Right before 19-year-old Angelica Galindez competed in the Miss Philippines Earth USA beauty pageant, she simply had one question: “Can I not wear my wig?”
At the age of 12, Galindez, raised in San Francisco, was diagnosed with alopecia. The disease occurs when one’s immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles and results in hair loss. Those affected with alopecia typically regrow their hair by the following year. Galindez categorizes with the rare 10% of people who never regrow their hair after being diagnosed with this condition.
Galindez faced a challenging time because of her condition. She admits to getting picked on at school and suffered a number of self-esteem issues.
“The hard part was just looking at myself in the mirror,” Galindez tells KUTV. “It was very challenging, I cried a lot, I slept a lot, just to sleep away the pain.”
Thankfully, the beautiful Galindez learned to overcome her self-esteem issue. She bravely decided to embrace her looks and even works as a hair beautician.
Although Galindez was accepted into the pageant based on a picture where she is wearing a wig, she decided to leave the wig behind while competing. She says that although she entered the pageant to boost her self-esteem, her decision to ditch the wig was an effort to inspire young girls, especially those with alopecia.
She took home one of the six pageant crowns move on to the pageant’s national-level competition in April.