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"Bald women: you're bald because you're bald."
Johnny Q. Public, "Women of Zion"
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In many societies, women are expected to have hair, despite the fact that natural balding can occur in women as well as men. It is a symbol of femininity and a major part of identity. To lose that hair (or worse) would be considered socially unusual, at the very least.

So it's a surprise when a woman without any hair appears. For whatever reason, a bald chick is strange, even shocking. The image contrasts with the acceptable image of a woman and cultural values. The baldness can be the result of a number of things, but it's more notable when it is voluntary or Alien Hair. As chemotherapy makes one's hair fall out, cancer is also a common explanation (unless she's wearing a wig).

Thomas M. Disch recognized this trope in his The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of, a critical look at science fiction. He recognized the bald woman as a "distinctive icon" in SF as a result of "the feminist incursion" into the field. Indeed, most cases of bald woman who aren't sick or considered abnormal are in science fiction or fantasy works. In these settings, baldness in women is typically a sign of superior racial or individual enlightenment or mental development, not infrequently including actual Psychic Powers.

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Disch further points out that the bald woman actually represents "empowerment". They bypass all the other Hair Tropes, transcend their femininity and become stronger as a result. Whether this character development occurs or not depends on the character and the media.

Rule 36 applies, of course. May overlap with Bald of Awesome or Bald of Evil.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • In 2005, a Nevada woman needed cash to go to school overseas. To raise that money, she auctioned on eBay to shave her head bald, tattoo the winning ad to the top and back of her head, and stay bald for a year. She got $18,000 from a website known for their wacky advertising stunts.
  • An Adidas commercial featured a woman shaving her head totally bald, including her eyebrows. It is soon revealed that the woman was preparing to swim. "Long Live Sport", indeed.
    • Also happens in a Korean Powerade commercial. Both seem to be based on the practice that some girl swimmers shave their heads to help reduce drag in competitions.
  • In the early 1990s, magazine ads for the Sega Saturn would sometimes feature on a bald woman with rings around her head. In addition, its very weird promotional video begins with similar imagery.
  • In 2007 Israeli singer Ninet Tayeb shaved her head on a famous commercial for an Israeli cellular company.
  • Bald women or kids has been so closely associated with cancer treatment it's become its own visual shorthand.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Mahoja in D.Gray-Man.
  • Parodied in Master Of Epic, in which a band of female players try to fight a monster that ends up giving them bad haircuts. Their solution to beat it? Shave their heads totally bald. However, it doesn't quite work out the way they planned…
  • Yakitate!! Japan manga: Tsukino Azusagawa shaves her head after becoming head of the company. It's not noticed until her wig falls off…
  • Lata in the manga Buddha starts off as a pretty girl with beautiful black hair, but when she becomes one of Buddha's disciples…
  • Kriem in Episode 18 of Tiger & Bunny. Since she possessed Prehensile Hair, it's likely that the hospital staff shaved her head to keep her from wreaking havoc when she woke up.
  • Mint Blancmanche of Galaxy Angel. In the episode "Slippery Pasta", the use of some Lost Technology results in her losing her hair. She stays bald for the rest of the episode, hiding this from everyone, while trying to reverse the damage. Inexplicably, the loss of her hair also includes losing her Unusual Ears while her secondary set of ordinary human ears remain intact (Though the unusual ones just as inexplicably reappear whenever Mint covers her head with something). And when tries reversing the damage at the end of the episode, she ends up losing her facial features, much to the horror of her buddies.
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    Card Games 

    Comic Books 
  • Moondragon in Marvel Comics.
  • Jinx from Teen Titans. Averted in the cartoon, as her character is a bit different than her comic counterpart.
  • Star Wars:
    • Asajj Ventress from Star Wars Legends and, later, the Clone Wars cartoons.
    • A number of bald women show up in the franchise, including Aurra Sing (who had a cameo appearance in Episode I and the later comics, though she sports a ponytail, so more like mostly bald woman) and Sly Moore (the bald bureaucrat standing next to Palpatine in the Senate chambers.)
    • A heroic example is Plourr Illo in the X-Wing Series comics. She starts growing her hair out during the arc that focuses on her, but keeps it very short even then. It's seen in flashbacks that, as a child, she had very long hair.
    • The Rattataki race have no hair, so all its women fall under this.
  • Alkyone from Wonder Woman, a former Amazonian guard of Hippolyta.
  • Y: The Last Man has quite a few women, mostly the more militant ones, bald or close to it.
  • Cassandra Nova of the X-Men.
  • Sometimes, Delirium from The Sandman.
  • Many female characters in Alejandro Jodorowsky's Megalex, but especially the gorgeous, well endowed Adamâ.
  • Traditionally, the Black Panther's all-female Royal Guards the Dora Milaje shave their heads; in modern times, a few do not. (Indeed, this Trope seems to be the biggest indication that the Dora Milaje are featured in the upcoming Black Panther movie, due to a short scene with a bald woman in the trailer.)
  • Superman:
    • This once happened to Lois Lane, in combination with My Brain Is Big: here.
    • Another Silver Age tale had Lois under the effect of Red Kryptonite, making her a monster under certain circumstances. One time, she turns into a monster after her sister Lucy brushes her hair and goes asleep. Monster-Lois uses a pair of scissors and hacks off all of Lucy's hair, leaving Lucy bald.
    • Lena Thorul - Lex Luthor's little sister and Supergirl's friend- loses her hair when she undergoes brain surgery.
    • In Emperor Joker, Lois has Lex Luthor's role in the warped reality, and wears a variety of wigs.
    • Lex Luthor (being bald himself) almost marries a bald woman named Angela Blake, until Superman interferes.
  • Fern from Wet Moon, which just adds to her generally otherworldly aura.
  • Lynn from the Silent Hill comics becomes one after the prologue of Dying Inside.
  • In the original Guardians of the Galaxy series:
    • Mindscan. Not that you find out until fairly late in the series, as she wears a wig all the time to hide her swollen, lumpy skull.
    • Also Nikki, although she generally hid it with Flaming Hair. (The Official Handbook said she had red hair she wore in a distinctive style, but this was later stated in the comic to be a mistake).
  • Nebula started with long hair, but while imprisoned, she became the bald cyborg that is her best known appearance.
  • In recent comics, Angelica Jones, AKA Firestar, is bald due to cancer treatment. Her distinctive long red hair is a wig.
  • In the original run of Excalibur, there was a Nazi counterpart team called Lightning Force, whose version of Kitty Pryde was a bald, emaciated ghost.
  • Zelda from the comic book Gold Digger. It was a result of her being spliced with Dolphin DNA.
  • Tank Girl, combined with Bald of Awesome, aside from a few wildly-colored locks.
  • In DC One Million, Superman 1M's archenemy is a Luthor descendant called Lori Lombard-Thorul, who is bald. His love interest is a Brainiac descendant called Heartiac, who is also bald (and bright red).
  • Alexis Luthor of Earth-16 in The Just #1.
  • At the end of Jem and the Holograms issue 6 it's shown that Pizzazz buzzed her mohawk off. She isn't really "evil", just loud and with a huge temper. She regrows her hair next time she's seen.
  • The Walking Dead gives us Alpha, who is quite bald. This may be for function, or to establish her rank, but it has not been made clear as of this writing.
  • Titeuf: One strip has a female classmate return after a long absence, wearing a bonnet. A gust of wind blows it off her head, revealing she's bald (from chemotherapy). Another guy starts making fun of her, Titeuf instantly chews him out, she gives him a kiss on the cheek.
  • Judge Dredd: Judge Edgar and Judge Judas, both of whom are bald female Judges. The former is a major figure in Internal Affairs, while the latter is a Psi-Judge.
  • Batwoman: Kate Kane displays a downplayed version of the trope in Detective Comics (Rebirth): instead of her iconic bobbed hair, she sports a new buzzcut, and is thus not completely bald.
  • In Red Robin the League of Assassins member Prudence Wood is bald. She later decides to defect and joins Tim's information network.
  • Batgirl villain Gretel is also bald because of a shot to the head. She covers it up with wigs of different colors.
  • Marvel's Impala is a Zambian mercenary woman who is bald.
  • In V for Vendetta, Evey's head is shaved smooth when she is apparently apprehended by Norsefire.
  • In Billy Majestic's Humpty Dumpty, the titular Humpty Dumpty is the spawn of a bald alien woman.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dilbert once met a woman like this. She also had a big brain.

    Fanfiction 
  • Sailor Mercury in Dungeon Keeper Ami. After a run-in with a dark god, her head is shaved. Fortunately, that was the least of her worries at the time. Ami herself is more annoyed than anything else, and is more concerned that her friends and family may take it hard. After a few chapters, Ami reversed the damage with a spell.
  • Touhou's Byakuren Hijiri is sometimes depicted as bald in fanart. Considering she is a Buddhist nun, it be expected she would be hairless instead of having long purple-brown gradated locks.
    • Fans speculated that since Nitori Kawashiro was a kappa (who are traditionally depicted being bald), she was using her hat to conceal her bald spot. Though the creator later denied it, it doesn't stop fans depicting her like that.
    • Perhaps as a result of the above, Hong Meiling (who is also depicted Never Bareheaded) has fanart of her being bald under her hat.
  • Athene and the other Super Soldiers (of both sexes) in Gundam Storm have shaved heads. The "baldness as a symbol of independence" part is inverted though, since as she begins to break away from the organisation that created her, she starts to let her hair grow. On a metatextual level, the author wanted to have some things about her contrast with her biggest influence, Soma Peiris of Mobile Suit Gundam 00, and since Soma was very pale hand had long hair, he made her black with a shaved head.
  • The Legend of Korra Next-Gen Fic Avatar: The Legend Of Arata has Kaze who cut of all her hair, unlike most Air Nomad women who only shave off the front of their hair.
  • In Of Mice and Mayhem, the poster child of the Furry Female Mane trope, Gadget Hackwrench, spends most of the story shaved 'bald' after being caught by scientists and having a chip put in her head.
  • Combined with Bald of Evil, Queen of All Oni has Hebi, who had to be shaved bald prior to the ceremony that transformed her.
  • A Shadow of the Titans: As a result of Taking the Bullet for Jinx, all of Jade's hair is burned off. And this is on top of her having previously blown off her eyebrows by mistake.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Toni Collette in 8½ Women by Peter Greenaway.
  • Dementia from Addams Family Values.
  • Ellen Ripley in Alien³ provides the picture for this trope, after her head is shaved due to problems with head lice at the Fury-161 penal colony. Sigourney Weaver apparently signed on because she'd get to shave her head for the part.
  • Everyone is bald in the French science fiction film Dante 01, even the two female staff.
  • In The Dark Knight Rises, Talia is this in her flashback. It is mainly to trick the audience into thinking the child was Bane.
  • The 1984 Dune adaptation has the Bene Gesserit bald, presumably to parallel the real-life tonsuring of monks.
  • Deb (Debra) in Empire Records. Hostile, anti-social, and shaves her head in the store bathroom near the beginning of the film. Her hairstyle (and personality) provide a counterpoint to the more stereotypically feminine behavior and appearance of the other female characters.
  • Ava from Ex Machina usually wears no hair or scalp over her transparent skull, drawing attention to her mechanical nature. When she puts on a wig she suddenly appears far more lifelike.
  • G.I. Jane is notable for this, even so far as playing the trope on DVD and VHS covers. There's even a Multi-Take Cut of Demi Moore shaving her head and becoming Badass in the process.
  • Heaven with Cate Blanchett. She shaves her head to match her love interest.
  • Hiroshima Mon Amour, after a Traumatic Haircut leaves the female lead bald. (It's France in 1944, and she slept with a German.)
  • Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road. Charlize Theron decided to shave her head for the role, to create further contrast between her character and the Wives.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • Most people of both sexes in the in-story real world of The Matrix are either bald or very close-shaven. Sort of justified because it would appear that the machines' People Jars prevent hair growth for those inside, but most of the characters would presumably have been out for long enough to grow some more hair, so that's probably not why everyone's hair is like that.
    • This can be explained away as function over fashion. They're in a situation where everyone who can hold a gun and shoot semi-competently is a soldier fighting for survival. Long hair tends to be a hindrance in such an environment. It's also quite likely that Zion has to ration water quite carefully, and shorter hair is much less of a hassle to keep clean.
    • Also, for those who go on missions to hack the Matrix, long hair would get in the way of the input rod that gets shoved into the base of your skull.
    • Fittingly the majority of people with long hair who are seen in the films are the ones like Link and his wife Zee, who were both born free in Zion and therefore not as concerned about hair interfering with the plugs.
  • Agatha in Minority Report. Like in The Matrix, it was because her hair didn't grow while she was kept in stasis.
  • Mouth to Mouth features a gang of teenage skinheads. Shaving the head is an initiation. Only half the members vote for Sherry to join - so she only has half her head shaved at first.
  • Of all people, Satan from The Passion of the Christ who is kept purposefully androgynous but is played by a woman with her voice lowered to sound more masculine in post-production, thus playing with another trope. In this case, it also counts as Bald of Evil.
  • Vera in La Piel Que Habito (The Skin I Live In) is seen with no hair in the early stage of her transformation, probably due to hormonal treatment.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera: Shilo, though it's shown in only one scene (she wears a wig most of the time).
  • Rosy of Ryan's Daughter gets scalped by the townspeople as punishment for sleeping with an English soldier. Truth in Television for many Irish women.
  • At the end of Shaolin Soccer, Mui shaves her head bald in order to join the team as The Hopeless Replacement; Sing lampshades the fact that her actress is wearing a rather obvious bald cap:
    Sing: Phone home like E.T., Mui. You don't belong on Earth.
  • In the silent Snow White (1916) and the 1912 stage play it's based on, Witch Hex is a bald witch who wants the wicked Queen Brangomar to bring her Snow White's heart so she can use it in a magical hair tonic. The reveal that the huntsman substituted a pig's heart for Snow White's happens when instead of hair, the tonic gives the witch literal pigtails - actual pigs' tails sprouting from her head.
  • Dren from Splice. Until she becomes male.
  • Ilia from Star Trek: The Motion Picture: One of the best-known "baldness equals Psychic Powers" examples, Ilia is probably better known for her chrome dome than Persis Khambatta's acting.
  • Hong Kong movie Temptation of a Monk features a woman getting her head shaved, to become a Buddhist nun.
  • In THX 1138, everyone is bald, including female lead Maggie McOmie.
  • As mentioned above, in V for Vendetta, Evey gets her head shaved but stops with just the clippers, leaving stubble.
  • Viper in The Wolverine after she sheds her skin and looks more evil and like a viper.
  • Segen, the Badass Israeli Action Girl in World War Z has her hair cropped in a very short crew cut as she is an IDF soldier.

    Literature 
  • In Classical poetry, the anthropomorphic personification of a limited opportunity, especially of concepts such as Fortune and Time, is as a bald woman with only a single lock of hair on her forehead. The moral being that if you do not seize her as she approaches, there is nothing to grab her by once she's passed.
    If kingdom move thee not, let move thee zeal
    And duty—zeal and duty are not slow
    But on Occasion's forelock watchful wait
    Paradise Regained, John Milton

  • The Diminished: One of Swindon's exes, Lalia, has a shaved head.
  • In Ursula K. Le Guin's The Dispossessed, women are expected to be bald in Urras society.
  • Doctor Who Expanded Universe: Russell T. Davies' 2018 novelization of "Rose" has the title character shown a picture of a future incarnation of the Doctor described as a "tall, bald black woman wielding a flaming sword".
  • Maria in For Whom the Bell Tolls has her head shaved by the Spanish fascists.
  • In A Harvest of War, the protagonist shaves her head regularly.
  • The Hunger Games: Johanna Mason in Mockingjay, likely a Traumatic Haircut on the Capitol's part.
  • Kiki Strike: In the Ruritania Kiki comes from, they have a belief that witches will go bald by the time they're eighteen. It turns out that Kiki's Evil Aunt, Livia Sidonia, is bald and wearing wigs to cover it up.
  • The Roman adviser Lactantius wrote this interesting piece of history:
    When their city was occupied by the Gauls, and the Romans, who were besieged in the Capitol, had made military engines from the hair of the women, they dedicated a temple to the Bald Venus.
  • Naomi Eddes, one of Henry Palace's witnesses and briefly his lover in The Last Policeman, has started shaving her head to save time on hair maintenance.
  • The female Engineers in Mortal Engines, because hair is seen as irrational.
  • In Murphy's Gambit by Syne Mitchell, Thiadora Murphy is one of the Floaters, a society of humans who live in zero gravity and are treated as second-class citizens. Like all Floaters, Thiadora's head is totally bald, and the cover art for the book features this.
  • The Old Kingdom prequel book Clariel features Captain Gullaine of the Royal Guard, a dark-skinned woman who has no hair on her head at all, including eyebrows.
  • OMNI magazine featured this trope on its cover art several times.
  • Remedios the Beauty of One Hundred Years of Solitude cuts her Rapunzel Hair and uses it to make wigs for the little saint figurines in her house. However, her baldness never detracts from her beauty.
  • Matthew Reilly's series of books featuring Shane "Scarecrow" Schofield, has Gena "Mother" Newman, who is Scarecrow's best friend, second in command, and the epitome of badass.
  • At least one of the hominid species living on the Ringworld, the City Builders, have hairless crania on both genders. It's not a fashion thing, just specialization, although what conditions led to a species with more or less our ecological niche losing their head hair isn't explained.
  • Rod Albright Alien Adventures: Madame Pong is a slender, graceful, hairless humanoid alien who serves as Diplomatic Officer for the Galactic Patrol. Rod only mentions her baldness in passing, and it attracts no attention at all in a galactic society full of Starfish Aliens.
  • The Elizabeth I installment of The Royal Diaries features a bald female jester.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire Dany's hair burns off when she steps into the Drogo's funeral pyre. She keeps her hair in the TV series.
    • Cersei also has her head completely shaven for her walk of shame in A Dance with Dragons. The Tv series also averts it, with Cersei's hair ending up being cut very short.
    • The World of Ice and Fire sourcebook mentions in passing that women in the Free City of Norvos shave their heads bald, it's a status thing from their local religion: only priests are allowed to have full moustaches and beards (they're "the Bearded Priests of Norvos"); free men are forbidden to have beards but they can have moustaches (which they tend to wear large and long as a result), while slaves and free women have to shave their heads bald. Of course, it also notes that Norvoshi noblewomen are indeed aware of how unusual this custom is to outsiders, so if they're entertaining visitors or traveling outside of their city, they will wear full wigs.
  • In The Southern Reach Trilogy, expedition members returning from Area X have the hair shaved as part of the decontamination procedure. As a result, the biologist is bald at the beginning of the second novel, Authority.
  • Starship Troopers: Pilots in the Federation Navy (most of which are women) shave their heads for practical reasons (having long hair is impractical in free fall). On a date, Rico is somewhat shocked that his longtime crush, Carmen, was bald. He later thinks it looks good on her.
  • Kin Arad, the heroine of Terry Pratchett's Strata, and, by extension, all female long-lifers, since "hair didn't last past the first century or so". She wears a wig, though.
  • The implications are inverted in the Sword of Truth series. In that series, in the Midlands, the length of a woman's hair corresponds to station. The longer the hair, the higher the woman's social standing; a commoner's wife might have what we would term a pixie cut, while a queen would have hair halfway down her back. In one story told by a character, she relates a time when she disobeyed her strict grandmother, who shaved her bald as a response.
  • Santuna in the Cordwainer Smith short story "Under Old Earth". In her case, it may be a reference to the grooming practices of ancient Egyptian nobility, since the man she's in love with is compared to the pharaoh Akhenaten at one point in the text.
  • Terminal World has Kalis, whose head is shaved to display the tectomancer mark on the back of her head. It's fake, designed to distract attention from her daughter's real mark.
  • Tortall Universe: In Trickster's Choice, Aly is captured by pirates and has her head shaved because her hair was dyed blue at the time, and "no one will buy a blue-haired slave". It's only for a small portion of the book, though, as she works to grow her hair out again.
  • Valerie Russell in Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie by Holly Black.
  • Justified with the Seanchan in The Wheel of Time: members of the royal family shave their heads, and their ruler is always an Empress. Conversely, any bald man had better either be a prince or buy a wig before he's accused of impersonating royalty.
  • In The Witches, baldness is one of the Red Right Hand traits of the Witch Species, who wear wigs to pass as human. The narrator is disgusted when his grandmother tells him this, because there's "something indecent" about a bald woman.

    Live-Action TV 

In General:

By Show:

  • In Season 7 of The Amazing Race, Joyce had to shave her head to win a Fast Forward.
  • Cycle 6 of America's Next Top Model featured a photoshoot using baldcaps, but one of the models looked so striking without hair that her head was shaved when she received her makeover.
  • Babylon 5 featured this trope, notably with Centauri women, who shave their heads, and the Minbari and Narns, who are naturally bald. Delenn actually started off bald, being a Minbari, but eventually transformed into a Half-Human Hybrid, which resulted in her getting hair.
    • Given the connection that the Centauri place between one's status and one's hair, with more important Centauri men having their hair styled in large peacock fans, the baldness symbolizes females' second-class citizenship in Centauri society, their status being derived from their male relatives and husbands. It is fashionable for younger women to grow a long ponytail, while otherwise maintaining the bald look. Though Centauri Emperor Turhan notes that by shaving their heads, they "rise above" the trappings of rank and status. Which interpretation is accurate probably varies wildly based on the individual Centauri involved.
  • Partway through the fourth season of Battlestar Galactica (2003) we learn President Laura Roslin has gone bald due to the treatment for her terminal breast cancer. She continues to wear a wig in public but is often seen bare-headed in private, including a rather touching scene of her in bed with Colonel Adama after their Relationship Upgrade.
  • One episode of CSI: Miami featured pop starlet Elvina going bald because she had cocaine traces in her hair.
  • On Death in Paradise, Judge Ann Stone has a shaved head and a no-nonsense Iron Lady public image.
  • Doc Yewll in Defiance. In general, Indogenes of both genders seem to lack hair.
  • Doctor Who: "Dalek" has a security guard named DiMaggio who sacrifices herself to buy Rose and Adam time to escape the Dalek.
  • On the Donny & Marie variety show, Donny Osmond once pulled the hair off Marie's bald head and then ran away to avoid a Megaton Punch.
  • On Doom Patrol, Hammerhead, one of Crazy Jane's personalities, manifests as a woman with a shaved head.
  • Zhaan in Farscape. Despite being from a race of Plant Aliens, Zhaan's baldness is not biological - Other episodes has shown other Delnevians with head hair. Rather, her baldness may be related to her profession as a priestess.
  • In one early episode of Frasier, we see that artist Martha Paxton is bald; she also never bathes and often wears a poncho.
  • Bonnie, one of Phoebe's friends who dates Ross on Friends, was described as being bald. However, by the time Ross meets her, Bonnie had a full head of hair. Until Rachel persuaded her to shave it off again… massively creeping Ross out in the process.
  • Cancer patient Marie in Grimm.
  • Several sketches in Series 5 of Horrible Histories, including "Don't Tell the Spartan Bride".
  • Jessica Jones (2015): Jessica's mom has no natural hair, a result of all of it falling out during Dr. Karl Malus's lifesaving operations on her. She has to wear wigs to cover up the scarring.
  • Jonathan Creek had a one-episode love interest who turned out to be completely bald underneath a wig, a fact about which Maddy was exceedingly catty. Of course, this revelation turned out to be one of the less surreal moments of their brief relationship.
  • On Orange Is the New Black, Rosa is bald, because she is receiving treatment for ovarian cancer. When she was younger, she had a thick mane of dark hair.
  • In The Pretender, several episodes have included bald women among the randomly surreal background characters in scenes at the Centre.
  • On Saturday Night Live, all Coneheads, whether male or female, are bald.
  • Seinfeld had an incident in which George complains about being set-up on a blind date with a bald woman. Elaine points out the obvious hypocrisy: George himself is bald (He was wearing a toupee that day: "I was bald!"). Eventually George decides he'll keep seeing her… but she rejects him for being too fat.
    George: A woman with no prospects and no hair told me I wasn't her type! Apparently Baldy likes a slimmer guy!
  • In the Sesame Street segment where Kermit reports on Rupunzel, after Prince Charming tells Rupunzel to let down her hair, she lets down all of it, revealing that she's actually bald. The prince gets disgusted and leaves.
    • In the "Wanda the Witch" segment, Wanda and all other witches wear wigs.
    • Any segment where a blank-faced Anything Muppet woman (including "Consider Yourself" and "I Want to Hold Your Ear") gets facial features put on has said women start out bald.
  • Two first-season episodes of Small Wonder, the pilot and "RoboBrat", featured a briefly bald Vicki.
  • Naturally, Seven of Nine in Star Trek: Voyager was bald when she was a full Borg (as all of them are) and didn't grow hair until a few episodes after being separated from the Collective.
  • Likewise, all vampires on The Strain gradually lose their hair regardless of gender. If left untreated (that is not killed), female vampires eventually become completely bald.
  • In Stranger Things, test subject Eleven sports a buzz cut for the full first season. When trying to help her blend in in Hawkins, the boys give her a blonde wig which she later discards. However, in the second season, set a year later, her hair has been allowed to grow out into a longer (though still tomboyish) cut, matching her actress's hair growth. Furthermore, trailers for season three show that her hair has grown out to shoulder length.
  • Victims of the Hearst serial rapist in Veronica Mars become this after getting their heads shaved.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • In the Book of Exodus, if a soldier takes townspeople captive (as long as they aren't Canaanites, who were to be exterminated), and he sees a woman he's attracted to, after the war is over, if he still wants to be with her, he can take her as a concubine or a wife. Part of that meant shaving her head, trimming her nails, and getting rid of her old clothes. This was done for multiple reasons: one, it helped erase her cultural attachments; if she was to be his concubine, she'd have to convert to his religion and assimilate his cultural practices. Two, it was also a good way to avoid transmitting diseases and parasites. And three, in many cultures of the area, including Israelite culture, shaving one's head was a sign of mourning, and she would be allowed a month to mourn her parents/friends/neighbors/culture/old gods/husband/etc. After that, she would become his, and should he then decide he didn't want her anymore, he was to let her go free, and was not allowed to sell her into slavery.

    Pinball 

    Professional Wrestling 
The trope is a staple of the "Hair versus Hair" matches: the loser has to shave their head in the ring. As hair tends to represent not only the wrestler's pride but also female beauty when women are involved, this tends to be treated as a Traumatic Haircut.
  • Back in the territory days in Memphis, Jerry Lawler defeated Bill Dundee in a hair vs. hair match. They then had a rematch where if Dundee lost again, his wife would get her head shaved. He lost.
  • Jacqueline lost one of these while a heel in Lawler's USWA and won one of these while a face against Uptown Karen.
  • Aja Kong and Nobuko Kimura, the tag team known as Jungle Jack, were shaved by Bull Nakano and Kyoko Inoue.
  • Xóchitl Hamada's victory over Rossy Moreno in a hair vs hair match at AAA kicked off a long feud between her and Moreno family who wanted to return the favor (it only resulted in Rossy being bald again). Xóchitl would ironically lose her hair to her sister Ayako, in Japan.
  • Ice Cold, at WOW Women Of Wrestling's lone PPV, WOW Unleashed, February 4, 2001. Alpha Bitch Lana Star and her Dragon Patti Pizzazz (formerly Face Cheerleader Patti Pep until she turned on her Team Spirit partner Randi Rah-Rah) d. Ice Cold and Poison in a hair vs. hair match. The angle was that Poison had sabotaged Lana's shampoo, turning her hair green. Poison abandoned Ice Cold, leading to her losing the match.
  • Tiffany went bald when her AAA hair vs hair match with Pimpinela Escarlata was ruled a "no contest". Of course, he was also rendered bald by the decision. That was in 2001. In 2012, Tiffany went bald again, this time at a CMLL show and Marcela wasn't paid back.
  • Discussed in Women's Extreme Wrestling, as it being a garbage fed, all the wrestlers were advised to shave their heads since all rule enforcement would be lax and it would be one less thing to worry about. None seemed to heed it, though, not even the guys.
  • La Ruda Amapola defeated Diana La Cazadora in a CMLL hair match, decisively at that. La Amapola would then go on to lose two of these. First against Lady Apache and later against Estellita.
  • At WrestleMania XX, Molly Holly put her hair on the line against WWE Women's Champion Victoria's title. Victoria won and Molly was shaved bald. This was apparently Molly's idea when she discovered there would be no Women's Championship match on the card. She said she loved being bald but she grew the hair back eventually.
  • Ex-TNA wrestler Roxxi Laveaux lost her hair in a match with Gail Kim after the The Beautiful People, who were hell bent on given Laveaux a "makeover" interfered on Kim's behalf. Her hair would grow back quickly but she kept it at a close shave until she was fired for good.
  • Serena Deeb became bald when joining the Straight Edge Society, but oddly enough, not in a Hair Match. She willingly allowed her head to be shaved by CM Punk. It did not last too long though as she later just kept it short. Apparently management asked all the women in developmental and Serena was the only one willing to.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In one of the sourcebooks for Mage: The Awakening, there is a young 20-something who keeps her head bald because her nimbus manifests as sparks running along her scalp serving as a sample character (for the Pygmalian Society in Legacies: The Sublime). This electricity is not strictly real, but the feeling of lightning through her hair is unsettling enough that she prefers to just keep her head shaved bald (if asked about it, the book states that she'll claim to be making a statement on 'gender or something'). Interestingly enough, she actually has the Striking Looks merit, indicating that she's actually exceptionally attractive in her own unique way (not Angelina Jolie level, as that's the higher-level version of the merit, but still attractive enough to draw eyes) and it's mentioned that she's been featured on covers of magazines a few times. Judging from the page art, she deserves the merit.
  • In Deadlands: Hell on Earth, all sykers are absolutely bald. Including women.
  • The Tau, of Warhammer 40,000, are universally bald, save for a single lock at the back of their head which they typically grow just past shoulder length. In the RPG books, human women sometimes are partly or fully bald, such as the Sisters Repentia.
    • Eldar of both genders are very often portrayed as bald, though whether naturally or through choice is unspecified. Given that the Eldar are easily the most humanoid of 40k's alien races, and have no gender stereotypes or distinctions in their culture, the baldness tends to help mark them out as something unusual.
  • The Augurs of the Sisterhood of Sigmar in the millennial apocalyptic Warhammer spin-off Mordheim are blind, shaven-headed women with powers of precognition and foresight. Other Sisters of Sigmar sometimes shave their heads as a form of penitence or mortification also.
    • Many Dark Elves of both genders shave their heads also, sometimes leaving just a large topknot. Of especial note are the Sisters of Slaughter—superbly skilled and mostly-female gladiatorial arena fighters whose heads are shaved bald and the woven braids of their shorn hair turned into barbed whips for them to fight with.
  • In the Dark Sun setting, to the overwhelmingly hot weather on Athas makes shaved heads the norm for males, and it's not uncommon to see a female who does so too.
  • In Æon, some of the art focusing on the Legion Order (a army of telekinetic soldiers) shows that bald women are among the ranks. In particular the Aurora Australis Sourcebook shows both a male and female Legionaries on the cover, both hairless.
  • Female mechwarriors in BattleTech often choose to shave their heads, both to make it easier to wear the neurohelmets required to pilot their mechs, and also to deal with the heat of the cockpits. Not that the artists ever seem to remember this unless it's a villainous character.

    Video Games 
  • Karan Sjet in the Homeworld series. The box art for Homeworld 2 features Karen's portrait and her bald head.
  • Jack (aka Subject Zero) from Mass Effect 2. Apparently, she kept the look after a stint in a cult. In Mass Effect 3 (provided she survives), she adopts a less antisocial attitude and a longer haircut to go with it, though she still keeps her temples clean-shaven.
    • Talitha, a minor character in the first game, was also shaved bald.
  • Vivienne in Dragon Age: Inquisition is bald. She defies the masculinity sometimes associated with this trope by being the most feminine and graceful Action Girl in the main cast. Warden-Commander Clarel also has a shaved head.
    • In Dragon Age: Origins meanwhile, mages made Tranquil seem to be shaven bald at some point, male or female. As a result, most of the Tranquil you run into have a buzz cut at best.
  • Can happen to Janne and Ryoka from World Heroes if they lose in certain Deathmatch stages from the first 2 games, Janne's in 1 and 2, Captain Kidd's in 2.
  • Safiya in Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer. She is a member of Red Wizards of Thay, who all shave their heads in order to mark their scalps with sigils of arcane power. She doesn't have nearly as many tattoos as Red Wizards are supposed to have, though.
    • Inshula sar Mashawe in Storm of Zehir also shaved her head bald, but we don't know why.
  • Zenoa in Suikoden Tierkreis
  • The Ax-Crazy villainess Sasha from inFAMOUS is bald.
  • Some Orc women in World of Warcraft are bald; it's treated as just another expression of their badassitude. They are the only women in the game with baldness as an option.
  • Momma Bosco from Sam & Max: Freelance Police.
  • Healers of Agrela in the first Majesty, presumably for religious reasons. Going against the general grain of this trope, however, Healers are one of the least combative classes and only fight if the palace or their own temple is under attack.
  • Christine from the Fallout: New Vegas DLC "Dead Money". You'd think it the fault of the Auto-Doc you find her trapped in (which tore out her vocal cords) or the horrific experiments that left her scarred all over, but, in fact, she shaved her head voluntarily and becomes mildly irritated when you assume otherwise.
    • Waking Cloud and other women of the Sorrows and Dead Horses tribes in Honest Hearts.
  • Kalin from Fable III, who is not only bald but sports blue tattoos on her scalp.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, all Rattataki females are bald since the entire race are all pale hairless humanoids. Most prominently is Kaliyo Djannis, who's essentially an Expy of Jack from Mass Effect 2.
  • The titular character of Alice: Madness Returns, in a flashback/hallucination of her time in an asylum.
  • The dark elves from Dungeon Keeper 2. Overlaps with Bald of Evil.
  • In Legacy of Kain, it seems to be a religious thing, maybe as an extension of the hiding-women's-hair rules of some real religions.
  • In Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, Medusa and her sisters go bald when low on health.
  • Maya in Borderlands 2, but in the Limited edition only.
  • In Fallout1, the Brotherhood of Steel scribe Vree comes close (she has a ponytail, and only a ponytail)
  • Lord's Blade Ciaran from Dark Souls was discovered to be bald under her helmet.
  • The Nintendo DS Guitar Hero games have an unnamed bald woman sing and play bass on the songs with female vocals.
  • It's obscured by her massive pink bow, but Wendy O. Koopa has no hair at all, even while five of her six brothers do.
  • D'Vorah from Mortal Kombat X is completely bald, going along with her Insect Queen theme.
  • Belladonna starts with a woman waking up on an operating table. A shaved head is the least of her worries.
  • In Evolve Maggie's adaptation is completely bald, whether from a haircut or a side effect of the monsters contaminating the environment.

    Web Animation 
  • Lena Luthor in DC Super Hero Girls is bald like her brother Lex, having lost her hair from prolonged exposure to kryptonite.
  • Cleo had all her hair zapped off by a cursed idol in a Monster High short. She did not take it well.

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • On an episode of American Dad!, Stan shaves Hayley's head in her sleep after she dyed her hair green for a rally. She wore a wig for most of the episode, but was seen bald a few times.
    • "That's the one place you want them to have hair!"
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, female Airbenders are not completely bald, but the front half of their hair is always shaved to show their arrow.
    • Subverted by Player Aang of the Ember Island Players. While she portrays a bald guy, it's clear that the actress is wearing a bald cap.
    • In the Sequel Series, The Legend of Korra, Aang's granddaughter Jinora shaves her head to receive her airbending tatoos. She looks just like her grandfather as a kid. By the next season, three years later, she has the aforementioned "shaved front" look.
  • In Batman Beyond all members of the gang, "The T's" have white skin, red T's on their faces and bald heads. This includes the female members.
  • In The Boondocks episode "Stinkmaner 3: The Hateocracy", Hateocracy member Esmeralda Gripenasty turns out to be completely bald when Bushido Brown knocks off her wig during a fight.
  • Eustace's mother in Courage the Cowardly Dog is as bald as her son and suffers a Villainous Breakdown anytime her wig comes off.
  • In Doug, the only female member of The Beets is bald.
  • The Emperor's New School: In "Malina's Big Break" Malina has an extreme case of stress and in one gag she accidentally pulls off her apparent wig, revealing she's lost all her hair.
  • Amy Wong in the Futurama episode "Xmas Story" after selling her hair.
  • Many female characters in Gandahar—most notably, Queen Ambisextra and her Councilwomen.
  • An episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes revealed that Heloise wore a wig, though this was likely a one-off thing Lucius caused.
  • Luanne in King of the Hill lost her hair in the Megalo-Mart explosion in the end of season 2. Traumatized by both her hair loss and the death of her boyfriend Buckley in the same explosion, she, as Kahn put it, "puts on strange Sinéad O'Connor act" and rants about "starving Irish children". As the episodes passed, her hair became longer and longer until it returned to normal.
  • Alexis Luthor loses her hair when Superman saves her from her own superweapon in the Legion Of Superheroes episode "Legacy". It grows back, but very slowly, so in the final scene and later cameos she looks like she has a buzz cut.
  • Lisa Loud from The Loud House is bald and wears a wig, due to an experiment with nuclear power, as revealed in the episode, "Potty Mouth". This comes in handy in the same episode when Lincoln and the rest of his sisters disguise her as Lily and swap her with the real Lily so that Dr. Shuttleworth won't suspect Lily's newfound profanity.
  • In the Martin Mystery episode, "The Lost Tribe", Diana loses all her hair after a hair dye job goes wrong and is mistaken by a group of underground creatures as their long lost queen. She stays bald for the entire episode (and gets a wig at the very end of the episode).
  • Several examples in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In the episode "Sweet and Elite" of , Rainbow Dash's errant croquet mallet knocks the wig off a mare.
    • In "It Isn't the Mane Thing About You", Rarity ends up partially bald with what's left of her mane ruined. The same episode also mentions "mare pattern baldness" in passing.
  • The maid in The Old Lady and the Pigeons.
  • The Pound Puppies (1980s) episode "Tail of the Pup" reveals that Katrina Stoneheart's red hair is a wig.
  • The Powerpuff Girls enemy Sedusa became this after Miss Bellum cut her hair, leading to her plotting revenge, and using the Gangreen Gang as Unwitting Pawns to gain a magic tiara (which gave her magical hair that resembled actual snakes and enlarged her to giant size) The flaw in her plan, of course, was that she double crossed the Gangrenes, and they were able to help the Girls take her down.
  • Lady Macbeth ("Becky") from Project Gee Ker is bald except for a long ponytail.
  • In the Rocky and Bullwinkle Fractured Fairy Tales segment on Rupunzel, after the witch finds out that a prince had climbed in and out of Rupunzel's tower, the witch is so mad (having tried to keep Rupunzel separated from the world) that she cuts off all of Rupunzel's hair. It eventually grows back.
  • The Rugrats episode "Feeding Hubert" featured a female news anchor with a very memorable hairstyle, to the point where she's recognized as 'the one with the hair'. At the end of the episode, it's revealed to be a wig, she is completely bald underneath.
    • Aunt Miriam is revealed to be bald in her debut episode, which causes the babies to believe she is an alien.
  • Lady Richington from Sheep in the Big City covers her bald head with a stainless steel wig, which she takes off and uses to beat up Sheep unprovoked whenever she sees him because she hates sheep.
  • One Simpsons episode had a completely random, bald, female background character who was never expanded upon.
    • Another one is shown working backstage at a U2 concert. Homer kicks her away while she was sitting in an office chair and tells her "Take a hike, Kojak!"
  • In SpacePOP, Empress Geela has an extensive wig collection to hide the fact that she's bald.
  • Solaria the Monster Carver as seen in one portrait in Star vs. the Forces of Evil. This trope, in addition to her title, armor, and portrait of jumping into battle, suggests Solaria's character as being a warrior.
  • Star Wars:
    • Asajj Ventress, first introduced in the now-Legends series Star Wars: Clone Wars, and a prominent character in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. In Legends, she was a naturally bald Rattataki, but underwent an Adaptation Species Change to Dathomirian in The Clone Wars, and with it was revealed to shave her head. In Dark Disciple, after the end of her time with the Separatists, she's let her hair grow out.
    • Bounty hunter Aurra Sing, who first appeared as a cameo in The Phantom Menace and also made several appearances on The Clone Wars, is bald but for a long, red ponytail.
  • On Tiny Toon Adventures, Elmyra is occasionally shown to be bald when her wig flies off. Makes sense, as she's based on Elmer Fudd.
  • Total Drama:
    • Heather, the first season's main antagonist, gets her head shaved in a challenge mishap as part of her Humiliation Conga. She remains bald through the end of Season 2, although she wears wigs in some episodes.
    • Staci's hair falls out instantaneously when she receives the biohazardous Marshmallow of Toxic Loserdom in Season 4. She is still bald when she returns for the season finale.
    • Also in Season 4, Dakota briefly goes bald before beginning her biohazard-induced mutation into the monstrous Dakotazoid.
  • Kitty Katswell from Tuff Puppy has lost her hair and fur several times due to Gag Haircut situations or comedic abuse.
  • On Young Justice, M'gann reveals that her real form looks exactly like her usual appearance, except without hair. However, while she is bald in her true form, the "looking the same otherwise" part is totally false.

    Real Life — Dyeing For Your Art 
Sometimes to play a fictional Bald Woman, actresses do shave their heads for the role. The media and public tend to see this as a major sacrifice, and sometimes applauding the actress.
  • Persis Khambatta, for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Her haircut was documented, and for a while Persis was worried what sort of damage it would do to her hair. The memoir "Star Trek Movie Memories" mentions the event.
  • Maggie McOmie, for THX 1138. Like Persis, her haircut was filmed and used in a featurette called Bald: The Making of THX 1138. Several other actresses also went hairless as extras.
  • Demi Moore, for G.I. Jane. Though having stubble in the film, Moore did shave her head smooth off-screen. Her two female stunt doubles also shaved their heads.
  • Zig-zagged with Sigourney Weaver for Alien³. At first she agreed to the haircut for more money, with a clause in her contract that she would be paid for each shearing. However, by the time reshoots had to be done, Weaver was reluctant to go bald again, as her daughter was frightened by the look. The studio also wanted to save money, so the make-up people created a realistic looking bald cap.
  • Natalie Portman actually had her head shaved on-screen for V for Vendetta.
  • Cate Blanchett in the movie Haven.
  • Ellen Page, shaved on-screen in Mouth to Mouth.
  • Robin Tunney went bald on camera for Empire Records. She had to wear a wig for her next role.
  • Natalie Darryl in the 1953 B-movie The Girl in the Kremlin. Decades before Demi Moore, Darryl was shaved totally bald in the beginning of the movie.
  • Delphine Chanéac in Splice—her off-screen haircut was also documented. In the extras, they had to apply makeup to her denuded scalp so it would match her skin tone.
  • Virginia Hey in Farscape, having to stay bald for over two seasons.
  • Karen Gillan shaved off her red locks for her role as the villainous Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Sofia Vassilieva in My Sister's Keeper.
  • Cara Delevingne recently shaved her head for a movie. When appearing at a celebrity event, the actress kept her head bare save for some sliver body paint on her scalp.
  • Referenced by the subset of drag queens known as "bald queens". They are bald/shaved in real life and deliberately forgo wearing wigs to perform. Ru Pauls Drag Race champion Sasha Velour is a noted example, in solidarity with/remembrance of her mother who died of cancer.

    Real Life 
  • Women who have Alopecia totalis (a medical condition that results in loss of all head hair) or Alopecia universalis (the rapid loss of all hair). Both are currently thought to be autoimmune cases, and other than the loss of hair have no other effects.
    • Edith "Little Edie" Beale, who was made famous by the documentary Grey Gardens, was bald due to alopecia, and spent the whole movie wearing scarves and other head covers.
    • Scottish TV presenter Gail Porter lost her hair when she developed alopecia.
  • Sinéad O'Connor was noted for her striking baldness, but since sexy wasn't her goal, she switched to a very short crop. She got back to shaving after people started mistaking her for Enya.
  • As was Renee Hicks, who exploited it in her stand-up comedy.
  • In Tongue First: Adventures in Physical Culture, author Emily Jenkins explores a number of taboos (female baldness among them) to figure out why they are socially unacceptable. One of those experiences is during Jenkins' time being bald.
  • Sudanese model Alek Wek either is bald or has very little hair.
  • An effect of chemotherapy for various forms of cancer is often the loss of hair. It's also fairly common for her friends and family members to shave their heads for her in solidarity.
    • One such example of solidarity is country music singer Kellie Pickler, who shaved her head to support a friend battling the disease.
  • Model Amber Rose has sported a bald head.
  • Britney Spears had a nervous breakdown and in the middle of that, shaved her head.
  • Buddhist Nuns are notable for their shaven scalps.
  • Deborah "Skin" Dyer, frontwoman of Skunk Anansie.
  • Model Eve Salvail.
  • For some time (caused by chemotherapy), Kylie Minogue, Melissa Etheridge, and others.
  • Certain totemist African tribes believe themselves to descend from lions, so their men traditionally wear long hair, reminiscent of a lion's mane, and the women are shaven bald. One such tribe is the Masai of Kenya and Tanzania.
  • Certain Ultra-Orthodox Jewish women are traditionally required to shave their heads when they get married, and then wear a wig (or a headscarf—the idea is to never show the hair and keep the head covered, but it's easier to move about in society without the attention a bald head creates, and a headscarf may create the mistaken impression of undergoing chemotherapy) over their bald heads for the rest of their lives, even if they divorce.
  • St. Clair had her head shaved by St. Francis of Assisi when she asked to join up with his religious order note  to escape an Arranged Marriage that she didn't want.
  • Ancient Egypt had a problem with lice. The Egyptians' typical solution was to shave their heads (or cut the hair very short) and wear wigs. This also had the advantage of being easier to maintain and style than natural hair would be, and easily removed to cool off on hot days. This was by no means universal, though—there's a statue of Princess Meritamen with her hair visible from under her wig.
  • Actress Aisha Hinds in real life and all of her roles.
  • Joan Jett had a shaved head for a time during the turn of the millennium.
  • Two members of the Indianapolis Colts cheerleading squad got their heads shave in support of head coach Chuck Pagano, who was battling leukemia.
  • Mii-chan (Minami Minegishi) from AKB48 recently shaved her hair as self-punishment after she spent a night with a man (the group's members are contractually forbidden from having sexual relationships).
  • In many South African schools, both boys and girls are expected to shave their head until they become seniors.
  • British singer Jessie J shaved her head at one point to donate to charity, and was openly bald for a time.
  • Musician Gail Ann Dorsey, who's best known as David Bowie's bass player and backing vocalist in his live band since 1995.
  • Rose McGowan shaved her head in 2015 after sporting a pixie cut, which was an Important Haircut, as she felt her long hair was a thing of the past.
  • The Cranberries frontwoman Dolores O'Riordan sported a buzz cut during the mid Nineties, as seen in the cover picture for To the Faithful Departed.
  • Shaved heads have become a minor fad among young women in the last few years, with even more partially shaving off their hair.
  • With the increasingly common appearance of this trope, it has become increasingly "domesticated" in the way the leather jacket has. While it's still associated with badass and tough women, it's become common enough that some bald girly girls exist. Joelle Amery, a pop singer and alopecia activist who is Always Smiling, is at the forefront of the "bald girly girl" trend, which while it may take awhile to catch on, is becoming increasingly common.


Alternative Title(s): Bald Woman

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