There is a complex relationship in the media between women and beauty. So many celebrities are defined by how they look, particularly women and, more specifically, women of color. A lot of their perceived value is wrapped up in things like their make-up, outfits, or hair. So understandably, when a woman in the public eye begins losing her hair, it can do a number on her self-esteem and self-image. It also invites a lot of unwanted attention from people who may not understand the decision to don wigs, shorter hairstyles, or in some cases, go bald. Jada Pinkett Smith recently decided to shave her hair after struggling with alopecia. Let’s take a look at some other women in Hollywood struggling with hair disorders.
Viola Davis has one of the most dynamic relationships with hair in Hollywood. The talented actress has not been shy about donning shorter cuts and natural do’s as well as wigs and longer styles. Davis began her struggle with alopecia at only 28 years old. “”I woke up one day and it looked like I had a Mohawk,” the actress revealed. Davis realized her hair loss was being triggered by stress. For a long time, she felt uncomfortable about her appearance but found happiness when she began excepting how she looked. Wigs used to serve as a form of comfort she no longer needs because she is now liberated from the shame.
Tyra Banks survive one of the most grueling industries ever. The supermodel understands what it is like to be under a constant microscope and have your appearance criticized. During the filming of her show Top Model while writing her book Modelland, Banks says she started to succumb to the pressures of stress and started experiencing a little alopecia from the stress. She knew she was not in a healthy space and began working on being happy and monitoring her stress to reverse the process.
In 2020, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley revealed she suffers from alopecia. The congresswoman belived it was important for her to be honest and transparent about her struggles after covering up with wigs and lacefronts. Following the Will Smith and Chris Rock incident, Pressley took Twitter in support of anyone suffering from the health condition and the people who support them. In a photo with her partner, she told followers “Let’s talk about what it’s like to live with alopecia.
Let’s talk about what it’s like to live with #alopecia. The deeply vulnerable & difficult moments that our families see. Appreciation post for those who hold us down & support us when we’re at our lowest points. They see us, fully. #IYKYK pic.twitter.com/vITnxgCn9f— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) March 28, 2022
Toya Wright experienced a form of hair loss common for women who just gave birth. Following the arrival of her daughter in 2018, she took to IG to show off her dramatic hair loss and discuss it with fans. “Postpartum Alopecia Is so real… I didn’t know why my hair was falling out. I just noticed my edges and the middle of my hair were getting super thin.” The reality star asked fans if anyone else has experienced postpartum alopecia, in which many began sharing their own stories.
Christina Milian suffered the same thing. In January of 2021 she told People that her hair started to fall out in clumps following her second child. Milian started to fear it would never grow back and even hid it from boyfriend Matt Pakora for a while. Toya Johnson took to her social media to discuss a similar experience in 2018 after the birth of her child. It is called postpartum alopecia.
Daytime television legend Ricki Lake also battled with hair loss. She was diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia and has been open about her struggles. During Hair Loss Awareness Month in August, she told fans about her painful, depressing and debilitating experience and gave them tips on products that work for her. She shouted out Harklinikken, a company that helped restore some of her hair. She partnered with them to offer followers 15% off their products so they too can find some hope following losing their hair.
Naomi Campbell, another supermodel, suffered the same issue. Campbell is known for looking perfect, but in the age of social media, fans began to circulate images of her hair receding in the front and appearing bald. Campbell says she had traction alopecia, which was caused by her extensions. “Cornrowing your hair too tight + sewing a weave on said cornrows is a disaster,” says a post with images of Campbell’s visible balding.