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Viola Davis Talks About Her Alopecia

Oscar-nominated actress and star of How to Get Away with Murder, Viola Davis has spoken out about accepting her hair loss condition, Alopecia Areata, in a recent interview. Although she is now happy to reveal her natural hair to the world, for years she suffered from low self-confidence in her appearance and hid her hair under wigs and hair pieces.

Sudden hair loss

Viola Davis Admits to Wearing Wigs to Disguise Hair Loss

Viola Wearing a Wig to Disguise her Alopecia

As is typical in cases of Alopecia Areata, Viola was shocked when she suddenly started experiencing patchy hair loss at 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. I was like, What is this?”

Is alopecia stress related?

Viola attributed her hair loss to stress. It is still not known exactly what causes alopecia, but it is classed as an auto-immune condition with a number of potential triggers including stress, physical trauma and infections.

A number of reports do provide some support for the link between stress and Alopecia Areata however there have also been studies that refute these findings.

Wearing a wig

Following the development of her alopecia, Viola struggled with self-esteem issues and started wearing a wig to conceal her hair loss. For many years she never showed her natural hair and had a wig or hair piece for every occasion. She explained:

“I was so desperate for people to think that I was beautiful…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.”

The confidence to go natural

Viola Davis Reveals Natural Hair at the 2012 Oscars Academy Awards Ceremony

Davis Debuted her Natural Hair at the Oscars in 2012

Alopecia Areata can sometimes respond to treatment, particularly in its early stages, as it is the least severe form of alopecia. There are two other forms of the condition which are more difficult to treat: Alopecia Totalis, where all the hair on the head is lost, and Alopecia Universalis, which causes complete hair loss for the entire body.

Viola has not revealed whether she has received treatment, but she does now have the confidence to reveal her natural hair. Although she covered up her hair for many years, at the 2012 Oscars, she famously appeared without a wig (pictured bottom right), and now doesn’t rely on wigs for everyday life.

She still wears wigs for photo shoots and when in character, but says revealing her natural hair is now “an option … when it used to never be an option. I have spent so much of my life not feeling comfortable in my skin. My favourite saying in the world is, ‘The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.’”

Alopecia Areata treatment success stories

Female Alopecia Areata Patient - The Belgravia Centre Hair Loss ClinicHere at The Belgravia Centre we frequently treat clients who come to us with hair loss caused by alopecia areata. Many see promising results from following comprehensive treatment courses featuring our bespoke Belgravia minoxidil which is specially prepared in our in-house clinic pharmacies.

One of these patients is Chelsey, who said of her Belgravia experience:

…’“I spent years ridiculously self-conscious about the bald patches I had, and had lost all hope of ever having a full head of healthy hair, until now. After just 3 months of treatment there are clear changes and my hope is back. Things like I can now tie my hair back or go swimming without strategically placing my hair and worrying…’

View Chelsey’s Hair Loss Success Story in full.


The Belgravia Centre Hair Loss ClinicThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.


VIDEO - Information About Alopecia Areata Ruxolitinib - The Pill That Could Cure Alopecia Areata The Alopecia Project by Daniel Regan to Raise Awareness of Alopecia Hair Loss
VIDEO: Information About Alopecia Areata and Available Treatments Ruxolitinib / Jakafi: The Pill That Could Cure Alopecia Areata Raising Awareness Through Art: The Alopecia Project
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