-- Alessia Cara's first hit, "Here," about a sober wallflower at a party, was an anthem for every young person who's ever felt like they didn't fit in.
"In late elementary school, early high school, I started losing my hair in chunks in the shower. It was one of the scariest things," Cara said. "It got to the point where it was visibly gone. I struggled with that a lot, especially going into high school. You have so many pressures -- what people are going to think of you -- and I was going into it losing all my hair. I had, like, nothing left. It was patches of missing hair that people would point out, because people are mean in high school."
It took Cara years before she learned to accept what was happening.
"I was constantly looking for hairstyles to hide the bald spots. And I didn’t know why it was happening. I just kept thinking, ‘Why am I so young and having to deal with this?’ I didn’t want people to look at me, I didn’t want people to get too close," she said.
"Even now, I struggle with it; sometimes, you can see that my hair is missing in some spots," she added. "I have just learned how to accept it. Being in the public eye, you’re always worried about what angle people are going to take pictures of you at. I don’t really care anymore. I just let my hair dry naturally; I don’t hide it."
She's hoping to inspire others to accept themselves, scars and all, with her new song.
"I want ‘Scars to Your Beautiful’ to reach different types of women," she said. "The girl I am talking about, it’s me, it’s you -- it’s every girl who has struggled with feeling not good enough. I want to talk about all the different extremes that girls go through to feel beautiful."
For that reason, she's decided to go makeup free for every performance of "Scars to Your Beautiful."
"How could I be preaching a song about being yourself and being beautiful and perfect the way you are -- and have a full face of makeup?" she said. "I want to show people that I am comfortable enough to go on national television and just be myself. It would only feel right if I am 100 percent me."