One of the hardest things that people whose hair loss has been caused by Alopecia Areata ever have to do is “go public” with their condition, with many choosing to conceal bald patches with hairpieces, wigs or head coverings.
So when Eve Betts, a young Welsh beauty therapist with Alopecia Areata, took off her wig within minutes of meeting a fellow hopeful on Channel 4 TV show First Dates, it was an extremely powerful snippet of TV.
The condition is not common, though up to two per cent of the population will be affected by it in their lifetime. And while Ms Betts has had her whole life to get used to the disorder – her hair first fell out when she was just three – it was still a huge moment for the 22-year-old.
Appearing on the show wearing a long black wig, Ms Betts was seen opposite a fellow love-hungry hopeful named Jordan, a male teaching assistant who also hails from Wales. When he revealed that he used to wear a top knot, also known as a man bun, she decided it was as good a moment as any to disclose her own hair-related secret. Ms Betts removed her wig to reveal an almost completely bald head, which she has had tattooed on the side.
According to news reports, this was the first time Ms Betts, who lives near Bridgend, had ever been out on a date without wearing her wig.
Social media responded extremely well to the footage, with many pointing out that Ms Betts is beautiful without needing to conceal her hairloss. The Welshwoman herself seems to have emerged from her TV appearance with a lot of positivity, too. “Since doing the show I have been a lot more open on a personal level,” she is quoted as saying. “I am so glad that I did it. I hope I can help young girls feel better about themselves.”
Meanwhile on her Twitter page, she posted: “Thank you everyone for your messages of support and all the love (cringe), but I do appreciate it so much.” You can watch the clip of her First Dates big reveal below. Continues beneath video…
Treatment options for Alopecia Areata
Alopecia Areata treatment is one way that people with the scalp-only version of the condition can gain confidence. At Belgravia this involves using topical applications of high strength minoxidil in recommended formulations, to help encourage hair growth. It is precisely for this reason that many people with the disorder try and conceal it, sometimes using hair extensions and weaves, though these can sometimes add to the problem if attached too tightly to a person’s own hair. This can then lead to an entirely different hairloss condition named Traction Alopecia.
British charity Alopecia UK is a wonderful resource for anyone newly-diagnosed with Alopecia Areata and its related, more severe conditions, Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis. As well as offering advice and support, they also have a number of events scattered across the year where people whose hair has been lost to the autoimmune disorder can meet others in the same boat.
Ms Betts would likely be a great role model for the charity. “I wanted to do the show to prove to people that it’s completely normal and that there is nothing wrong with having alopecia,” she said.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.