What is Alopecia? Learn About Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Hair Loss Condition

By Brooks Welch

After the viral incident of ‘King Richard’ actor Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock for his joke about Jada Pinkett Smith‘s hair during the Oscars,  a curiosity surrounding alopecia, a hair loss condition, has peaked.

Jada Pinkett Smith’s condition is called alopecia areata, a disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles, often on the scalp or face, but sometimes on other parts of the body,” reports AP News.

Jada first revealed her diagnosis in 2018 on her Facebook show Red Table Talk, according to CNN. She said it was “terrifying” when her hair started falling out in clumps.

Alopecia areata can arise in childhood, adolescence or adulthood. People who have the condition tend to lose hair in clumps which causes round bald spots (via NY Times).

With early treatment, alopecia areata can be reversible. About 80 percent of people with the condition find that their hair regrows without treatment within a year, according to Medical News Today.

Yale Medicine reported steroid injections among traditional treatments for regrowing hair. The steroids suppress the immune system cells, so hair can regrow. There are also topical treatments, steroid tablets, immunotherapy, Dithranol cream, UV light treatment, and Minoxidil.

Besides Pinkett-Smith, other celebrities who have battled with alopecia and hair loss are Viola Davis, Tyra Banks, Christina Milian, and Naomi Campbell.