A slap by actor Will Smith to comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars stunned viewers across the globe who “couldn’t believe” what they saw “on live TV”. Rock was slapped for a joke he cracked about Will Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s tightly cropped hair.
Jada Pinkett Smith, who is also an actress, suffers from alopecia, and publicly revealed her diagnosis in 2018.
What is alopecia?
According to US Department of Health and Human Services, alopecia areata is condition that happens when the immune system attacks hair follicles and causes hair loss.
The condition usually affects the head and face.
Hair typically falls out in small, round patches about the size of a quarter, but in some cases, hair loss is more extensive. Most people with the disease are healthy and have no other symptoms, the US Department of Health said.
What causes the condition?
In alopecia areata, the immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, causing inflammation. Researchers do not fully understand what causes the immune attack on hair follicles, but they believe that both genetic and environmental (non-genetic) factors play a role.
Types of alopecia areata
Health experts have classified the hair loss condition in three types:
- Patchy: In the most common type, hair loss happens in one or more coin-sized patches on the scalp or other parts of the body.
- Totalis: People with this type lose all or nearly all of the hair on their scalp.
- Universalis: This is an extremely rare type, there is a complete or nearly complete loss of hair on the scalp, face, and rest of the body.
What Pinkett-Smith said about her condition?
The actor first revealed about her condition publicly on her Red Table Talk series in 2018. She said it “was terrifying” to deal with when alopecia first started.
Pinkett Smits also said that she used to find “handful of hair” while taking shower. She went on to say that she then decided to cut her hair.
The actor debuted her shaved hairstyle in July 2021.