Amber Jean Rowan, a model has spoken out about how ashamed she felt of the loss of her beautiful hair at age 15.

The Dublin-born model and actor, who is now based in London and has modelled for John Lewis as well as appeared on American TV show Guilt, detailed to The Sunday Times how her alopecia almost ended her career.

In her teens, as she suffered from hair loss and tried to become a model, she recalls using’shoddy” wigs.

Amber took second place in Ireland’s The Model Agent after Fiona Ellis, an esteemed model scout, saw her.

Amber, who is now 29 and recalled Ellis’ encouraging words, said that Fiona, then saw her, said “It doesn’t matter if you have hair loss.” This is possible.

Amber moved to London and started working as a model, but when, aged 19, her eyebrows started to fall out she was told by her agent at the time, ‘there’s nothing else we can do for you… go home and see if you can grow your brows back.’

It wasn’t until she started an online community for ‘bald women’ that she started to learn to ‘appreciate herself’ and model again. She has also created her eponymous brand Amber Jean, which offers stylish, ethically sourced wigs that cost from £1,100.

Model Amber Jean Rowan (pictured) has described how she was left feeling 'ashamed' of her hair loss after losing her luscious locks at the age of 15

Amber Jean Rowan, a model (pictured), has spoken out about how her hair fell after she lost her beautiful locks in her 15th year.

The Dublin-born model and actor (pictured), who is now based in London and has modelled for John Lewis as well as appeared on American TV show Guilt, detailed to The Sunday Times how her alopecia almost ended her career

The Dublin-born actor and model (pictured), is now based London. He has appeared on American TV shows Guilt and John Lewis.

Amber (pictured) recalled relying on 'shoddy' wigs - which became her 'armour' - throughout her teenage years as she struggled with the hair loss and worked towards becoming a model

Amber (pictured) recalls using’shoddy wigs’ throughout her teens as she battled hair loss. These wigs became Amber’s ‘armour.

Amber’s hair loss was first noticed by a friend when Amber, 15, looked at her highlights with fresh eyes and saw a bald patch in the back.

Amber lost all her locks within a year. Her mother took Amber to the doctor, and she was informed that alopecia is a condition with no cure.

I was a teenager trying to find my feet. However, I was too preoccupied by my hair loss. Amber said that Amber was trying to conceal the fact that it had happened.

To hide her hair loss she used a wig. She explained that while she was still a teenager, she just wanted to be accepted. Wigs were my armor, and the entire process of purchasing one was a nightmare.

She recalled how her sales assistant, who did not have any knowledge or alopecia, would sometimes help her get a wig. Most of the wigs were made from’shoddy’ hair.

Her dream was soon realised after being spotted by esteemed model scout Fiona Ellis during an appearance on Ireland's The Model Agent, which searched for the next big name in modelling and saw Amber (pictured) take second place

Amber, pictured (pictured), was the second-place finisher after she was noticed by Fiona Ellis, Ireland’s top model scout.

Recalling Ellis' encouragement, Amber (pictured), now 29, said: 'Fiona saw me and said, "It doesn't matter that you have hair loss. You can do this."'

Amber, now 29 years old, recalled Ellis’ encouraging words and stated that she saw Fiona, who said to me, “It doesn’t matter if you have hair loss. This is possible.

Amber, who moved to London in order to work as a model and wore wigs up to the point that her eyebrows fell out. Amber’s agent encouraged her to get out of the modeling business.

Amber returned home to Dublin but started Hair Free in 2018. This online community is for women who are experiencing hair loss.

According to the model, she found it helpful to meet other “bald” women and that eventually she no longer considered her alopecia a secret.

With snaps she takes of herself without hairpieces, she now delights fans via Instagram.

Her eponymous brand Amber Jean – launched this year and sold via her website – offers a selection of ethically sourced wigs, priced from £1,100. Her website offers an option for consultations online.

The model admits that it is not easy, but she still experiences ‘hard days’. She tells the publication about how staring at creeps can still be ‘frustrating’.


Alopecia (which causes baldness) is believed to be caused by an autoimmune disorder. The immune system, which is the body’s defense mechanism, attacks itself.

How can you identify the signs?

“Typically there are a few small patches of hair that appear on the scalp, approximately the same size as a 50p piece. One bald spot can be regrown while another one develops. Marilyn Sherlock (chair of the Institute of Trichologists) says hair may thin over all. 

It is what causes it?

“For some reason, your body’s immune systems begins attacking its hair follicles. T-lymphocytes (special white blood cells found in our bodies) cause hair loss.

What can you do to make things worse?

The problem can be prolonged by stress, according to research. 

It could be an inherited condition.

Strong evidence suggests that alopecia is a family-based condition, similar to other autoimmune disorders. 25% of those with alopecia have a family history. 

It’s up to you.

Alopecia areata is most common in teenagers and young adults. However, it can also affect anyone of any age. It’s just as common for women as it is for men. 

What is the cure for this condition?

Although there is currently no cure for this condition, some treatments may work.