Speaking to ITV’s Loose Women today, Made in Chelsea star Olivia (Liv) Bentley revealed how her alopecia diagnosis at the age of 16 was taking a toll on her confidence.
“When I first came to Chelsea, I trolled a lot about my looks, mostly my hair – and the lack of an upper lip.
“When I started wearing a wig on the show, I would talk about why I was wearing it because nobody knows I was losing my hair.”
She told hosts Ruth Langsford, Coleen Nolan, Carol McGiffin, and Linda Robson that her condition was possibly a side effect of the birth control pill she was taking at the time.
“When I was 16 I was on vacation with my family and I got out of the shower and combed my hair and noticed like a bald spot on my head and I thought I had pulled the hair out or something but the hair is never grown back. “
“So I went to the doctor and they said it could have been a side effect of the birth control pill – which I didn’t know was a side effect – so I stopped taking the pill, but I still lost my hair in various places Head.”
Liv, who works primarily as an art photographer, said, “It was really hard. I think at 16 everyone is really only interested in how they look and I think there I was, I wasn’t really through puberty at that point.
“I had a pretty flat chest and then all of my hair fell out and I said ‘great, I look kind of like a guy’.
“I didn’t know anything about hair loss. It wasn’t anything I’d heard of so I didn’t speak to anyone about it. I was embarrassed, I think. It just wasn’t common.
Liv, 26, has been using her platform on Made in Chelsea to raise awareness and self-acceptance of alopecia since joining the show for the 11th series in 2016.
Ruth Langsford, host of Lead Loose Women, asked Liv what reaction she got when she first talked about her hair loss on the reality series, to which she replied, “I was really worried because I kind of didn’t know which one Reaction i would be making.
“But after I talked about it, I got so much love and so many younger girls saying how grateful they are for having it too, but being ashamed to talk to anyone about it, so the responses were amazing .
“After I did it, I felt more satisfied with having it because now I don’t worry at all.”
Liv also revealed that her alopecia meant her confidence was broken when it came to dating.
She said, “I once had a comment from a friend who said, ‘I can’t have kids with you because they’re going to be bald’. I remember thinking, ‘Oh god, that’s pretty awful’ .
“I then started wearing a lot of wigs and hair extensions so I tried to cover it up as best I could. I would never say to anyone, ‘You know what, I lost my hair, that’s why I’ I wear a wig ‘. I would just wear hair extensions because it was a common thing, I suppose. “
Liv also revealed what advice she would give to someone suffering from hair loss.
“One thing that I think people are doing very wrong is that they think the best option is to use permanent hair extensions or to dye them. I think I went through a phase when I came to Chelsea, where I had very bleached hair and that’s because “I was trying to cover up the bald spots because when my hair is darker you can see how fine my hair is, but that was the worst thing I did could have done.
“Go to a real hair specialist who can try to explain different treatments to try – not cover up.”
Made in Chelsea’s 22nd series kicked off last night at 9 p.m. on E4.
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