Alopecia Didn’t Stop This Actress From Embracing Her Newfound Bald Beauty


We live in an age that is obsessed with physical beauty, although there are lots of people and organizations (like us!) working to change the public perception of that very word. We are constantly told we need to buy more, do more, consume more to look better and feel better. Women especially fall under this hypnotic spell. We are obsessed with our hair. It’s not uncommon these days for the majority of women to dye their hear, wear wigs, weaves, clip-ins, extensions and so on.

We are far to concerned with keeping up the “fakeness” that all hell breaks loose if something goes wrong. One woman who knows how this feels all too well is Los Angeles-based actress and model Georgia Van Cuylenbur. The 26 year old moved from her native Australia when she was 18 to pursue a Hollywood career. She has appeared in commercials, done voice overs for video games, hosted kid shows and much more.

“‘My hair defined my beauty in that it was my calling card.”

But something that drastically turned her life around was being diagnosed with Alopecia. Alopecia is a type of hair loss that occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, which is where hair growth begins. The damage to the follicle is usually not permanent. Experts do not know why the immune system attacks the follicles, but there is no cure. This happened in 2007, while she was getting ready for an audition.

In an interview with Elizabeth Vargas on ABC’s 20/20 Georgia says initially her agent told her she must keep this condition a secret as it would ruin her chances of getting work, making her look “sick”. She listened to their advice for a while but then decided she was done with hiding. She began filming a documentary about her struggle called ‘Baby Let Your Hair Hang Down‘ which was released in 2013, showing the various treatments she tried to cure the alopecia. Acupuncture, creams and other methods were just a few that she tried, but in the end Georgia knew the only thing that was going to make her happy was accepting the hair loss and embracing it.

Other examples of women embracing their beautiful bald heads despite a medical diagnosis are singer Sharon Jones who went bald in her band’s latest music video after undergoing chemo for cancer, Angelica Galindez, a beauty pageant contestant from San Francisco who also suffers with Alopecia but decided to compete without a wig, and Canadian plus size model Elly Mayday who, instead of losing a major lingerie contract after being diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer, was asked to model her bald head in the campaign showing diversity in beauty.

Well Georgia ended up proving her reps wrong by continuing to book jobs. You can see in the video below the moment she decided to ditch the wig and go completely bald.


She does wear wigs today sometimes, and her hair grows back sporadically. Aside from her continued success in her acting career is another opportunity which she describes as the “role of a lifetime”.

Georgia started to reach out to others with the same condition. She began working with children at schools and found strength in being honest about her hair loss – often going out without her wig.

“For so many years of my life, I wanted to be known as the actress, or the funny girl, or the pretty girl. And when I realized my strength was being honest…This is the thing that gave it to me. So if I’m known as the girl with alopecia, that’s a great thing.”

“My only option is to start focusing on the things that make me the happiest. I started meeting kids who needed a little help to see the bright side [by me] sharing my story with them,” she says while also mentioning that being around the kids helped her a lot too.

Her amazing strength has certainly come at a price, one that she is not willing to pay again. Aside from the Alopecia she has, Georgia had an eating disorder as a teen and almost died. She was plagued by insecurities and developed anorexia, with her weight plummeting to just 75lbs. By 18, after intensive treatment, she had made a full recovery and was well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming an actress, and taking on am opportunity which would change her life.

“This is my role and what the truth can actually do to help others is way more important than feeling sorry for myself.”

Today Georgia’s hair growth is sporadic. But she doesn’t let that dictate her happiness. She only has 3 of her own eyelashes and barely any body hair, but it doesn’t make her depressed anymore. She still wears wigs, draws on her eyebrows and makes herself up for certain occasions. But the difference between earlier in her life and now is that her appearance doesn’t rule her well-being. It isn’t her calling card. Instead she chooses to use her life and experience to inspire others, and that is an admirable thing.

The more we realize the sum of our worth isn’t tied into our physical appearance, the more strength we can utilize in every day life. Beauty isn’t just what you see on the surface, it is something worth far more than that.


  1. You know what, she really is beautiful without hair!!! I’m happy she was able to turn it around and benefit herself and others. That can’t have been an easy thing to do and if she had kept feeling sorry for herself we might have lost her to suicide!! Yea, for strong women!

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