I am not my hair

Medical condition causes junior to embrace differences


Photo by Anna Kate Jordan

Because he has no pigmentation that gives his hair color, Holt’s hair is white. Despite this difference, he chooses to move forward.

Story by Misty Lopez, feature editor

It had changed. It wasn’t some typical decision like wanting a new look or making a statement. It just simply changed on it’s own, and there was nothing he could do to reverse it. 

Around the fourth grade, junior Alex Holt lost all color in his hair, transforming his once brown hair to white.

“One night my mom was cutting my hair and saw quarter sized bald spots across my head, but upon inspection my parents had no clue what was going on,” Holt said. “The next couple of days we went to the hospital to check and see, but they also had no clue even after the blood work was done. I was perfectly healthy.”

Confused and unable to find the answers to what had happened to Holt’s hair, they then sent his results to Little Rock to be further analyzed. 

“They said to give it about six to eight months, but a week later the doctors wanted me up there,” Holt said. “My parents’ and my immediate thoughts were that I had cancer since it was major that they wanted me up there so quickly.”

Upon arriving, it was not what Holt or his family had expected. The doctors seemed calm and were curious as to what the young boy looked like.

“When we got there, they said they just wanted to look at me because they have never seen anything like this, and then they sent me on my way home,” Holt said.

Although Holt’s case wasn’t life threatening, it quickly changed his perspective and his feelings. With so many emotions all at once, Holt was then unable to handle them. 

I come to school with a smile on my face, and no matter what is said to me about my hair, I just throw it out. Don’t be afraid to be different. Don’t be afraid to be yourself.”

— Alex Holt

“My family was kind of scared, but didn’t show it, and my friend’s became my enemies because I wasn’t the same,” Holt said. “With all of this emotion from the doctors and my parents, I was terrified and hated having this hair color. I hated being different.”

Because Holt’s hair wasn’t fully white at this time, Holt and his mother decided to fix it.

“Since my hair wasn’t fully white, we went to the salon to bleach my hair all white so it would match. When bleached, my hair turned to a very light blonde,” Holt said. “That night when I took a shower, the dye washed out like shampoo and my hair was different shades of white and grey again. 

Living the daily life of going to school was difficult for Holt because of the various things that had been said to him after the occurrence. 

“Throughout the rest of my elementary and middle school years, I was given the name skunk. After that, I definitely hated my hair and myself. Then I got the nickname ghost, but it didn’t really stick,” Holt said. “I then got the nickname Snow, and that has stuck for as long as I can remember.” 

With time, despite all the nicknames, stares and questions, Holt was finally able to accept himself for who he was and what he looked like. 

“To this day, nothing is wrong with me. I just don’t have the pigmentation in my skin that allows you to have hair color. If anyone else is in this situation, I wouldn’t say to hate it or to change it,” Holt said. “I come to school with a smile on my face, and no matter what is said to me about my hair, I just throw it out. Don’t be afraid to be different. Don’t be afraid to be yourself.”