Penty shrugged ,England’s number two badminton Player. November 2018. Eighteen months on, Penty has lost all his hair on his body having been diagnosed with alopecia – and it’s unlikely it will ever grow back.Things have been tough for the 27-year-old, with only his sport providing a sense of normality as he tried come to terms with his new appearance.
During this locked down, Petty shrugged has come out to Pour out all what he has been going through for some months now.
“It was a mixture of anger and sadness,” he tells BBC Sport. “I felt my identity had gone initially, especially when the eyebrows went. That’s when I really struggled because it looked like someone different when I looked in the mirror.”
“There were a lot of times over the last year or 18 months when I wished I could have put my racquet down for a longer time and focused on myself a bit more,” he says.
“As much as I wouldn’t have wanted it to be a pandemic that stopped me from playing, personally it’s been the best thing that could have happened for me to be able to take some time to myself.”
There wasn’t really much they could recommend for it, it was one of those things to wait and see how it progressed,” Penty says. “That was quite frustrating.
“The longer it went on and the more apparent it was, it was quite scary in the fact that it only got faster. It wasn’t like it was a little bit every day, it was happening more and more and it was more and more hair coming out.
“I’d finish training and go and have a shower, then I’d dry my hair and there was loads coming out.”
As time went on, it became apparent that Penty had a more advanced, and rarer, type of alopecia – alopecia universalis – that affects the whole body. His hair loss continued until August, at which point reality hit.
“I think it hit me harder after the whole process finished, because after my head, it was my eyebrows, my eyelashes, my chest…,” he says.
“It was easier to process when it was happening, but once it stopped and I realised I had to come to terms with this and not