Sanaa Lathan revealed “natural hair is beautiful” after a year of surprising herself by not “wearing a wig” since cutting her hair for her new Netflix film ‘Nappily Ever After’.
The 47-year-old actress admitted her profession shook her self-confidence because she often got feedback after auditions asking her to change her locks to look “acceptable” and claimed Hollywood casting agents have been “victims” of “society conditioning” oer standards of beauty.
She said: “I grew up confident and secure in myself — and then I became an actress. When I’d go to auditions, I’d literally get feedback saying, ‘She’s the best actress, but can she make her hair look more like this girl?’
“That girl, of course, would have long curly hair down her back. In other words: “acceptable” black hair. Hair that, in order for me to get, I’d have to wear a wig or a weave. All the people giving the jobs in Hollywood thought that was more beautiful. They’re all victims of our society’s conditioning on beauty standards too.”
Sanaa – who shaved her head for her role in Netflix drama ‘Nappily Ever After’ – insisted natural hair “should be an option” for women as wigs and weaves are “hot and uncomfortable” and the star believes it’s liberating to “give them up”.
She said: “Honestly, after 20 years of wearing weaves and wigs, I got tired of them. There’s a kind of a freedom that comes with giving them up–and not just a mental freedom but also a physical freedom. It’s hot and uncomfortable to wear wigs or a weave. That’s not to say that I’ll never do it again because I know I will.
“But one of the main messages I want to get across to women is that it’s not that you should only have natural hair. It’s that natural hair is beautiful, and it should be an option.”
However, despite her decision not to use hairpieces, she admitted there are still days she doesn’t “feel pretty” because of her shaved head.
She added to America’s Glamour magazine: “That’s the crazy thing, even despite all this, I know I’m still conditioned around beauty standards. I’ll still have days when I don’t feel pretty because I don’t have hair. I know it doesn’t make sense. I’ll start daydreaming about getting a weave, or think about putting on a wig. I actually have a bunch of wigs in my closet. I figured after I shaved my head for the show that I’d be wearing them a lot. But it’s been a year, and I haven’t once.”