The month of January saw a major shift in the conversation around hair loss in women. Early January, actress Ricki Lake and U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley revealed their battles with losing their hair.
In an exclusive interview with The Root, the congresswoman gets candid about her alopecia journey. In the interview, Ayanna says “I want to be freed from the secret and the shame that that secret carries with it,”. Ricki posted a similar statement in her Instagram post saying “It has been debilitating, embarrassing, painful, scary, depressing, lonely, all the things…”.
Despite these fears of being judged or shamed, many rallied to support them. This openness demonstrated by both of them has seen an emergence of women everywhere feeling a sense of solidarity. Conversations of hair loss have largely always been centered around men, creating a veil of shame for women who have or are experiencing hair loss.
Due to her battles with weight loss, pregnancy, depression, and the damage done by the chemicals put in her hair throughout the years for roles, Ricki shares that she came to the decision to shave her hair as it was starting to recede.
Since the beginning of her run to become a member of Congress to now holding that position, Ayanna became a face to look up to for many young black girls. Sporting the Senegalese twists and many other styles, she quickly rose to prominence. And in letting go of these hairstyles, the congresswoman has embraced her hair loss.
For many black women, alopecia areata is the most common type that they experience as it’s caused by the hair follicle becoming smaller and slowing down production of any new hair. The hair becomes damaged at the root when too tight braids or ponytails are frequently worn.
Hair loss in women is a subject not discussed enough, surrounding the subject in shame and embarrassment. Beauty standards and perceptions have shifted and with major strides being made to understand not only hair loss in women, but especially women of color. The likes of congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and actress Ricki Lake being open about their hair loss means that women are seeing that their hair loss isn’t shameful and that there’s a community of women who have similar stories waiting to be shared.
At Radiant Skin NYC, we are committed to treating hair loss and offer services that cater to many hair loss issues. We strive to build a community that is informative about the hair loss in women and supports them to not feel ashamed. Come in for a consultation to treat all of your hair loss needs.