But as the TV star learns the lesson of self-love in the first and second seasons of the Netflix series, she struggles with her own insecurities – and uses makeup to cover her falling hair.
In her early 20’s, Brown realized that her hairline was “going to hit the road”, a moment she recalls, feeling “nerve-wracking.”
“I wasn’t going to be desirable anymore, no one would value me because my hair was falling out … As a young man, you weren’t taught how to process it; you weren’t taught how (love) naturally happens to you. “
“Our hair is a personal thing to us,” he adds. “That’s how you present yourself to the world; that’s how you show your style … The moment I went to the barber shop, when I had my whole head of hair, the moment I felt the coolest, I felt proud, I felt the sexiest.”
Brown decided to shave his head completely after shooting the second season of “Queen’s Eye”. Credit: Courtesy of Caramo Brown
In addition to using makeup to give herself a hair look, Brown also created a huge hat collection. (“I was like, ‘Oh, if I’m going out of the gay community, I need a cool hat to match my outfit so no one questions what’s underneath,'” he says.) Her hair was off after the shooting of 2, she said, was a tough one.
“If I could say I felt empowered, but I didn’t,” the 41-year-old explained. “I was nervous. I was uncomfortable. I was like, ‘Are people judging me?'”
On the makeover show, Brown takes on the role of “culture expert”, a partial counselor, part-therapist who encourages competitors to look inside themselves, not others, for legitimacy. Accepting his baldness meant practicing what he preached.
“Everyone was like, ‘Oh, your head looks good. Oh, you look smooth. Oh, let me touch your head.’ I was like, ‘Wait. I’m not going to do what I did before, which (others) verified themselves through comments.’
“So, I went home and I thought, ‘OK, I have to fall in love with it … I’ve spent an hour or two in my bathroom, just rubbing my head, my head feels like,’ Oh, you’re ‘smooth.’ And that’s how I fell in love with it.
“And that day forward, I was the happiest person, because I was no longer hiding or trying to be something I wasn’t.”
Brown photographed the full hair in her yearbook. Credit: Courtesy of Caramo Brown
In 2020, Brown has launched a skin care range for bald (and bald) men, Mantl. With products including a cleanser and moisturizer for the face and scalp, the brand is designed to “empower men who embrace their baldness” and “put behind old ideas of masculinity”.
“We should not say to each other, ‘Look at your hair, it will make you beautiful.’ We say, ‘Look at you, because you are beautiful.’
“My biggest goal is to make sure that people feel (and) look good on their skin,” he added. “It’s about helping men and women that, yes, it’s happening, but you can still love yourself and you’re still beautiful.”