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?


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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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.


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


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 love Vio­la

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 no sur­prise… 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 just think she is absolute­ly love­ly! I’m glad she knows it now, too!!


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!


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


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!


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!