Will Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett was mocked for being bald at The Oscars, people have been Googling ‘Alopecia’
The condition that Jada suffers from...
Ever since the Academy Awards on Monday, social media has been abuzz with the dramatic goings-on. It all started with comedian Chris Rock’s comment on Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith’s condition — Alopecia — that ticked off Smith to the extent that he went on stage and slapped Rock.
Since then, there’s one question on everyone’s minds. What is Alopecia? Dr Chytra V Anand, celebrity cosmetic dermatologist, explains, “Androgenic alopecia is hereditary hair loss where men and women can have pattern baldness. Here, hair loss usually occurs gradually. While some people experience it as early as puberty, others may notice symptoms in their 40s.”
She points out that female pattern baldness frequently causes scalp thinning. “It may also appear to be widening or thinning around the part. Male pattern baldness, is characterised by progressive hair loss above the temples and crown thinning,” she explains.
IT professional Nicolette John had Alopecia a couple of years ago. “I covered it with my long hair for a long time before I consulted a doctor,” says John, who went on medications for three months. “The doctor recommended stress-reducing activities and I started to see a difference,” says John, who worries it will recur.
According to image consultant Babita Jaishankar, the best way to deal with Alopecia is to learn to deal with it. One of her clients had both vitiligo and Alopecia, and Jaishankar recalls working with her to improve her confidence. “This working professional wore wigs. Advising her to go bald and feel confident was a wrong approach. The coaching had to be done to give her confidence from within to accept it and be sure of herself before she could flaunt her so-called flaws,” she explains.
In a country that prides itself for sporting long hair, Alopecia is a topic that is almost never discussed. “Everyone’s going to judge you no matter what. So it’s important to accept who you are and accept others,” Jaishankar opines.
- Stress and illness
- Chemical treatments and hairstyling
- Family history
- Changes in hormones and medical conditions
- Medications and dietary supplements
‘Just accept it’
Since the incident at The Oscars, Sandalwood director Pawan Kumar shared his experience with Alopecia. On his social media account, he posted a picture showing the bald spot. He wrote, “I was shocked to see that a patch of my hair had almost disappeared overnight. Went to the doctor and I was told this is called alopecia (sic)” After months of medications, and mental trauma, he started getting used to it. “When people say they are offended bcoz of jokes about medical condition... It is bcoz we judge them, instead if we learn to say “so what”... Then maybe they will feel a lot better and be ok with it.. it’s a reality the nature has presented to us... And the only thing we can do is accept it and make the best of it. (sic)”