By Mollie Tracey
A stunning alopecia sufferer has bared all despite bullies attempting to set her wig on fire.
Eve Betts, 22, from Bridgend, South Wales, first began to go bald when she was three years old and was later diagnosed with alopecia.
By the age of 11, the beauty therapist’s hair had completely fallen out, and she was subjected to years of horrific abuse by playground bullies.
Eve, who was then a teenager, hit rock bottom when a boy in her class attempted to set her hair on fire whilst on the school bus.
Her parents had saved tirelessly to buy her a wig, which set them back £3,000, and her doting dad even drew on her first set of eyebrows.
And despite suffering years of torment, in January this year Eve decided to ditch her hair and bare all in the hopes of embracing her baldness.
Eve said: “It’s taken me 20 years to finally have the confidence to bare all, but I have finally done it and accepted who I am.
“I coped a lot better when I was younger, I didn’t notice the comments, and being bald was all I knew.
“But when I started secondary school that’s when the bullying started, I was constantly surrounded by name calling, people didn’t understand why I was different.
“One boy stuck his fingers into his hair gel and rubbed it on my wig, he knew I wouldn’t be able to get the gel, it was so humiliating.
“I was told I looked like an alien and that I had a ‘slap head.’
“And another tried to set my hair on fire on the school bus, it was awful.
“Even last year a girl tried to beat me up on a night out, she pulled my wig off, and started to hit me.
“It really set me back and I felt so anxious about leaving the house, I would never go out in public without my hair on and only my closest of friends had seen my bald head.
“But I didn’t want to hide away anymore, the support has been amazing and I feel so liberated.”
As a baby, Eve’s parents noticed that her hair was only growing in patches on her head but it wasn’t until she was three that she was diagnosed with alopecia.
She added: “My hair still grows but it falls out almost instantly.
“In 2006 my parents bought me my first proper wig, they had worked so hard to save up for it as they cost around £3,000 each.
“I remember feeling really excited and whenever I wore it, it made me safe and secure.
“The one I had been wearing before was only attached using something similar to double sided sticky tape which made me feel really uncomfortable.
“Ever since then I’ve had to replace them every year, they should last for quite a while but because I like to style the hair I have to get them repaired.
“I also like to have two at a time so I can have one as a back-up just in case.”
Eve not only lost her hair, but her eyebrows and eyelashes also fell out, and aged 13 her dad offered to draw them on for her.
Eve said: “My mum recently admitted that it was a really emotional time, she said that she was crying but my dad was more than happy to have a go at drawing some eyebrows on for me.
“At the time I was really conscious, and looking back it meant the world for me to have eyebrows as I always wanted really thick ones, I now get them tattooed.
“One of the main reasons I wanted to do beauty is because of the bullying, because I don’t have my own brows I enjoy doing other peoples.”
In January this year Eve finally decided it was time to ditch her hair and is no longer scared of appearing in public without her wig.
Eve said: “I sometimes think that when I’m not wearing my hair then no one can use it against me, I’m not hiding behind anything anymore.
“When I was younger I remember that no matter what anyone said to me it wasn’t the right thing, but I want to tell others that they will be ok.
“Eventually you will get to a point in your life where you learn to accept yourself for who you are, and when you finally do it feels amazing.
“But I also want to tell people that it’s also ok not to be ok, there are people who will listen and support you through the darkest of times.”