Hairless Beauty Queen Gives Sick Kids Boost of Inspiration

When it comes to women and our obsession with hair, I believe Spike Lee said it best when he wrote the prolific lyrics: “Go anywhere. See if I care. Look at my Hair!” (from his 1988 musical comedy School Daze).

And it’s that kind of “Go anywhere. See if I care” attitude that helped 21-year-old Kayla Martell of the Washington Metro area snag the crown of Miss Delaware 2010 — even though she’s completely bald!

Kayla, a senior at Marymount University in Arlington, Va., has been suffering from alopecia areata since the age of 10. The hair-loss condition affects an estimated 4.7 million Americans nationwide.

After competing five times for the crown in her home state of Delaware — two of those times without a wig – she finally won the competition on June 12, 2010 – proving that bald is the new beautiful… well, at least on the pageant circuit.


“I won with the wig. However, it was great competing the two other times without the wig because it was really representing who I am,” Martell told the CBS Early Show.

Halfway through the interview, she took off her blond wig and proudly stated: “I think I can be a better Miss Delaware by taking the wig off,” she said.

“I am healthy. I am fine. All we [alopecia sufferers] do is lose our hair.”

Not surprisingly, Martell’s platform is raising funds and awareness for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.

She said 5-year-old Liliana Hakim, whom she met through her work with the foundation, was her inspiration for competing for the fifth and final time.

Martell will go on to compete before Donald Trump and the entire nation for the title of Miss America at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas on Januray 15, 2011.

No word yet on whether or not she will wear her wig or go au naturale — but I wish her luck either way!



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P.S. — This story was written in collaboration with Skin & Allergy News.
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