To be empowered a woman must have long hair – according to #Cosmo


I have often talked about having Alopecia from the point of view of hearing other people’s reactions or the positive affect it has had on me.  However, there are many groups I follow where I see the despair from those who are struggling with their confidence about having Alopecia.  Friends or friends of friends who I talk to have claimed that if they lost all their hair they would be devastated.  The phrase ‘Crowning Glory’ is a familiar one when discussing hair loss.

Today, I want to challenge the beauty industry and, specifically, bring attention to the video below about hair extensions from Belle Hair.  My social media is followed by many wig suppliers – understandably.  And, of course, many (I would suggest the majority) of Alopecians are indeed wig wearers.  So it is not unusual to come across adverts like this.

But, what is it about this ad that has rattled my normally placid cage?

“Each year we give away thousands of extensions to empower women”
– Belle Amori CEO of Belle Hair

Say Whaaaaaattt???   SHAME ON YOU COSMOPOLITAN for the campaign and SHAME ON YOU BELLE AMORI.

Incredibly, this advert has already had over 11 million views. It’s core message? That a woman cannot feel empowered unless she has long hair. My daughter, Lucy is 11.  When I see stuff like this, I ask myself: do I want this message to be the one she hooks on to?

Unfortunately, Belle Hair is not the only company which seems to think that women need to have a certain look in order to be successful. As you can see from the Twitter blurb for Real World Hair! in the screenshot below, their mission is to ’empower women and make them feel beautiful’.  Amazingly, this was the second Twitter account to be listed in a search against #EmpowerWomen, the first being Twitter’s own @TwitterWomen account.



I work hard to send a positive message to Lucy that you can be the person you want to be regardless of how you look.  I don’t need to tell you lovely readers that hair does not define you but I hope this message will spread wider and reach those people who feel that it is necessary to present a ‘Crowning Glory’ in a bid to succeed in life. I hope they can understand that, whatever they are reaching for, it isn’t their hair that will get them there.

“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries or the way she combs her hair.”
– Audrey Hepburn







  1. Good on you, Rachel. Success cannot be measured by appearance but the person within. You are a shining example of being totally true to yourself and making your successful way in life as the fabulous person you are. I hope the companies you have highlighted think again. Xx

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Also-flippin-likely!!!!!! How awful, and how degrading that women should still have to listen to rubbish like this. The Bible has this quote:
    Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink,[a] or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I definitely rely on my wig daily for my alopecia (so much so that I have given her a name and her own little persona in my life and blog). Once I started wearing it, I wore it full time and haven’t stopped. And now that I have decided to keep what hair I have left at a very short level, I don’t even go without it when I am at my parent’s house for vacations and holidays. But I only have localized alopecia, and not universal. In my case, I feel like that makes a difference. Maybe if I had universal, I would be more willing to go without? Since it’s only in the “male pattern baldness area” that I have lost my hair, it makes me more self-conscious of it. And I really do feel more powerful and beautiful with it on. That’s one of the areas in my life that I’m not sure I will ever fully be comfortable with it just being natural.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment. You are a wonderful example of a person choosing to live your best life and finding ways to achieve that even when faced with a difficult condition such as alopecia areata. I agree that having no hair is far easier than being left with some hair.
      Sometimes I forget about my alopecia and I get caught off guard when it is mentioned. I chose to wear hats instead of wigs because it is more comfortable for me. I make the choice to remove my hat before I enter a room to give people a chance to process what they are seeing and to give me a chance to evaluate the situation.
      I have felt empowered since losing my hair and so I personally find adverts like this frustrating and unhelpful especially as this video suggests women can only be empowered if they have longer, thicker and fuller hair
      To hear another perspective is extremely important and thank you for sharing such a personal story. We are all very different, your voice is valuable and one that can help make the world be a more accepting place.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. This kind of snuck up on me – I’ve always had thin hair but it didnt start to fall out until my early 20’s. My mom thought it was stress from university but nope. I only started wearing a wig a few years ago. Before I kept my hair long enough to put into a pony tail on the top of my head. Eventuallu that wasnt working anymore. Now I have the added hurdle of dating in the mix. I’ve never had to explain it to guys before. I actually waited a week before telling 1 once and he flipped saying I was hiding things from him. Now its on my dating profiles even though I didn’t really want it to be. I think I would go natural too if I lost all my hair. Wearing hats seems like a good solution! And if it works for you then thats all that matters

        Liked by 1 person

  4. That is so rubbish – unfortunately women do believe it and want to be “empowered”. Being empowered has nothing to do with hair or clothes. They want to make money so they find something to get women. Long hair gives you nothing just more work to tame, style and wash. (You can see I have short hair too). Great post Rachel!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I absolutely loathe adverts like this! They seem to be actively encouraging women to hide behind a persona. Whether it’s long hair, the right perfume/shoes/car etc. it’s all RUBBISH! Empowerment comes when we realise we can live our lives the way we want to *despite* having no hair/short hair etc. When we start to love ourselves. This is more difficult for some people than for others because of illness or disability, our own insecurity, bullying, other peoples’ ignorance and so on. Some people do find it helpful in certain situations to wear certain clothes/make-up as they feel safer, almost as if they are acting the part of a successful person. However, we shouldn’t be encouraging women that the *only* way they can succeed is by having a particular hairstyle. As Ute says, it is just a marketing ploy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It most certainly is a marketing ploy. Sadly, L’oreal have also caused an uproar in the alopecia community with their new ad with the comment “hair is all of women’s beauty”. I mean, really….

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s