Unbiased to age, gender and ethnicity, Vitiligo affects over 50 million people worldwide. Vitiligo is a skin disorder characterized by smooth, white patches on various parts of the body, caused by the loss of the natural pigment. Vitiligo usually starts as small area of pigment loss that spread and become larger with time. There is no cure for this noncontagious disease. The goal of treatment is to stop or slow down the progression of depigmentation. Being the curious creature that I am, I was made aware of this skin disorder at a fairly young age. This topic has always been near to my heart, because I have witnessed people with Vitiligo endure unfair treatment due to something that is simply beyond their control. Recently I chatted with 32 year old Kandice Benford. The wife and popular hairstylist shares her journey with Vitiligo. Check out our Q&A session below:
How old were you when you were diagnosed with Vitiligo? How did you react?
I was 18 when I was diagnosed with vitiligo. At first it was small spots on my fingers and I thought nothing of it at that time.
What inspired your desire to become an advocate for Vitiligo?
The stares and sometimes rude comments pushed me to become and advocate for Vitilgo. A lot of people just aren’t aware of what Vitiligo is. I just want people to know about it and that we aren’t any different from them it’s just a loss of pigment.
Do you feel like Vitiligo has ever held you back in any way?
My vitiligo started spreading about two years ago visibly and it hasn’t held me back from anything! I won’t allow it!
During your journey of advocacy, what is your mission?
I embrace my vitiligo and some with vitiligo aren’t as confident as I am, yes it’s hard but my mission for those who have vitiligo is to love your self because we are all beautiful in our own way. I also want others to just become aware of what vitiligo is. Vitiligo is the loss of pigmentation in the skin and it effects 1% of the worlds population.
You are an amazing hairstylist and your reputation precedes you, do you find yourself educating clients on this disorder?
Aww thanks !! I do educate my clients on vitiligo especially the ones who don’t really know about it they ask and I’m always happy to answer any questions that they may have.
What does Kandice consider fun? Describe your perfect Girl’s Day/Night out.
Fun for me is being able to enjoy time with my family and friends nothing special. The perfect girl’s night for me is everyone meeting up at my place for food, drinks, games and girl talk!
Do you have any upcoming projects and or endeavors that you would like to share?
Yes, world vitiligo day is June 25 and the conference is in Worcester Massachusetts this year and I’m trying my best to get there.