Ms. Pat on Overcoming Childhood Trauma About Her Hair
The star of the Emmy-nominated BET+ series “Ms. Pat Show” chatted with Jennifer Hudson about the inspiration behind the emotional Season 2 episode “Don’t Touch My Hair,” in which Ms. Pat deals with her insecurities about her natural hair.
“With the Black hair episode, that came out of my life,” she told Jennifer.
Ms. Pat reflected on having her own mother react negatively to her natural hair as a child, and this stuck with her throughout her life. “As Black women, we started to cover our hair because we thought society didn’t want to see our hair,” she told JHud.
“Now we’re beginning to let it go,” said Ms. Pat. “Wigs are for convenience, not because we’re ashamed of what’s up under it.
“I took my wig off on national TV to let you know I have beautiful black curly hair, and I’m no longer ashamed,” she said proudly. “I’m not that ‘nappy haired kid’ my mama told me I once was.
“We have to be careful what we say to our kids,” she added.
It all started with La La getting a moment to concentrate on her hair health during the pandemic.
“You know, with the wigs and the weaves and the braids and the extensions, we pull out hair. Our hair is in bad shape. And I thought, I had to get my hair together,” she told JHud.
“There were so many DIYs with rice water, and I was like, does this rice water thing really work?”
She experimented with rice water and was impressed with how healthy her hair felt afterward. “I saw amazing results with my hair,” she said, and was inspired to help others revitalize their hair.
Amber Riley on Standing Up for Her Natural Hair on Set of ‘Glee’
Amber Riley appeared on the show to promote the docuseries “The Black Beauty Effect,” in which she appears.
Amber calls the three-part docuseries “a love letter to the Black people who have been the interrupters in the beauty space.”
While chatting with JHud, Amber shared a clip from the doc in which she lays out a difficult moment involving a hairstylist on “Glee” who told her it would be easier to style her hair if she just wore a wig.
“What you’re telling me is that the hair that grows out of my scalp is an inconvenience for you even though this is your job?” she recalled. “I came in the next day and said, ‘Hey, if you don’t think anybody here can do my hair, then you need to find someone who can.’ And that’s when they found someone who actually did Black hair.”
“I didn’t see a lot of representation when I was growing up… women with natural curly hair,” the "Sister, Sister" star said to Jennifer. “And I would try to fit into what society would say was beautiful, which was more European standards.
“So I would straighten my hair, I wouldn’t have a great relationship with my hair,” she continued. “I was damaging my hair because I was straightening it.”
She said things turned around for her when she came across Instagram posts of women celebrating their natural hair.
“There was this amazing, beautiful community of women coming together, putting their foot down, and saying, ‘You know what? No, I’m going to be me, I’m going to be my authentic self, and it’s okay to be me and who I am, and embrace who I am.’
“And that’s exactly what I did,” said Tia. “I fell in love with my curls, my hair.”
She even started her own hair care line, Tia 4 U, offering products formulated for hair with curls from 2A to 4C. “My kids all have different hair textures, and it works well for all of us,” said Tia.
The “Pose” alum — who became the first transgender actor ever to win a Golden Globe — said she wanted to free herself of the constraints that hinder women.
“I wanted to break down the barriers of what and how a woman or a trans woman should feel or look,” she said. “I just wanted to break down that mold. Your femininity isn’t held within your hair or your clothes. It’s held within you, and how you exude yourself.”
When pictures of Michaela flashed across the screen, JHud exclaimed, “Supermodel in the house!”
How Coils to Locs Helps Support Women of Color Suffering from Hair Loss
Dianne Austin and Pamela Shaddock from Boston, Massachusetts, appeared on the May 12 episode to talk about their business Coils to Locs, a distribution company that makes wigs that are coily, curly, or braided, with their main demographic being women of color.
After Dianne was diagnosed with breast cancer, she sought to purchase a wig that matched her hair type. She discovered that the only wigs covered by her insurance were all straight or wavy, looking nothing like her natural curly hair.
Meanwhile, her sister Pamela was suffering from traction alopecia, caused by having too tight cornrows, weaves, or braids. Realizing that other Black women and women of color must be having the same difficulties finding a wig that resembled their natural hair, the sisters launched Coils to Locs in 2019.
Their wigs, made from a soft, high-quality synthetic Japanese fiber that resembles human hair, fit the requirements to be covered by insurance and also bring diversity to the wigs available in medical centers.
‘Alopecia Warrior’ McKenna Reitz on Accepting Her Hair Loss
McKenna Reitz is a high school teacher from Detroit, Michigan, who lost her hair just three weeks after being diagnosed with alopecia.
“We took family pictures in early November, and by the end of November I was standing in the shower with my hands full of hair in complete disbelief,” McKenna recalled to Jennifer on the show. Within six months, every piece of hair from her body was gone.
“I felt like my identity was being ripped away from me. As a woman, we subconsciously connect ourselves to our hair,” she said.
“I always questioned, how am I gonna be a mom? How is my husband still going to love me? How are my students going to react to this? How am I going to continue living this way?”
Thankfully, she had a strong support network. “I have a husband who said, ‘McKenna, it’s just hair.’”
Through the support of her friends, family, and students, McKenna realized that neither her hair nor her disease defines who she is as a person.
“We all have a storm,” she said. “Mine just happens to be visible. And you have two choices: Either allow it to define you, or you define it. And I made a decision to define it.”