Alopecia sufferer grandmother, 60, covers her whole head with a TATTOO

December 3, 2012 | by | 0 Comments

A grandmother left completely bald by alopecia has ditched her wig in favour of something a little more permanent – a tattoo covering her entire head.

Ann McDonald, 60, was fed-up with wearing wigs and hats so forked out £720 on the overlapping floral design.

The grandmother-of-three suffers from alopecia and also has a thyroid condition which resulted in all of her hair falling out three years ago.

Ann McDonald shows off the new tattoo covering her head, which is bald from alopecia

Ann McDonald shows off the new tattoo covering her head, which is bald from alopecia

Her tattoo took 12 painstaking hours to complete but Ann said it has changed her life and she is happier than she has ever been.

Ann, from Edinburgh, said today: “I was getting more and more depressed because I didn’t have any hair. I felt so ugly with a bald head and sometimes I would just lie in bed and cry.

“I didn’t want to be bald any more, I wanted something to cover my head. I’ve got hundreds of wigs and hats to hide it but they’re no good. So I decided to get a tattoo.

“I’d been thinking about getting the tattoo for a wee while, but I got the idea to do my head when I was browsing on the internet one day.

The grandmother smiles during the work, which took 12 hours to complete

The grandmother smiles during the work, which took 12 hours to complete

The £720 floral skull design was one of the more unusual requests the shop had received

The £720 floral skull design was one of the more unusual requests the shop had received

“I came across a picture of a woman who had a full head tattoo and I realised that’s what I wanted.”

Ann, a cleaner, then copied photographs and took them to local tattoo studios, but she was turned away three times.

She said: “I went to a few places but they didn’t want to do it. One place said it might be dangerous and the others just said no and passed on it.”

Undeterred, she finally got her wish when she visited Pete’s Tattoo Studio in Dalkeith, where owner Pete Gillespie and his son Kevan agreed to do the piece.

It took four gruelling three-hour sessions to complete the floral, spiral shading with a black background and curls to represent hair and cost £720.

Ann in 1995 before losing her hair

Ann in 1995 before losing her hair

Ann in 2004 when she started to loose her hair

Ann in 2004 when she started to loose her hair

Ann, who had the full support of her husband Ian, 68, and her five children, said she is delighted with the result but admitted it was very painful.

She said: “They did a great job and took their time. I know £720 is a lot of money but I think it’s worth every penny.

“I’ll be honest it really, really hurt. It was very painful. But I stuck it out because I really wanted it done.

“People tell me it’s nice. Some of the young ones laugh but most people love it.

“People at work think it’s fantastic and take pictures of it. Ian likes it and my family like it.

“I feel so much happier – it feels so much better that wearing a wig.  I’m not too fussed what people in the street think as long as I’m
happy.”

Tattooist Pete said: “We’ve had the shop for 19 years and this is the most unusual tattoo we’ve done, but the most rewarding.

“Ann came in and discussed what she wanted and was very clear that she wanted a tattoo to cover her head.

“She brought a few photos in for ideas and we took it from there.

“At first I thought it was maybe a bit mad but once you get to know Ann and her reasons behind doing it you can’t help but understand.  She’s a really nice lady.

“She’d had enough and having no hair had obviously bothered her for a long time. Getting the tattoo has changed her life for the better.

“We’ve never tattooed anybody’s full head before, so it was a first for us, but it went well. Ann is very happy with the result.”

Category: Life

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