A MUM has revealed how it felt like ‘the world was ending’ when her hair fell out.

Elena Whitham, lost her locks after the sudden death of her mother sent her into shock and triggered her alopecia.

The East Ayrshire Council depute leader’s mum, Irene McLeod, passed away from lung cancer within just five weeks of being diagnosed at 58-years-old.

The 45-year-old politician then noticed clumps of her hair come out in the months that followed with the stress and grief getting on top of her.

She was devastated and desperate to find a solution as she feared her husband wouldn’t find her attractive and that her kids maybe ‘scared’ of her new look.

Despite shaving her head and rocking a Mohawk in her ‘teen punk’ days the mum was worried she was losing ‘herself as a woman’ without her hair.

Councillor Whitham decided to keep her condition a secret wearing hats and wigs to disguise it.

But her family rallied round her telling her to ‘just be you’ reminding her that she was loved no matter what her hair looked like.

Her husband, Les, encouraged his wife to have more confidence which made her feel more comfortable going without a headpiece, even if just at home.

Now five years later Councillor Whitham is bravely sharing who she is and wants others in similar situations to know ‘you are worth more than how much hair is on your head.’

She doesn’t want to hold herself back anymore and has criticised the amount of pressure society put on women to look a certain way.

Councillor Whitham said: “I never really had great hair but I noticed it started to thin on the top really badly and it progressively got worse.

“It felt awful, your whole feeling as a woman is so wrapped up in societies perception of what’s beautiful so when you lose your hair you lose a big sense of self.

“Where a normal person might have ten hairs I have one, I felt like Friar Tuck from Robin Hood.

“You can’t underestimate just how awful it feels you can’t focus on anything but that.

“Wearing wigs all the time was difficult it was like wearing a hairy hat.

“My husband told me ‘just be you’ but that’s easier said than done.

One day Elena snapped a picture to send Les of her finally ‘feeling free’ showing off her natural hair and decided it was time to share it with the world.

“It’s like anything that makes you self conscious, you think everyone is noticing it more than you but the reality is people are generally supportive.

“I took the picture and just thought I’m going to tell folk, I felt free with nothing on my head.

“There were only a few select people that I had told I had alopecia.

“So telling others meant if it looked like I was wearing a wig some days more than others no one would question it, or if I decided to rock up to the council chambers with a bald head no one would be shocked or think I was ill.

“The world doesn’t end it feels like its ending but you need to listen to the folk who tell you that you are still beautiful.”