us

I am not my hair: More women are going bald (or near-bald)

By Bukky Babalola

Published July 23, 2018

There was a time when having long, Rapunzel-like hair was the standard by which women measured beauty.

Chris Moehr/Finding Your Fairytale

How ingrained is the long-hair beauty standard?

A reference to a head full of hair as a woman’s “crowning glory” can be found in the Bible’s Old Testament. The New Testament, on the other hand, states that it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved.

Walt Disney Pictures

Times have changed. In contemporary culture, some women find beauty in shorn scalps.

Libby Hogan/CNN

Why do women go bald?

In hot and humid countries, some women express discomfort with long hair plastering itself to their sweat-drenched skins, spurring their decision to go bald.

Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

For some, it’s a style choice. Some women go bald for religious reasons, to fight for a cause or meet a job specification. Others go bald due to medical conditions or side effects from medicine.

Libby Hogan for CNN

Here are six notable women who have gone bald and why they did it:

Grace Jones, the Jamaican-American singer and actress who is one of the world's most famous short-haired women, believes her occasional bald look makes her appear more versatile and less tied to a race or role.

Chris Miller/Camera Press/Redux

"It was about not being uniform; it was about change and changing my mind and through it (her bald look), I could express how I was always becoming someone else."

Grace Jones

Jimmy James/Camera Press/Redux

Tamar Braxton, an American singer and television personality, debuted her new bald look on Instagram in March 2018. “Shedding the hair meant freedom,” she said.

David Livingston/Getty Images

In a caption on a March 14 Instagram photo, Braxton stated:

Tamar Braxton/Instagram

Danai Gurira, a Zimbabwean-American actress, went bald for her groundbreaking role as Okoye in the 2018 film, “Black Panther.”

Photo by Little Fang Photos

For Gurira, going bald was daunting and she had been really nervous about it — even though she was no stranger to low-cut hair. She wore her hair very short, prior to cutting it all off.

Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Sinéad O’Connor, Irish singer and songwriter, went bald after she felt the need to protect herself from stereotypical social expectations about her appearance.

FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images

“They wanted me to grow my hair really long and wear miniskirts and all that kind of stuff because they reckoned I’d look much prettier. So I went straight around to the barber and shaved the rest of my hair off”

Sinéad O’Connor

Christophe Ketels/AFP/Getty Images

Amber Rose’s bald head is just as famous as she is. The American model and actress said her near-bald iconic blonde look was inspired by Sinéad O’Connor.

Bennett Raglin/Getty Images North America/Getty Images for BET

Amber remembers crying with a feeling of deep regret after shaving off her hair for the very first time. Soon enough, she started to appreciate her new look and this has led to consistency with her trademark cut ever since.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Ami McClure, Instagram sensation and mother of identical twins, Ava and Alexis McClure — both Instagram stars themselves — has said that her decision to go bald stemmed from hair loss during a difficult pregnancy.

Curly Nikki

“Mama McClure,” as she is fondly called, is not afraid to rock her new bald look. She wants her children to always feel confident and understand that a person’s values far outweigh appearances.

Youtube/McClure Twins Family