Jada Pinkett Smith and The Emotional Implications of Alopecia
Jada Pinkett Smith has always been candid about her struggles with alopecia, an autoimmune condition which causes hair loss. However, the emotional impact of the condition has been widely overlooked… that is, until, Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars.
Since then, the spotlight has been fixed on the Smiths. Viewers across the world were in awe at the extreme emotional reaction that triggered Will Smith to make such a bold move over a joke. But despite all the drama, the division between Will Smith and Chris Rock supporters, and the plethora of memes that ensued, there is one thing that the entire world can agree on:
Alopecia has many emotional implications. It is a real issue with such a tremendous impact on not just the individual, but their entire family, too.
What is Alopecia?
So what exactly is alopecia? It refers to a condition which causes a person’s hair to fall out, usually in clumps. It occurs when the body begins identifying hair follicles as foreign substances and then starts attacking them. Unfortunately, doctors have yet to uncover the underlying trigger which causes alopecia. However, many believe that it may be linked to a certain gene which makes one more susceptible to developing it.
The Emotional Implications of Hair Loss
While the amount of hair loss varies from one person to another, the emotional impact is shared across everyone with the condition. Research has shown that Alopecia may cause:
- Higher levels of anxiety and depression
- Low self-esteem
- Feelings of unworthiness
- Poor body image
- Identity conflicts
Unfortunately, this brief list barely scratches the surface. Studies have also shown that children with alopecia are more likely to express aggression and delinquency.
And these emotional and psychological reactions make sense. When you lose your hair, you’re also losing a piece of yourself. Something that is heavily tied to your sense of self, your body image, your attractiveness. It is no wonder that Will Smith was quick to react when Chris Rock made a joke about such a sensitive topic.
Jada Pinkett Smith first openly discussed her struggles with alopecia and its emotional toll in a 2018 Red Table Talk episode. She claimed, “It was terrifying when it first started. I was in the shower one day and then just handfuls of hair [appeared] in my hands. I was like, oh my god, am I going bald? It was one of those times in my life when I was literally shaking with fear.”
Hair Loss Solutions
Surely, this emotional impact begs the question: what solutions do people have when battling hair loss? There are a few different routes that one can take:
Corticosteroids: Anti-inflammatory drugs which suppress the immune system. These can be taken topically, orally, or in the form of injections. However, this form of treatment is generally regarded as extremely invasive. It is also associated with a series of side effects, including weight gain, acne, menstrual problems, and scalp irritation.
Hair Transplant: A type of procedure or surgery which moves hair from one area of the body to another, usually on the scalp. However, this type of treatment is extremely costly and many patients may actually be ineligible for the procedure due to a lack of hair.
Finasteride and Minoxidil: These drugs are commonly prescribed to men with male pattern baldness. Minoxidil increases blood flow to the head, stimulating hair growth. Finasteride, on the other hand, blocks the production of DHT- a male hormone that is responsible for hair loss. However, both of these drugs are associated with a series of side effects, ranging from weight gain and impotence to dizziness and chest pains. Additionally, when stopping administration, hair loss usually returns as a symptom.
It does seem as though many of the treatments which target alopecia are drug-focused and intensive, hosting a range of different side effects and difficulties. Fortunately, however, there are non-invasive and drug-free alternatives available, as shown below:
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT): A non-surgical, modern approach and tackling hair loss. The laser has been shown to stimulate the hair follicles leading to more voluminous hair. This type of therapy is completely painless and does not have any side effects, as opposed to surgical hair transplants.
Ayurveda & Nutraceuticals: Considering the side effects and costs of the above options, many people with hair loss may seek to treat their symptoms naturally. Fortunately, there are a range of vitamins, minerals, and Ayurvedic herbs which can help prevent hair loss and strengthen the roots. Some of these include:
- Biotin: Also known as vitamin B7, works on hair growth by stimulating keratin production. Since biotin is not stored in the body, it is recommended to consume it in supplements when experiencing hair loss.
- Amino Acids: Certain amino acids, such as lysine and methionine, are absolutely crucial for hair growth. Since these amino acids are not synthesized by the body, they need to be consumed either through food or supplements.
- Amla: A fruit known for its extremely high levels of vitamin C. In Ayurvedic medicine, amla is used as a powerful herbal tonic to strengthen and revitalize hair.
- Bhringraj: A type of plant that is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine to balance the doshas and promote long, healthy locks.
- Brahmi: A nutrient-rich herb which has been shown to decrease dryness on the scalp and eliminate hair fall. It is extremely effective when used topically and applied directly on the head.
- Ashwagandha: An antioxidant rich herb which promotes healthy and strong hair growth by combating free radicals within the body.
These are just a small sample of the extensive range of plant-based and drug free solutions for hair loss.
Because of this, it can be extremely confusing to determine which blends, and at what dosages, can help you combat your hair loss. The struggle to find the right natural solution may aggravate an already heightened emotional situation, so seeking help is a great idea. Fortunately, there are many great holistic companies that offer online consultations for fully customized solutions from the comfort of your home.
Since hair loss is irreparable, early prevention and intervention is crucial. You can take control of this situation by seeking professional help when you witness the first signs of hair loss.
Take Control of Your Situation
Don’t let your hair loss make you feel small.
We understand that alopecia can be extremely emotionally taxing while also taking a toll on your self-esteem. We understand why you may not want to go to a doctor or even admit your hair loss to anyone face to face. We’ve all seen how it can be extremely emotionally triggering for some - Will Smith Oscar Slap, anyone?
And that’s why most people are in denial, suffer in silence or worse - self medicate after googling and eventually give up. Don’t let this happen to you. Seek help from the comfort and privacy of your home before it’s too late. Booking a consultation allows the hair expert to dive deep into the root cause of your hair loss and come up with a customized solution for you. You can book an appointment by clicking here.
We Are Here to HelpWe understand how much hair loss can impact your life. We are here to give you the help that you deserve. Reach out to us today to begin your journey to hair health.