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Viola Davis Reveals Her Longtime Struggle with Alopecia

• Oct 8, 2014


The Oscar nominated actress and star of the newly debuted Shonda Rhimes series, How to Get Away with Murder, Viola Davis revealed in a recent interview with Vulture that she has endured an ongoing battle with alopecia areata since the age of 28.

I woke up one day and it looked like I had a Mohawk. Big splash of bald on the top of my head,” she says. “I was like, What is this?”

The actress stated the ailment caused her to lose half of her hair and forced her to wear wigs regularly.

I wore a wig in the Jacuzzi. I had a wig I wore around the house. I had a wig that I wore to events. I had a wig that I wore when I worked out. I never showed my natural hair. It was a crutch, not an enhancement … I was so desperate for people to think that I was beautiful. I had to be liberated from that [feeling] to a certain extent.”


Davis first revealed her natural hair on the Academy Awards red carpet in 2012 and noted, although it was not exactly an easy path to reach, she’s overcome insecurities to fully embrace her whole being.

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.’ I am telling you, I have spent so much of my life not feeling comfortable in my skin. I am just so not there anymore.”

Now that’s a mantra we can get behind! We love you, Viola!

How do you feel about Viola’s personal reveal? Are you watching How To Get Away With Murder Thursdays at 9/10 Central?

About Rinny

Texan by birth, Los Angeleno by situation. Lover of Tame Impala and Shoegaze music. Comedian by trade. Macaroni and Cheese connoisseur by appetite.

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15 Comments on "Viola Davis Reveals Her Longtime Struggle with Alopecia"

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She is a beautiful sister!!! I am so glad so overcame those “flaws” to show the world that the blacker the berry the sweeter the juice! Her juices are diabetic baby! I love her on #H2GAWM, she is so poised and incredible and sets the tone for many women who may not be the “conventional beauty” to me she is AMAZEBALLS with luscious skin. And carries more confidence than most of these “conventionally” made women. go VIOLA!


I love Viola so much! She was one of the main reasons why I even started heavily considering going natural. I really do love her hair, especially the color.

I’ve been watching HTGAWM, but I haven’t been entirely paying attention. I’m trying to do better, ha ha!


Viola is absolutely stunning! She just radiates the confidence she talks about.


I love her hair and hope she is able to transition to it on the show.

Knotty Natural

I felt the same way! She’s dressed to kill in her new show but she’s wearing that tired wig! It kills me! I do love that they have Viola’s character as a middle aged, black woman having a mature sex life on network television!


I just think she is absolutely lovely! I’m glad she knows it now, too!!

Lola Oye

She is not wearing her natural hair in her new show and I wonder why?


In her new show in one episode she strip herself of the makeup wig and jewelry and in recent episodes when she goes to bed or late at night she is seen with no wig or makeup or jewelry .

B3 Fearless
This was a question brought up somewhere else on the internets as well and I find it interesting because this question never crossed my mind. IMO I think the straight hair makes more sense for the character. When you look at our hair in its natural state what comes to mind? To me it can be defined in one word = free. In my experience people who are comfortable wearing their hair in its natural state have acquired a confidence in themselves, they are comfortable in their skin, not afraid to be themselves, and have a care free spirit. It’s… Read more »
Rashette Walker

Well said!


Probably because her character’s hair is supposed to look different. As an actress, you have to look like your character, and a lot of times that “look” is determined by the show’s producers, casting agent, etc. Side note: I LOVE Viola–so classy and talented. Truly an inspiration!


I love Viola


She looks so much better with her TWA. The wigs, while expertly applied just don’t look as good. I hope she is able to incorporate that into her character on HTGAWM


I am glad that she had the courage to tell her story about alopecia. She looks so gorgeous with her natural hair!


I’m wondering if people on here know what Alopecia Areata is. I have dealt with it for years too. Before you jump on her for wearing a wig know that with this condition your hair is subject to grow back then fall out again at any moment. She may wear wigs on the show to start with in case she wakes up one morning with huge bald patches and then has to start wearing the wigs.

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