alopecia, an auto-immune hair loss condition, since I was 4 years old. Because of this, I lived in shame and in hiding, thinking that I could never meet the standards set by the world when it comes to beauty. In September 2012, I decided to rise above my insecurities and embrace my uniqueness by coming out bald. I decided that even with my disease, I can have a lifestyle, start trends and dictate my own fashion.”
According to statistics, the approximate number of people affected by Alopecia range from 1 in 1,000 to 2 in 100. Alopecia Areata can occur at any age but most cases first develop in teenagers and children. People have always believed hair to be one’s crowning glory. Baldness, the result of Alopecia, can have great emotional toll on the patient. Hair has always been an essential part of self-imaging. Print and television ads focus on long and lustrous hair as vital in defining how a beautiful woman should look like.
Abby continuously inspires and encourages others by sharing her life’s testimony through writing and singing songs that uplift, empower and give hope to people with insecurities.
”I wanna be able to give beauty. I wanna be able to give life. I wanna be able to inspire, make others know that they can fly. I wanna have meaning in my life. This is my heart – to share the light that’s in me. The same light that awakened my soul. So I give my all, I heed the call through my songs,” adds Abby. “I wore wigs, hats and bandanas to cope with my baldness. I was able to have a sense of style and fashion that worked around my Alopecia. I realized I could still be fashionable in spite of my condition.”
From 450 aspirants, Abby was chosen as one of the 80 artists to take part in this year’s All that Matters Music Festival in Singapore, from May 20 to 23. All That Matters is the only Business2Business2Fan event in the Asia Pacific that connects the most influential figures in the digital, media and entertainment industries under one roof.
Attended by global leaders in music, digital and social innovation, management, marketing and entertainment, All That Matters is celebrating its 10th year of Making it Matter in 2015. For Abby, aside from showing the world what Filipino talent is all about, she sees this as another opportunity to challenge people to rise above their limitations, and prove that there is indeed life after Alopecia.
”I have lived through the entire process of experiencing hair fall. I had partial bald spots on my head because of Alopecia Areata, total hair loss on the scalp – Alopecia Totalis–and loss of body hair – Alopecia Universalis. But thanks to Novuhair, I am now able to face this illness. I am also thankful that Novuhair has initiated hair forums which help me share my experiences with other Alopecia patients,” Abby says.
Her flexibility, perseverance, humor, and charming personality are but some of the things that work for Abby when faced with challenges. She has figured out how to enjoy her active pursuits and her career, with and without hair.
At present, Abby advocates self-love and acceptance. She encourages others to rise above their insecurities and limitations and embrace their uniqueness. Abby has made it her purpose in life to make others see and feel that they could be strong, brave and beautiful from the inside out.