The moment Will Smith shot Chris Rock was the most talked about since the night of the 2021 Oscars. As it was said, Chris dared jokingly because he did not know that Jada Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia.
However, the presenter of “Red Table Talk” is open about her experience with hair loss before and in 2018 confirmed that she was diagnosed with alopecia.
But what is alopecia? How can it affect the hair and is there any treatment for it? Here’s what you need to know:
Initially a summary of what Jada Pinkett Smith said about her alopecia.
In an episode of “Red Table Talk” in 2018, Pinkett Smith told viewers that she had problems with hair loss and that it was horrible when it all started.
“I was in the shower one day, then I saw only a handful of hair in my hands and I thought, ‘Lord, am I getting bald?’ she said. “It was one of those moments in my life when I was shaking with fear.”
At the time, she said she had done every type of test and was not sure why she was losing her hair.
Since then, Jada has continued to discuss the situation. She shared a video on Instagram last year where she appeared with shaved hair, writing: “I and this alopecia will become friends”
What is alopecia?
Alopecia is a medical term for hair loss, which can include everything from normal hair loss to body hair loss, according to the Mayo Clinic.
There are many types of alopecia, including alopecia areata, a disease in which the immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing hair loss.
According to the National Institutes of Health, spotted alopecia areata causes hair loss in parts of the size of a coin, while alopecia causes people to lose all or almost all of their hair. People with alopecia Universalis lose all or almost all of the hair on the scalp and the rest of the body.
What causes alopecia?
Many factors can cause hair loss, including genetic history, hormonal changes, and medical conditions like alopecia areata, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Hair loss can occur even after taking certain medications and supplements. Some hairstyles and treatments that pull hair can cause a condition called traction alopecia.
While all men can experience hair loss, a 2018 study found that colored and Hispanic women in the US have a higher risk of alopecia areata compared to non-Hispanic white women.
Can stress cause alopecia?
People may experience thinning hair a few months after a “physical or emotional shock,” according to the Mayo Clinic. The Cleveland Clinic noted that many people experiencing the onset of alopecia areata have had recent sources of stress, although the link has not been proven. Emotional stress can bring alopecia to people at risk for the condition, reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Doctors told The New York Times that patients recovering from COVID-19 have reported hair loss, which is not a symptom of the virus, but a symptom of stress from recovery. Others who never tested positive for coronavirus also reported hair loss from stressors such as the death of a family member, job loss, etc., although they may not be diagnosed with a specific form of alopecia.
Does Alopecia Cause Permanent Hair Loss?
Yes, but many people with alopecia areata find that their hair grows back. Hormonal changes, such as those during pregnancy or menopause, as well as medical conditions can cause permanent and temporary hair loss, according to the Mayo Clinic.
In people with alopecia areata, hair often grows on its own in those with less frequent hair loss, in those diagnosed with alopecia at a later age, and in those without a family history of the disease.
How is alopecia treated?
Treatments for different types of alopecia may include medications that help with hair growth, hair transplants, and more. When treating alopecia areata, a person may use corticosteroid injections, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Treatment for different types of alopecia depends on the underlying cause of hair loss, but most of its forms have no cure.