Jada Pinkett Smith Talks About Alopecia

With her confident pixie cut and glamorous head wraps, Jada Pinkett Smith looks as fabulous as ever. The celebrity revealed the reason behind her latest fashion choices on a recent episode of "Red Table Talk".

“Well, I’ve been having issues with hair loss," said Pinkett Smith. "It was terrifying when it first started. I was in the shower one day and then… just handfuls of hair, just in my hands.”

Pinkett-Smith bravely opened up about her experience with hair loss, describing her fears and insecurities to her audience.

“It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking with fear,” she continued. “That's why I cut my hair and continued to cut it.”

Despite multiple tests, it is yet unknown why Pinkett Smith's hair is falling out. There are many reasons for unexpected hair loss in women; hypothyroidism, changing hormones, vitamin B deficiency, protein deficiency, anemia, physical trauma, emotional stress, and autoimmune diseases such as lupus are all common culprits.

Experts speculate that Pinkett Smith may have either alopecia areata, central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, or traction alopecia.



Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune systems sends white blood cells to attack hair follicle cells, causing the follicle to shrink. It causes hair loss on the both the scalp and the body. The disorder, which affects approximately 6.6 million people in the U.S. and 147 million people worldwide, can appear and resolve itself without reason or warning at any point in a person's life.



Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia is a scarring alopecia in which inflammation of the scalp destroys the hair follicles and replaces them with scar tissue.



On the other hand, traction alopecia is not a medical condition. Instead, it is caused by tight hairstyles that pull the hair.



Unfortunately, research shows that black women are more susceptible to alopecia—especially central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia and traction alopecia—due to genetic factors and beauty routines such as braids, weaves, and perms. In fact, a recent study from Boston University surveyed close to 6,000 African-American women and found that over 47% had experienced some form of hair loss, with the leading cause believed to be central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia. However, only 8% sought treatment. This is likely due to two things: 1) some women feel embarrassed by their hair loss and are too afraid to seek treatment, and 2) women have a lack of knowledge about hair loss.

Like Jada Pinkett Smith, 47% of African American women have experienced alopecia.
Pinkett Smith, however, is treating her alopecia with steroids. Many women do not know that there are treatments available, and Pinkett Smith is making it known that alopecia treatments are a viable option. However, if you do choose to treat your alopecia, know that there are many methods for "treatments" that are expensive, ineffective, and sometimes dangerous. Exercise caution and make sure to seek advice from a licensed dermatologist.

After hearing Jada Pinkett Smith candidly discuss her experience with hair loss, we can't help but love her even more! Her openness about losing her hair has brought awareness to an issue that is rarely discussed, but affects thousand of women of all ages across the world.

Pinkett Smith has become a role model for women with alopecia. Her talk about hair loss shows that it is okay to be scared and insecure, but alopecia is nothing to be ashamed of. Simply knowing that Jada Pinkett Smith has hair loss is inspiring, proving that women are beautiful regardless of their hair.

We absolutely love that Pinkett Smith used her alopecia as an opportunity to up her style game. “When my hair is wrapped I feel like a queen,” she said. “I love having a wrapped head.” We think she looks like a queen, too! Get her look with these head scarves and turbans.

Use this turban and head scarf to get a headwrap look like Jada Pinkett Smith.

Left: Mesh Oblong Head Scarf ; Right: Basic Cotton Blend Turban

So, thank you Jada Pinkett Smith for having the bravery to tell the world about your hair loss. We think it will have a real effect on the way women think about alopecia.

Watch the full "Red Table Talk" episode below.

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