From ‘Queen Eye’, Caramo Brown has learned how to love his bald head

Wrote Oscar Holland, CNN

This article is part of the new CNN style beauty series “As We Are”.
Caramo Brown is a self-respecting guru. Whether it’s giving inspirational lectures, promoting mental health, or giving life-training on the hit makeover show “Quirie Eye,” she has built a career on her seemingly contagious self-confidence.

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 "Quier I."

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?'”

Hailing from Houston, Texas, Brown gained popularity through “The Real World: Philadelphia” before taking on various reality TV shows and hosting roles. In 2018, she joined “Queen Eye” as one of the “Fab Five” with fashion expert Tan France, food and wine expert Anthony Poroski, design guru Bobby Burke and stylist Jonathan Van Ness.

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.

“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 her whole hair in her yearbook photo.

Brown photographed her whole hair in her yearbook photo. Credit: Courtesy of Caramo Brown

In 2020, Brown has introduced a skin care range for bald (and bald) men, Mantl. With products including a cleanser and moisturizer for the face and scalp, the brand was “designed to empower men who embrace their baldness” and “push back the old notions of masculinity,” she says.

“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.”

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