Recently, Jada Pinkett Smith revealed on her Red Table Talk that her hair has been falling out because of alopecia. The 46-year-old actress shared that she was terrified when she first noticed her hair coming out in bundles in the shower.
“I was just like ‘Oh, my God. Am I going bald?’ It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking with fear,” she said. “That’s why I cut my hair and continued to cut it.”
We appreciate her courage. And we also know that Jada is not alone. It’s estimated that 40 percent of women over the age of 40 suffers from hair loss. Here are five facts you need to know.
1.) Alopecia Areata Is An Auto Immune Disorder
One form of alopecia is alopecia areata is classified as an auto immune disorder that attacks the hair follicles. This causes one’s hair to come out, often in clumps the size and shape of a quarter, Wed MD reported. Folks with this disorder can have hair that falls out in patches or they can lose a lot of hair.
Alopecia areata is occasionally associated with other autoimmune conditions such as thyroid disease, vitiligo, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis, MedicineNet.com noted.
It’s not know if this is the type of alopecia that Jada has. CNN noted that the tests she took have yet to uncover a medical explanation for her hair loss. However, some of her friends believe her condition is to due to stress.
2.) Traction Alopecia Is More Common Among Black Women
Traction Alopecia are the most common forms of alopecia that affects Black women. This type of hair loss is a result of the tension from our styles such as weaves, braids, extensions and wigs. It’s happens when the follicle is inflamed from the hair being pulled too tight for too long.
This hair loss can occur anywhere on the scalp, but we see it a lot on a woman’s hairline, the kitchen and from the front to behind our ears.
View this post on Instagram
PART 1 SO THIS BEAUTY HASN'T WORN HER HAIR SINCE SHE WAS 7 YEARS OLD. SHE'S NOW 26 YEARS YOUNG. AS U CAN SEE THE YEARS OF ABUSE OF CONVENIENCE FROM HAIR EXTENSIONS. TAKING OUR INDUSTRY BACK ONE STRAND AT A TIME….. THIS IS WHAT IT'S ABOUT CHANGING LIVES. AS U CAN SEE ALL THE DAMAGE THAT IT HAS CAUSED FROM THE ABANDONMENT OF HER HAIR. THE LONGER U BEAT UP ON YOUR FOLLICLES THE LESS PRIVILEGES U WILL HAVE LEFT. @thehaircoachatl #tractionalopecia #razorchic #hairlosstour #realhair #cuts ALL SHE IS A HAIRCUT
One important thing to keep in mind: Traction alopecia doesn’t happen over night either. As the New York Times point out, it comes in stages starting with pain and little bumps around the follicles, gradual thinning and then scarring causing permanent hair loss in that area.
Growing your hair back isn’t going to happen over night either. Allure noted that it can take 3-9 months to see any progress with treatment, which can include steroid shots, follicle serums, vitamins and growth cremes like Rogaine. So just be patient.
3.) Loosen Up Those Braids, Weaves And Relaxers
In some cases, alopecia can be genetic, but for many Black women, traction caused by how we style our hair seems to be a huge cause. So one way to prevent and/or alleviate hair loss can include the following:
- Making sure your braids are so tight, especially around the hairline. Don’t be afraid to let the braider know that you’re uncomfortable
- If you can, stretch out your relaxers a bit or relax the areas where there is hair loss, less often than the rest of your scalp.
- Keep in mind that your protective style, may not be protecting your hair. So pay attention.
- Work with your stylist on a hairdo that won’t make your hair loss worse.
4.) Don’t Forget About Folliculitis Induced Alopecia
This type of alopecia occurs when bacteria seeps down into the scalp, causing inflammation of the hair follicles. According to Live Strong, there are different forms of folliculitis, including non-infectious and infectious. It’s believed that non-infectious forms are caused by greases and oils that are applied to the scalp and clog the hair follicles.
Treatment can include antibiotics and topical creams.
5.) Early Detection Is Best, So Go To The Dermatologist
As stated before, once the follicle is scarred, the damage IS NOT reversible, so please make an appointment with a dermatologist or doctor as soon as you can. From there, they will diagnosis you with what type of alopecia you have, what’s the best course of treatment and if its possible to reverse any hair loss you’ve already suffered.
Remember, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Just be as proactive as you can.
- Kirk Franklin Debuts Music Video For New Song, “OK”
- Ciara Reveals The Prayer She Prayed That Led Her To Russell Wilson
- Keke Palmer Reveals She Had Abortion At 24 As Part Of #YouKnowMe Hashtag
- GRIFF’s Prayer: God Bless The Curry Family [VIDEO]
- End Painful On Again Off Again Relationships Once And For All
- Gabrielle Union Talks About Initially Hiding Her Identity From Her Surrogate
- “‘I Can’t Skip My Brother And My Sister.” Halle Berry Speaks To Black Journalists After Publicist Said They Didn’t Have Time
- People Are Using Ramen Noodles To Fix Broken Items In Their Houses [VIDEO]
- Ex Gang Member Turned Pastor Recalls Moment He Decided To Follow God [VIDEO]
- Teyana Taylor Grieves The Painful Loss Of Her Great-Grandmother: “My Heart Can’t Take It”
35 Black YouTube Vloggers You Should Follow For Hair Inspiration
1. Naptural85Source: 1 of 35
2. GlamTwinz334Source: 2 of 35
3. JourneyTo WaistLengthSource: 3 of 35
4. NaturalNeiiceySource: 4 of 35
5. Raven ElyseSource: 5 of 35
6. Roxanna ReneaSource: 6 of 35
7. Amber AnsahSource: 7 of 35
8. Jasmine BrownSource: 8 of 35
9. JoyjahSource: 9 of 35
10. Snatched by SharmelSource: 10 of 35
11. TheBrilliantBeautySource: 11 of 35
12. Sadora ParisSource: 12 of 35
13. Kaice AleaSource: 13 of 35
14. Wendy JosephSource: 14 of 35
15. Chizi DuruSource: 15 of 35
16. Lexis HairSource: 16 of 35
17. TyieceSource: 17 of 35
18. Hair MarySource: 18 of 35
19. TheChicNaturalSource: 19 of 35
20. Freedom StylesSource: 20 of 35
21. Halfrican BeauteSource: 21 of 35
22. Bri HallSource: 22 of 35
23. Joi WadeSource: 23 of 35
24. Jewellianna PalenciaSource: 24 of 35
25. Napp QueenSource: 25 of 35
26. Ebony’s Curly TVSource: 26 of 35
27. What Lies Beneath The WeaveSource: 27 of 35
28. IAMTRAEHSource: 28 of 35
29. allofdestinySource: 29 of 35
30. TheNotoriousKIASource: 30 of 35
31. Melissa DeniseSource: 31 of 35
32. ULoveMegzSource: 32 of 35
33. Brianne LIVESource: 33 of 35
34. NICKYBNATURALSource: 34 of 35
35. Kaye WrightSource: 35 of 35