Tiffany Haddish on shaving her head: ‘I started to fall in love with myself’

Tiffany Haddish posing on a hotel balcony, via Instagram

Several high profile Black women, including Between Christina Milian and Jada Pinkett Smith have been discussing hair loss. Last summer, Tiffany Haddish posted a video on Instagram of her shaving her head. At the time, Tiffany didn’t explain why she did it. Tiffany is finally opening up about why she made such a drastic move last year. Tiffany said that she has damaged her hair multiple times because she was trying to conform to what the men in her life thought was beautiful. Appearing on Red Table Talk, Tiffany said that she had gotten a weave and permed her hair because her lovers at the time asked her to. Tiffany also said that she started to fall in love with herself after shaving her hair off and finally being able to see her features. Below are a few more highlights via Yahoo!:

The Night School actress, who recently shaved her head, joined fellow bald and beautiful ladies Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris to talk about how she’s more confident than ever now that she’s no longer sporting long locks.

“I started to fall in love with myself,” Haddish explained. “That wasn’t even the intention. But I see all my features. My eyes, my nose, my cheeks. I was like, ‘God did a good job at putting me together.’”

The Emmy winner, who worked with Pinkett Smith in the movie Girls Trip, revealed that while her current partner, rapper and actor Common, appreciated her “meat head,” she’s dealt with exes who wanted her to style her hair in a certain way.

“I had this boyfriend, and he used to be like ‘Tiffany, are so pretty, but you would look so much better if your hair went to your breast,’” Haddish shared. “So me and my auntie got together and we tried to put a weave in my head and it did not work out. I would look crazy.”

She added that her ex-husband, William Stewart, also had ideas about how she should do her hair. Haddish said, “When I got married I was trying to decide how to do my hair. My ex-husband said ‘I ain’t never been with a woman who ain’t got no perm. I don’t know how I’m going to be married to you without no perm.’ So I permed my hair, and maybe three weeks into the marriage, my hair broke off.”

Haddish declared, “That’s the last time I listen to a man I’m laying down with about my hair.”

[From Yahoo!]

I am loving how Black women including Gabrielle Union, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kerry Washington, and Candice Patton have been talking openly about Black hair care. I give even bigger props to those women who have been open about suffering from alopecia and taking better care of their hair. We should be having more of the hair conversations as Black women. I have to agree with Tiffany, the first time I shaved my hair off, I never felt so beautiful. Many people that it looked masculine and asked me why I would do that to my hair. My response as always was “it’s just hair.” At the time I was suffering from stress alopecia and was losing my hair in clumps. I felt that I needed to free myself from the trauma of balding. I never felt as sexy or feminine as I did with that shaved head. also like how Tiffany talks about damaging her hair for the sole purpose of pleasing the men in her life. I know a lot of Black women stuck in that cycle of pain. I do hope that Tiffany is doing what is necessary to care for her tresses.

Although I have my beef with Tiffany and how she has handled some things recently, I will definitely watch this episode of Red Table Talk. There is definitely something empowering about Black women doing whatever the hell they want to with their hair. Men be damned.

Tiffany Haddish at the Laugh Factory in a long gown, via Instagram

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30 Responses to “Tiffany Haddish on shaving her head: ‘I started to fall in love with myself’”

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  1. Joanna says:

    I think her hair looks great!

  2. Seraphina says:

    I really like her. She’s been through a lot in her life and she came out a survivor. And her hair looks great.
    A friend of mine is growing our her hair during the pandemic. She is tired of processing it and her husband is not really digging it. But she basically said: I don’t give a crap. My hair and I will do as I please.
    I started letting my grey come in – tired of coloring and having the grey show in three weeks. A male friend looked horrified that I was letting the grey come in – men can keep their mouth shut.

    • Annabel says:

      I have super short hair. My husband dislikes it, but my stance has always been that if he likes long hair, he can grow his hair out.

      • Seraphina says:

        That’s funny because my friend said the same – her husband is BALD!

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ Annabel, I had a narcissistic ex-husband who had terms that I had to follow, otherwise he would divorce me. One of which was I could not cut my hair above my shoulders, and gain more than 7 pounds. Yes, he was that horrible!! Finally I grew my courage up and cut my hair. He was furious!! I told him if he insisted on me having long hair, HE could style it for me everyday, which was a 45 minute endeavor everyday! Shut his ass up immediately, not that he was useful anyway since he never changed a diaper, cooked a meal, cleaned the house or ran errands/grocery store, pharmacy, etc. My now husband could care less what I do with my hair!!! When we took a 3 week RV trip, my hair was 1/2” long!!

      • E.D says:

        Best response ever @Annabel!

      • BeanieBean says:

        Mine is super short, too. Women always tell me how much they like my hair & how they’d like to wear it the same way, but their boyfriend/husband wouldn’t like it. I’d say but it’s your hair! And they’d say their boyfriend’s/husband’s response was but I have to look at it! I gave up responding at all.

  3. Amy Bee says:

    I always thought she cut off her hair because she couldn’t get it done during the pandemic. No doubt perms and weaves damaged her hair just like every other black woman in the world.

  4. Yup, Me says:

    I cut all my hair off for the first time (to get rid of the relaxer) over 25 years ago and I’ve been natural ever since.

    I shaved my head and went completely bald after a trip to Africa in my early 20s. It was really freeing and empowering (but that growing out process was no joke).

    I love Tiffany’s cut and color as well as the expansion of conversations around Black women’s hair thanks to mediums like YouTube and other social media. I continue learning about caring for my hair by watching others. It’s a beautiful community to be a part of.

  5. Kcat says:

    If you have a chance, listen to her episode on the podcast Smartless. She was amazing. Tiffany talks about how she’s starting up a grocery store in South Central LA featuring black-owned products, how she’s working to keep the black money in the black community. She wants to offer financial literacy courses, cooking courses, etc. She cried when talking about some of her experiences and I actually cried listening.

  6. Aeval says:

    I shaved my head this year, at the age of 50, and although this has been the worst year of my life in many ways, the one part I wouldn’t change is shaving it all off. You really do get to know yourself in a different way. It looks different, it feels different and if you’ve been suffering from hair loss, it feels like such a powerful gesture of one’s own will.

    It’s been a tremendous confidence boost for me.

    I won’t say that it’s for everyone, but I highly recommend it to anyone who’s ever seriously considered it.

  7. anniefannie says:

    If only I had the chutzpah to shave my head!!! I admire Tiffany for her no f’s to give! So much of my day is ruled by what my hair looks like and as you get older there’s less manageability and over processing makes it worse!

    • Silent Star says:

      @allowable, you could try a super short pixie cut. I had that for about 10 years (about one inch long) and it was so liberating and cute! The only reason I’m growing it out now is because i never long hair and want to try it just to switch things up. One big difference I notice is that I spend way too much time and money on longer hair. When it looks good I feel more vain than I used to, and when it looks bad I feel more insecure than I used to. I’ll definitely go back to super-short hair some time.

    • Hell Nah! says:

      @anniefannie: you have it. when the time is right, for you, you’ll use it. be not afraid.

  8. RMS says:

    A year ago I had my first of two stem cell transplants. The chemo they give you to kill your bone marrow makes all your hair drop out in two weeks. I shaved my head before I went into the hospital because I knew it would be cleaner than having it shed in clumps. Just as it was growing back I had to get a second stem cell transplant. Shaved my head again. It’s been a year of bald and the weird chemo-hair growing back in texture. I have a TON of cool bandannas, new life for the Hermes scarves and a hat collection to die for; I never ever wanted a hot itchy wig.

    The big take away? (1) I am NEVER dying my hair again. I dyed it for fun two weeks before I knew I would have to shave it again and it looked idiotic, even though it was the color I had always used. Nope. Nature has a better plan for me and (2) Holy heck it’s easy when its short and, thanks to Latisse, I have spectacular eyebrows and eyelashes and I make up my eyes every day and I am striking. My friend’s fathers say ‘Thank God you have that face” but I say we ALL have ‘that face’ if you own it and hold your head high. I am grateful that cancer made me change things up in my fifties and I will never go back to the higher maintenance styles. I wish I could see every woman’s beautiful face and features…

    • Ashley says:

      Awww, ” I say we ALL have ‘that face’ if you own it and hold your head high” YES!!

      And congratulations on navigating your health journey, especially with such style.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ RMSm congratulations on giving us the best line for women to knock out the stereotypes that believe that ALL women should have long, lustrous locks of hair.

      But more importantly, I am so glad that you seem to have conquered cancer and that you remain healthy and cancer free for life!!!

  9. Chantal says:

    Good for her! She looks pretty as always! I needed a relaxer touch up before I fell and broke my ankle and was in the hospital/rehab for a month. My long hair was so matted I told my sister to cut it all off. She refused but cut it very short. I enjoyed wearing it natural for a couple of years but now that it’s growing out so much, am considering going back to relaxers just for the convenience. Natural hair is great but takes a lot of work to maintain.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Chantal, as a white woman who lived with straight, thick hair my entire life and had it go into an entirely different direction due to a family curse 10 years ago, I would like to tell every woman of color that I am in awe of what you have had to deal with your entire lives, with regards to your hair. Our family curse creates extremely curly, coarse, and dry hair. I had to educate myself in how to maintain my hair that I had never experienced in my life. It brought me an awareness of how little attention or products were being mass produced for WOC. I was heartbroken to see that WOC were ignored entirely for decades. It wasn’t a priority for hair/skin companies to invest in WOC. It made me more aware of what WOC have had to experience for decades, solely due to the refusal of companies and society to ignore them. Unacceptable and heartbreaking at the same time.

    • observer says:

      like BothSidesNow i’m also a woman who has extremely curly hair to the point it bothers me naturally (it bothered me for many reasons since i was very, very young…by the time i was 6 my hair being so curly became extremely troublesome for me, my hair is just NOT white person hair even though i “am” white) so i do relax it. i mostly learned how to care for my hair from learning about black hair care. i have also had the experience of hairdressers having difficulty or not knowing how to deal with my hair that i hear many black women experiencing [when those hairstylists are white]

      so, of course i really respect and support any open ongoing discussions about black hair care. and i really respect the community even though i am only adjacent to it because of my ethnicity.

  10. Chimney says:

    I love this for her, especially because she was able to put the bullshit requests from men behind her!

    I shaved my head for the first time in the pandemic and I have been loving it. It also makes any outfit I put on look doubly chic! Put on a turtleneck, who am I a Parisian art dealer? Nope just a housewife from midwest! May never go back to hair and the upkeep

  11. Hell Nah! says:

    Wow – does her hair story ever resonate!

    I was living in NYC during my mid-20’s working at a high-profile, “dream” job just out of university. I went through a hella stressful two years busting my butt to get noticed and working hours exactly opposite those of the few friends I had in the city.

    After a year on the job, I ended up in a walking depression and developed random bald spots all over my head. Fighting to remain functional, I began exercising daily at the local Y – swimming laps before work, running the track after work – using the movement and repetition to keep myself from falling deeper into the dark hole that had become my life.

    My daily swim meant cutting all the relaxer out of my hair, leaving just a quarter inch of natural lo-fro. I LOVED it. The convenience factor was off the charts but I also revelled in the feel of the water over my head, being able to fully embrace the shape of my head, and looking at the simple, frank beauty of my face for what felt like the first time. I’d never felt more powerful nor so gorgeous.

    I remain grateful to this day for having had the opportunity to see my true self and to regain my spirit — all stemming from a rough ride that threatened to undo me in the worst way. I do believe cutting my hair off played a big part in my healing journey (at least as much as the exercise, eventually quitting the job and moving out of Manhattan) and I’m here to recommend all my sisters try a super-minimalist or shaved head style at least once in their lives.

    Remember that your hair today is but one chapter in the evolving story that is you. Hair stories come in all styles, lengths and textures, but your unshakeable crown will ALWAYS sit high atop the blessed head God gave you.

    edited to add: my mom had a very different opinion when she saw my bald head…something along the lines of my hair being my beauty, why did I want to look like a bwoy and What in Blue Blazes Had I Done?!? Heh heh.

  12. detritus says:

    Love her. Just love her.

    I’m so happy she was able to make this change. The stress and low key trauma that black women face about their hair is just absolutely unfair.

    Also, she looks gorgeous. No weave necessary.

  13. Mimi says:

    I love that. I’m trying to love myself bc I never have and I’m just trying to like myself right now if that makes any sense and reading stuff like this is nice

  14. bgirl says:

    I love women rocking buzzcuts! I tried it once, but it didn’t look good on me tbh :/

    Still, it’s a pretty nice look that says HBIC and everyone should try it at least once.

  15. Veronica S. says:

    All of these men who think they have a right to an opinion about what women do with their bodies lmao. The sheer hubris.

    I’m glad she’s feeling herself with that hair. She looks very cute! I think I like it best where it is now: slightly grown out but still cropped. It flatters her face nicely.

  16. JanetDR says:

    She looks terrific! But then I have never seen anyone who couldn’t rock very short hair. The things we put ourselves through to achieve a look … And we are beautiful just as we are.

  17. Duhaa says:

    She looks great! Some people can really rock short hair. Power to her, I’m glad she found herself.

  18. jferber says:

    She looks good. She also lost 40 pounds. She had a very hard life. Glad her talent and persistence put her where she belongs to be: in the spotlight.