She wasn't always bald. When Tanya Huang was 10 years old, she lost most of her hair over the course of three weeks.
Huang found out she had alopecia areata — a hair loss condition that affects approximately two per cent of people.
"It was pretty shocking. It kind of changed me from being a fairly confident outgoing person...to someone who was afraid that kids would have something to make fun of me with," Huang told Rick Cluff on CBC Radio's The Early Edition in Vancouver
From hats, to bandanas and wigs, for years Huang tried everything to cover her hair loss. But this year, the 30-year-old fashion designer decided the wig needed to go.
The 'Aha!' moment
In 2010 she had started a support group for people with alopecia but soon realized the irony: she was attempting to help people build confidence about hair loss when she herself wore a wig.
"Listening to other peoples stories helped me make the step," says Huang.
The support group was also where Huang met Erin Leach, and now the pair are holding a fashion fundraiser for the non-profit organization BAM! (Bold Alopecia Movement).
Leach, known for her red curls, was devastated when all her hair fell out three years ago. But gradually the teacher at St. George's School in Vancouver became more comfortable with her baldness, and recently revealed her condition to her students
Leach says she hopes her decision to show her most authentic self inspires others to do the same.
The fashion show and fundraiser takes place Wednesday at 7 p.m. PT at Ginger 62 Club & Lounge at 1219 Granville St., in Vancouver.
The Early Edition, hosted by Rick Cluff, is on the air every weekday morning from 5:30 a.m. to 8:37 a.m. on CBC Radio One. 88.1 FM / 690 AM.