Will Smith’s Oscar slap that overshadowed the Academy Awards ceremony was sparked by a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia resulting in her husband objecting destructively to comedian Chris Rock mocking the actress’s shaved head.
Many people will sympathize with Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia away from the recriminations over what could be perceived as a mean-spirited jibe or a disproportionate response. As millions of American women attest, alopecia is no laughing matter.
Read on to know more about Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia or alopecia in general.
What is Alopecia?
Any type of hair loss is generally known as alopecia. Hair loss can occur anywhere in the body because of different causes. For example, Traction alopecia is hair loss from chronic inflammatory changes to the hair follicles or trauma.
What Causes Alopecia?
There are many types of alopecia, and there are different causes for different types of alopecia. For example, Traction alopecia occurs when there is trauma to the scalp. The hair is rubbed or pulled regularly, causing inflammation around the hair follicles, leading to hair loss or thinning. At the same time, Alopecia areata is hair loss in a particular area with different levels of severity. This may result in just a coin-sized area of hair loss on the scalp or affect large areas. It can happen at any place on the body.
Some people can have complete hair loss on the scalp, lose eyebrow hair, or see a thinning of their eyelashes if they have alopecia totalis. People can also have Alopecia Universalis, a hair loss on the entire body.
Alopecia areata is regarded as an immune-mediated type of hair loss issue. The immune system of the person suffering from Alopecia areata attacks the hair follicles, and it has to do with T cells, the essential white blood cells in the immune system.
And then other autoimmune disorders may also have alopecia associated with them. Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia is a similar form of alopecia.
Such an autoimmune disorder that can lead to hair loss is Lupus. Different types of Lupus that primarily affects the skin and can cause hair loss with scarring on the scalp are:
- systemic lupus erythematosus
- discoid lupus erythematosus.
Thyroid abnormalities are also related to hair loss.
How Does It Affect Women? What About Kids?
A huge part of anyone’s appearance is hair. Especially for women, hair is bound up with cultural concepts about making them look feminine. Mostly in today’s society, women are expected to have good hair. Everyone nowadays believes that men lose their hair and become bald gracefully, but a female who loses their hair is devastating. But what people need to understand is that it is totally normal for women as well.
Alopecia is a condition that tends to hit relatively young people also. Most people get diagnosed before age 40, and almost half of them are children when the disorder first appears.
Having alopecia is especially tough for teenagers. At this tender age, Peer pressure and appearance anxiety are often already at their highest point. A 12-year-old girl in Elkhart, Indiana, suffering from alopecia took her own after being bullied at school by her classmates.
Rock’s joke on Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia was not unusual, and in fact, this has been around as long as humans have been on Earth. It’s just that for centuries people would not talk about it.
We hope one good outcome of the Oscars slap will be more awareness, education, and empathy towards people suffering from alopecia.
Why is Traction Alopecia So Common Among American Women?
One of the most common types of alopecia among American women is traction alopecia. That is due to certain hairstyling practices American women use on their hair, like wearing tight weaves or extensions, straightening with heat, and more. In old times older relatives used to tell girls that their hair was their crowning glory. And they made a big deal about keeping their hair looking stylish and well-groomed all the time.
But in today’s world, there’s less pressure than there used to be for women to keep their hair stylish as nowadays it’s upon a women’s choice how to keep her hair or whether to keep it or bald them.
How Is Alopecia Treated?
The treatment of alopecia depends on its cause. For instance, there are topical or injected corticosteroids for alopecia areata. If it’s because of a nutritional deficiency, like protein or iron, you must correct the deficiencies with supplements or change the diet. If the cause is traction or discoid Lupus, the hair loss can become permanent if you don’t treat the inflammation on the scalp quickly enough.
But however, these treatments for alopecia are mostly not 100% successful. But don’t lose hope because Emily Wyant, a world-renowned hair expert, educator, speaker, author, TV & Radio personality, and owner at Bond Hair Bar, can help you.
Treatment for Alopecia at Bond Hair Bar
Alopecia treatment at Bond Hair Bar aims to reduce your hair loss. The autoimmune reaction triggers hair falls but doesn’t inhibit hair growth. You can arrest alopecia with both artificial and natural remedies. The three best treatments for alopecia are:
- Hair Extensions or Hair Replacements at Bond Hair Bar
Hair extensions and hair replacement at Bond Hair Bar are some of the fantastic resources to disguise thin hair adding an incredible length and volume to your hair instantly.
Hair replacement is a lifesaver and targets hair thinning at the top of the scalp, helping conceal partial hair loss. You may even consider stylish hair extensions to create that dream look or a hairstyle like your favorite model.
Emily Wyant offers you all the above treatments at Bond Hair Bar. Her hair replacement and hair extension treatment are perfect for those looking forward to adding drama and oomph to their hair. We recommend you book an appointment at Bond Hair Bar to know more about the treatments for alopecia.
- Topical immunotherapy
The tropical immunotherapy process involves applying chemicals directly to the scalp causing an allergic reaction that stimulates hair growth.
- Corticosteroid injections
When your immune system attacks your body’s natural processes, you may develop alopecia. Corticosteroids prevent these attacks from happening. When injected into hair loss sites, corticosteroid injections modulate the immune system to encourage hair regrowth.
Do you Suffer from Hair Loss Similar to Jada Pinkett Smith’s Alopecia and Wish to Regain Your Lost Confidence Like Her? Contact Bond Hair Bar Today!
Hair is deeply connected to identity for many people, and it’s not just hair, especially for women. At times, the hair stood for defiance, and it’s stood for safety – during slavery, people would use it to hide seeds so that they could have sustenance and remember home. It’s been braided in ways that give information to other people about safety. It is also connected to the identity of Black women as it defines them in so many ways. And therefore losing it for most American women can be traumatic.
Jada Pinkett Smith once shared the emotions surrounding her hair loss in 2018 during the “Red Table Talk” episode. She called the journey ‘terrifying.’ She says, “My hair has been a huge part of me, and taking care of my hair is a beautiful ritual and choosing to have hair or not. But then one day to be like, ‘Oh my God, I might not have that choice anymore.’” Helplessness, pain, and fear are heard in women losing their hair.
Beauty standards have historically impacted women, believing that their hair was not appropriate or required to be changed. Many of them recall feeling frustrated with their hair growing up. We’ve entered an era of acceptance and celebrating our hair within our community, making an alopecia diagnosis particularly difficult. Many patients feel like they were doing ‘all the things right’ and being gentle with their hair and to experience hair loss despite that feels very defeating.
According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, about 6.8 million people in the United States and 147 million people worldwide have, or will develop, alopecia during their lifetime. And more than 50% of women will experience hair loss in their lifetime.
Alopecia is a very common condition amongst women, so many will feel the same way and stand in solidarity with Jada. According to Emily, Chris Rock’s words about Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia hurt people besides her. Even for men who are having chemotherapy or are uncontrollably losing their hair, for someone like Chris Rock to make a joke not only was centering on Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia but is also centering on other people who are experiencing those same conditions.
Although it is a personal choice to have hair on your head or bald, most people, especially women, go for the first option, but as Jada said, sometimes you don’t have a choice. Don’t panic! If you suffer hair loss similar to Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia Emily Wyant and her team of experts can help treat it and regain the lost confidence your hair has taken away. So please don’t wait any longer and contact us to book an appointment today!