A YOUNG woman praised the help she received from a hairdresser after her shoulder- length hair fell out.

Hayley Saunders, 24, was horrified to find a chunk of her hair on the back of her head was missing while out walking with a friend.

Within two weeks, two thirds of it had disappeared.

After blood tests showed her health to be normal, a doctor told her she had been losing her hair through stress, following the death of her brother from leukaemia at 24 and further bereavements over the years.

The office manager at St Clere’s School, Stanford-le-Hope, took to wearing a wig in public, but when her friends told hairdresser Stewart Roberts, he offered to help her grow her hair back, as he also works with people undergoing chemotherapy.

Hayley, of Roach, East Tilbury, said: “You can imagine being a young girl with really long hair.

“I was as confident as anything with my hair and, for it to go, it knocked my confidence completely.

“ I got up one morning and went for a walk with my friend.

“I was already beginning to feel my hair was getting thin and was tying it up.

“This particular day, I’d blow-dried my hair and my friend just said I had a big clump of it missing at the back.

“From then, it just went and went. I was traumatised.”

Given how upset she was, Mr Roberts, 52, offered to work with her in his Stanford-le-Hope studio after hours and, meeting every five weeks, restored the health of her hair to the point she now has a full bob.

He said: “Her hair was chemically damaged, so it was breaking off.

“We were concerned because, after going through so much in losing her brother, we thought it might have been the stress which caused it, but it was probably a bit of both.”