Baldwinsville teen embraces social media to overcome disease

Mackenzie Polzin has lived with the rare autoimmune disease alopecia since infancy. Alopecia causes hair loss because the body rejects a person's own hair.

Mackenzie has been wearing a wig since her hair loss became progressively worse beginning in the seventh grade. She wore a wig every day until this past Wednesday, when she revealed via a Facebook video that she would now be wearing her natural hair.

Recently, Mackenzie's natural hair has begun growing back, revealing a short pixie cut beneathe her wig. But the 18-year-old senior graduating from Baker High School was not so sure what kind of response her change would have.

"I always had a fear that if people knew I wore a wig, they wouldn't want to be friends with my anymore, or that they wouldn't talk to me," said Mackenzie. "When I finally did it and got the response that I did that so many people told me how brave I was and how beautiful I was, it made me cry. It was incredible."

Since posting her video on Facebook, hundreds have "liked" the video, with dozens more leaving positive comments. "I think she looks adorable," said Mackenzie's mom, Kelly. "And she looks happy for the first time in a long time."

You can watch Mackenzie's entire Facebook video here. To learn more about alopecia, visit the National Alopecia Areata Foundation's website.