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Hair loss: Women celebrities speak of the pain of going bald

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American actress Jada Pinkett Smith attends the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. u00e2u20acu201d AFP photo

American actress Jada Pinkett Smith attends the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. – AFP Photo

Tuesday, March 29, 2022 8:34 AM MYT

LOS ANGELES, March 29 — Hair loss in women can be painful, frustrating and embarrassing, according to Jada Pinkett Smith and other celebrities who have spoken out about their feelings.

The topic has quickly entered the public consciousness after Will Smith punched comedian Chris Rock for joking at the Oscars that Pinkett Smith had no hair.

Pinkett Smith first spoke publicly in 2018 about her diagnosis of alopecia, a medical term for hair loss.

“It was a moment in my life where I was literally shaking with fear,” the actress-director said on her online show. red table talk.

“That’s when I was like, ‘Oh my god. Am I going to go bald?

Democratic Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, who went public with her diagnosis in 2020, tweeted yesterday.

“Let’s talk about what it’s like to live with #alopecia,” she wrote. “Our family saw an extremely vulnerable and difficult time. Thank you to those who held us down and supported us when we were at our lowest point. They totally saw us.”

As Hollywood strikes a healthier balance between female beauty ideals and real life, more and more actresses are starting to talk about the effects of hair loss — due to stress, hormonal changes after childbirth, and even Covid-19.

“It’s not glamorous, but it’s true: I need to take longer showers so I can collect my shed hair and throw it away so I don’t clog the drain. Why don’t actresses ever talk about this?” Selma Blair told people Postnatal Magazine 2011.

Alyssa Milano says she lost her hair after contracting the coronavirus, which she says has affected her entire sense of self.

“It’s hard, especially when you’re an actor and so much of your identity is wrapped in those things, like long silky hair and clean skin.”

Actress Ricki Lake wrote on Instagram in 2020 that she has struggled with hair loss her whole life.

“It’s been debilitating, embarrassing, painful, scary, depressed, lonely, everything. A few times I even felt suicidal for it.”

Oscar winner Viola Davis said she had tried to cover up the effects of hair loss with a wig.

“I wear a wig around the house. I wear a wig for an event. I have a wig that I wear when I work out,” she told an interviewer.

“I’ve never shown my natural hair…I’m so desperate for people to think I’m beautiful.”

Davis has been more open to the subject over the past decade, even including it in the “How to Get Out of Murder” series, when her character, a strong-willed lawyer and teacher, took off her wig to reveal her very short s hair.

The National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF) yesterday called for more people to know about the condition.

It said alopecia areata, a specific type of baldness caused by an autoimmune disease that causes hair to fall out in frequent clumps, affects about 7 million people in the United States and about 147 million people worldwide.

“It can be unpredictable and cause severe physical, emotional/mental health, psychosocial and financial burdens — and there is no cure, effective treatment, or standard of care,” NAAF said.

“Alopecia areata is non-discriminatory and can affect anyone at any age and can be a temporary or lifelong condition. Many people with this condition are suffering and we must do a better job of supporting this community and removing the stigma that persists , discrimination and social barriers.” — AFP



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