to be bald when you're anonymous. But meeting people one to one and looking someone in the eye is the hardest thing. Even with friends, I imagine they think I'm hideous and feel embarrassed for me. I try to imagine their shock - being bald with no eyelashes is a devastating look. People think, "Oh God, she must be really ill." 'Looking back, I was in complete panic mode at that time. I'd always had a deep lack of self-confidence and self-esteem, and this time I went under. I wasn't suicidal but I was incredibly low. My life was unmanageable - I just wanted to be like a normal girl. So, I started therapy, which I still find helpful. 'I also tried everything to make my hair grow back - steroids, various kinds of acupuncture, and even Minoxidil, a cream used to treat male pattern baldness. I had such high hopes at the beginning of each treatment, but nothing worked for me. 'Then, when I was 29, my sister Jayne, who works in the fashion industry, phoned to say she'd spoken to a lovely man called John Clifton, a master wigmaker from Mandeville

me a wig for a shoot. It was a joyful moment - something nice was going to happen after four years floundering in an abyss. 'The wig was made to measure from the finest quality European hair - which looks real and reacts naturally - and took eight months to arrive. Afterwards, I remember seeing my reflection in shop windows and it was a wonderful feeling: I looked like myself again. The wig was constructed on a fine webbing specially designed to fit my head, so I wasn't frightened it would come off, which makes a huge difference. It means you can live a normal life. 'On the shoot, which lasted a couple of days, John and I got on really well and he told me all about his business. We became friends, and a little later he asked me to work with him at Mandeville, talking to clients and managing the manufacturing side. Before that, I'd had a job restoring antiques, but I was glad to leave because the chemicals were irritating my skin. 'Working with him has been fantastic - he's so positive and