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Cutting hair with a cause: Roseville hair salon supports child with Alopecia

A Roseville hairstylist helped a little girl navigate hair loss and fundraise for Alopecia awareness.

ROSEVILLE, Minnesota — Six-year-olds Keira and Ava Johnson are identical twins and they could not be any closer. They share everything except for this: Keira has lost all of her hair. 

Keira is living with Alopecia Universalis, a condition causing complete hair loss. 

In simple terms, her body thinks her hair follicles are germs. Her body's immune system attacks the follicles, and her hair falls out. 

So you can imagine what it could be like when sister Ava needs a haircut. But when they go to Studio Alles in Roseville, Keira gets as much attention as her sister from stylist Becky Lynn. 

"She just always made sure they both felt special, that salons are for everyone," said Leslie Johnson, Keira's mom. 

Studio owner Jaime Wickard witnessed the bond grow over the years. "They've been in lots of times to get some beauty services done. It's been a lot of fun watching them grow," Wickard said.

Since age two, Becky Lynn has treated Keira to scalp massages, washes and braiding, even when Keira had very little hair. "She braided it all up for her even though you could count the hairs - it was so tiny," Johnson said. 

Now Studio Alles helps style Keira's wig and apply lashes, too. "Wig arrival day was huge. She's hugging the box, she's hugging the products," Johnson said. 

Wickard agreed, "She was very excited; she was beaming." 

Last year, when it was time for back-to-school haircuts, Ava shaved her head in support of her twin. The stylists made the experience special. 

"Everyone was so empowering. And it gives me feels. But, [the girls] were just so proud of looking like each other," Johnson said. "[To] just have a whole group of women in a salon making you feel like you can do anything you want. You don't have to look a certain way. And [to] have two bald kids going to a brand new school; it's really intimidating. And [we] just feel so supported by this community." 

Thanks to Keira, the studio found its cause. The stylists are working to make a difference for families navigating hair loss. "Your beauty is really empowering. Whether you have or you don't have hair, it's just really important that everyone feels included in it. There is confidence in beauty," Wickard said. 

On Sept. 23, Studio Alles is hosting a hair cut-a-thon and donation event. Cuts will be $50. Proceeds go towards the Walk for Alopecia. If you donate more than 12 inches of healthy hair, your haircut is free. Their hair goes directly to Wigs for Kids.

On Sept. 30, the Walk for Alopecia will be at Becker Park in Crystal. Events begin at 10 a.m. You can join Keira's team at this link.

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