The Facts About Alopecia

Jada Pinkett Smith Alopecia

Jada Pinkett Smith’s Oscar Controversy Brings Awareness to Alopecia

By now we all know that Presenter Chris Rock mocked Pinkett Smith at the Academy Awards, prompting Will Smith to jump onstage and slap him across the face after this comment. “Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it,” Rock said, referring to the film “G.I. Jane,” which featured Demi Moore with a shaved head.

The controversy across social media and the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences has brought the spotlight to the subject and the stigma of alopecia areata.

What is Alopecia?

Alopecia is a broad term that refers to any form of hair loss.

Some people — especially men ­— lose scalp hair with age because of changes in hormones known as androgens, she said, and that is considered a form of alopecia. A type of hair loss common in the Black community is traction alopecia, which occurs when hair has been pulled tight for too long.

Other people lose hair because their immune system starts attacking their hair follicles in what is known as autoimmune alopecia. Autoimmune forms of alopecia can be caused by discoid lupus erythematosus, which can lead to sores and scarring on the face and scalp. Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia is another immune-related condition that causes scalp scarring and permanent hair loss.

Other forms of Alopecia:

  • Alopecia areata totalis means you’ve lost all the hair on your head.
  • Alopecia areata universalis is the loss of hair over your entire body.
  • Diffuse alopecia areata is a sudden thinning of your hair rather than lost patches.
  • Ophiasis alopecia areata  causes hair loss in a band shape around the sides and back of your head.

Did you know as many as 6.8 million people in the U.S. — 147 million people worldwide — are affected by alopecia areata with a lifetime risk of 2.1%?

— sourced by  

What Causes Alopecia Areata?

Men and women are equally susceptible to alopecia areata. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), the disease can begin at any age, but many people notice initial signs in their teens, and most of those who develop the disorder do so by age 30.


How to treat Alopecia?

It’s best to discuss all of your options for treatment with our doctors, who can work with you to find the right medications or therapies for your particular type and severity of alopecia areata.


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