Gail Porter cries as she wears a wig for the first time in 13 years
Gail Porter broke down in tears as she unveiled her new wig, the first one she has worn on television since losing her hair to alopecia 13 years ago.
Porter, 47, was first diagnosed with alopecia in 2005 and she has refused to wear wigs and hairpieces over the years.
She debuted her custom-made blonde wig on ITV’s Loose Women.
Through tears, the Scottish star said: “I said, ‘I’m definitely not going to cry because I’ve got good make-up on!’ It feels really nice but really weird.”
“I keep wanting to do this all the time,” she said, flicking her hair.
“I’m quite a tearful person normally, I felt really nervous, I was worried about your reactions and what people think,” she added.
Porter said that she “gasped” when she saw the wig for the first time, and that “it reminds me of being young”.
Asked if she felt pressure to stay bald to inspire others, she said: “I think I’ll always be bald half the week. I don’t know when I’ll wear this. Maybe go out for dinner or something.
“I enjoy feeling bald, I understand what you’re saying, I want people to be aware you have a choice. It’s beginning to feel normal now.
“It’s not just for people with alopecia… [there is] cancer, people lose their hair for all different reasons. If they can go bald, that’s brilliant, I might take this off afterwards and go shopping in Westfield. I might have it in my handbag, have the option.”
Porter, who rose to fame in the 1990s as a TV presenter for shows including Top Of The Pops and The Big Breakfast and then as a model in men’s magazines such as FHM, added: “I’m used to being bald. This is fun.
“People have got wardrobes, you can put your hair up… I can take mine off. I can put a different colour on.”
She said her teenage daughter Honey told her she “looks lovely” with the wig on.
Porter first lost her hair in 2005 and several years later, she was delighted when her hair began to grow back, starting with her lashes and brows.
She then sported a short, cropped look, but in 2010, she revealed her hair had started to fall out again, and the following year she unveiled her shaved head again.
Porter developed the condition in the wake of the messy end of her marriage to musician Dan Hipgrave, which also led to an overdose.
The former model was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which is characterised by periods of depression and mania.