Alopecia Image

If you have been living under a rock, you may not have heard the news about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Academy Awards over a joke made about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hairstyle. This incident made national news and has been all over the internet. At the time Jada was rocking a shaved hairstyle. Some people may not know that Jada has been open about her struggle with a medical condition called alopecia.

Alopecia Basics

Alopecia refers to hair loss or baldness. There are different types of alopecia. Anyone can suffer from alopecia and it affects all races and ethnicities. Hair loss can affect any part of the body but usually affects the head and face most. Alopecia effects will differ for each person. Some people may experience it only once while others have to face it their entire lives. The onset of alopecia can be at any age but is most common between the teen years and thirties.

Causes of Alopecia

There are many causes of alopecia such as:

  • Age
  • Hormone changes
  • Radiation
  • Stress
  • Harmful hair products or styles
  • Illnesses that cause hair loss
  • Genetics
  • Burns or traumatic injuries
  • Ringworm
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Medications

Types of Alopecia

There are different types of hair loss and alopecia including:

  • Alopecia areata
  • Toxic alopecia
  • Scarring or cicatricial alopecia
  • Female pattern baldness
  • Male pattern baldness

Treatment for Alopecia

The treatment for alopecia will depend on the type and cause of your alopecia. In some cases, the hair loss from alopecia could be permanent. Treatments include:

  • Medication
  • Steroid injections
  • Hair transplants
  • Skin lifts / graphs
  • Treatment of the underlying cause

Dealing With Hair Loss

Hair loss can be distressing. Unfortunately, not all hair loss is treatable and could be permanent. Sudden hair loss could also be a sign that something else is going on with your health that needs treatment. If you are experiencing hair loss that is concerning, please reach out to your healthcare provider for help.