Welcome to Lace Frontier, a column about the world of wigs, the players in it, and how wig culture is evolving. This month, writer Sharine Taylor speaks to Angelica Ross on how her wigs — and her natural hair — empower her as a woman.
Keeping up with Angelica Ross is no easy feat. Just last year, she wrapped up her role as Candy on the critically-acclaimed hit show Pose and started her new role as Donna Chambers on American Horror Story. All that is outside of gracing runways, collecting awards, and being featured in Louis Vuitton‘s Pre-Fall 2020 campaign. Ms. Ross is booked and busy, honey, so it’s only right that she has an extensive catalog of looks to choose from when she’s called to make an appearance.
Through her life experiences — from going to beauty school to being a drag performer — Ross has learned a thing or two about the empowering element of hair in particular. Take the aforementioned campaign with Louis Vuitton, for instance. Upon arriving on set, she was presented with a selection of wigs as options but advocated to wear her natural hair. “I sat down and Duffy, who was my hairstylist, had a couple of wigs to the side. He was like, ‘I have these wigs over here [that] have that pattern,’ and I said, ‘What do you think about me wearing my own hair?’ He was like, ‘let me ask the creative [team]’,” she tells Allure. “He was gone for a second — ‘Yes, they love it. Let’s go for it.'” As Duffy styled her hair, he asked Ross exactly what she was thinking of doing with it. “Let’s just ‘fro it out as big as it can go.” And the rest is history.
But though Angelica clearly loves her voluminous kinks, [gently picking and fluffing them until they bloom out into the heavens, she’s also a wig lover. The actor consistently switches between proudly wearing her natural hair and playing with hairpieces of all textures. Because if Ms. Ross is anything, she’s versatile.
ALLURE: Beyond aesthetics, what does hair mean to you?
ANGELICA ROSS: My hair is an extension of myself in the sense that I used to think that my hair defined me as a woman, and especially as a trans woman, I just did not consider a life without wigs and extensions. But when I went natural and did the big chop, I was able to relate with so many other women, who weren’t just struggling with their hair growing back, but saying, “actually, I don’t want my hair to grow anymore beyond this and I look and feel beautiful.” I challenged myself as my hair was growing back to always reflect that I’m beautiful at whatever stage my hair is [in]. It’s this thing about being able to wear your look and not have your look wear you.