How to Get Away with Hair Loss:

Viola Davis

Hot off the heels of “Scandal,” producer Shonda Rhimes released another TV show for the Twitteratti, “How To Get Away With Murder.” Instantly, the graphic violence and male on male sex scenes generated enough tweets to blow out an aviary.  #Titillating.  Yet despite the gruesome deaths, cliff hangers, and explicit acts, the most tweetable moment: African-American female hair loss.


At the end of a long day of defiance, duplicity and deception, law school professor Viola Davis caught the audience off-guard by simply removing her wig.  Revealing her (very) high forehead and sparse scalp coverage generated true surprise. #NotOnMyPate. It turns out that hair problems are common in the black community.  As shown in Chris Rock’s excellent documentary, “Good Hair,” many factors contribute to thinning scalps in African-American women.

Tight braids, known as corn-rows, fatigue follicles over time creating frontal hair loss known as traction alopecia. Here Jada Pinkett-Smith rocks this potentially risky hairstyle.  Chemicals and heat treatments used to straighten curly hair also damage scalp skin.  The result is an entire industry of wigs, weaves and surgical treatments attempting to cover over a depleted forest. #TreeHugger.

That the image of Davis unabashedly revealing her hair issues is so surprising confirms that most women coping with hair loss are masters of concealment. #Hardwork. Davis has been on both sides of this struggle, long before her current show. Earlier, she strode the red carpet with long locks. More recently, she bravely sashayed sans artificial tresses.

If hairstyles that don’t involve the braiding and straightening come into favor, the risk of hair loss would dramatically decrease.  Naturally curly hair looks fine on singer/actress Solange Knowles, no?


Runner up:  How to Get Away with Hair Loss:

Michael Keaton, “Birdman”

Michael Keaton, a former “Batman” actor, shuns all glam for his depiction of an aging actor attempting a theater comeback.  While he occasionally slaps on wig for his role...
...the steadicam steadily focuses on his balding pate.  This type of ego sacrifice is exactly what makes an image-oriented Tinseltowners take notice.

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