Made In Chelsea star Olivia Bentley has revealed the 'insecurities' that she has suffered after being diagnosed with having alopecia, in the hope it will help other women feel less embarrassed by the condition.
The 23-year-old reality star said her hair loss started the same time she was prescribed the combined oral contraceptive pill aged 16, damaging her confidence and prompting feelings of insecurity.
Olivia also admitted to having dyed her hair blonde to make her receding hairline less noticeable as well as wearing hats and hairpieces.
Speaking to Hello! magazine, Olivia said: "I suffer from hair loss, from alopecia.
"It's left me with feelings of insecurity over the years, so I've tried to hide my bald patches and receding hairline by wearing hats and hairpieces, and dyeing my naturally dark brown hair blonde.
"Instead of retreating into my insecurity and concealing my hair loss even more, I decided to go public.
"Not enough is spoken about alopecia in women. It's still a taboo subject we tend to hide. Now I hope that by coming forward, I will encourage other women and girls in the same situation not to feel upset or embarrassed any more."
"Every time I washed my hair in the shower, I could feel clumps of hair falling out in my hand. And whenever I brushed it, there would be masses of hair in the bristles. To go through that as a young girl was awful."
Olivia joined the E4 programme for the 11th series, but didn't tell her fellow cast members about her alopecia for three years.
Speaking about the reaction, Olivia said: "They were all lovely about it. I confided in (boyfriend) Digby (Edgley) quite early on in our relationship.
"He told me: 'You could shave your head completely and I would still love you because you're beautiful.' He totally accepts me as I am."
*Read the full interview in Hello! magazine, out now.
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