Viola Davis: I Had Alopecia and Was Desperate To Be Seen As Beautiful

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By: Krystle Crossman

Viola Davis is a stunning Academy Award nominated actress. She is fashionable and always looks her best when she is out and about. Recently she did an interview with Vulture and revealed that underneath her put-together exterior she has actually been self-conscious and afraid of her appearance. Davis has been suffering from alopecia areata which is a condition that causes baldness in patches on the scalp and can lead to total baldness. She was so concerned about how people would see her that she wore wigs everywhere to make sure that her condition remained unseen.

At the age of just 28 Davis found that she was losing her hair. Almost half of her head was bald. She had no idea what was happening to her. After doing some research and seeing a doctor she found out that it was a stress related condition. She was internalizing all of her stress and it was causing her to lose all of her hair. She became very self-conscious and started wearing wigs. She had a wig for going out to events, another for around the house, another for doing things like going into a hot tub, and various other wigs for other reasons. She didn’t want anyone to know what she was going through or to see what she looked like.

As time went on the wigs became a crutch more than anything. She knew that she had to get away from the crutch but she was so afraid of what people would think if she revealed her condition. Finally in 2012 at the Oscars she decided to let everyone know what had been going on and had only her natural hair on her head. No wigs, no facades, nothing to cover up her condition. She still wears the wigs for things like photo shoots and on set of the various film and television projects that she has. She does not wear them every day anymore and she does not let the fear of what people may think about her control her life anymore. Davis states that she feels relieved that wearing a wig is now and option not something that she absolutely had to do.

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8 Comments

  1. She is a very lovely woman and should not ever feel ashamed of herself or her life. I think she is stunning and very talented.

  2. Leatha Patton on

    I was very pleased when she was given the lead role in “How to Get Away With Murder.” She is a very attractive woman and one of the best actors out there.

  3. Objective Analysis on

    She is not an ugly black woman. I have seen worse. They play her in roles to look ugly. But when she is made up as Philadelphia’s Mayor in the movie with Jamie Foxx and also this tv show “How to Get Away With Murder” and has her hair tight, she shows her real beauty. She is just eclectic and likes to try different things with her hair.

  4. Viola Davis is absolutely stunning with or without hair. She is such an accomplished actress, no one would have ever known. Thank you for telling your story and allowing little girls with the same problem see it is more than perfect to show their beauty everywhere, that is not defined by their hair. Hey, that’s an Indie Arie song.

    I am also LOVING your new show, How to Get Away with Murder!!!

  5. As I read her story it put tears in my eye’s because I too suffer from the same condition. We as women are taught that our hair is part if what makes us beautiful. When that is gone so is your self esteem. I have tried numerous products and gone to various dermetologist only to bring told my hair will never grow back. Reading Viola Davis’ story has let me know that I can still live my life beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your story with the world.

  6. I have the same issue and I did the same thing for a while. After going through to my twenties with a headful of hair it was defeating to see it on my pillow every morning. That you Viola for sharing what many of us are going thru. I cut my hair very short and now wear it proudly!
    Dee

  7. Viola you are a beautiful woman. God did not make a mistake when he created you. Society has a tendency to make women feel less then if they do not have long flowing hair. It is not man who defines us. It is God. Those who have a issue with hair let it be their issue not yours. You do you. When your life is over none of those who criticize you are the ones who are going to judge you. Remember this. When your air is taken only God can give it back. Come out of the humanism and realize who created your beautiful hershey chocolate beauty. Wear your short hair in pride and dignity. I love it!!!!!

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