Jada Pinkett Smith recently opened up publicly about her hair loss. The hair loss is caused by an autoimmune disease called alopecia, detailed Page Six. It explains why she’s been seen with a shorter haircut, and then most recently with various turbans wrapped around her head, which she says makes her “feel like a queen.”
During a Facebook “Red Table Talk” webisode on “body confessions,” Jada revealed that she had been struggling with hair loss, and described how she felt when it started affecting her.
“It was terrifying when it first started. I was in the shower one day and then just handfuls of my hair just in my hands… It was one of those times in my life that I was literally shaking with fear.”
Doctors have not been able to determine the exact cause of the hair loss, although some suspect it may be related to stress. Jada has come to terms with the condition by understanding that it’s part of a “higher power,” and puts everything into perspective because there are others out there who are suffering from much more serious conditions, reported the BBC.
Alopecia areata affects everyone differently, although it’s common for hair to fall out in clumps. Whether the hair loss is a little or a lot can vary greatly, and in some cases, the hair will grow back, only to fall back out again. According to WebMD, there is unfortunately no known cure for the disease, although people have tried taking anti-inflammatory drugs and undergo topical immunotherapy to help. Others have found that using Rogaine can help with more hair growth. Moreover, doctors recommend alleviating stress and managing the emotional effects of hair loss.
For Jada, the emotional toll is something she wanted to discuss, saying that in the past “Taking care of my hair has been a beautiful ritual,” which many women can identify with. All in all, Jada speaking out about her issues may help many others. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology says that nearly 50 percent of African American women have hair loss at some point in their life. Refinery29 added that over 7 million people suffer from alopecia.
The Facebook webisode conversation also included Jada’s mom Adrienne Banfield-Jones who admitted that she is concerned about her weight and that she hates her thighs. Willow Smith, on the other hand, says that she knows that boys like girls with curvier bodies rather than girls with thin frames like hers, which makes her feel self-conscious.