One-third of women will experience hair loss at some point in their lives, according to Harvard Health.
Celebrities including Jada Pinkett Smith, Keira Knightley, and Viola Davis have previously spoken out about losing their hair.
Amy Schumer has talked about having trichotillomania, a hair-pulling disorder.
Sunday night’s Academy Awards were buzzing after comedian Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s close-shaven hairstyle.
The host said that Pinkett Smith could star in a “G.I. Jane” sequel, referring to the 1997 movie where actress Demi Moore shaves her head bald. Will Smith reacted to the joke by coming on stage and slapping Rock in the face, and told the comedian to stop making jokes about his wife.
In a May 2018 “Red Table Talk” episode, Pinkett Smith revealed that she has alopecia, which caused her to lose her hair. She talked about the condition again in a December 2021 Instagram post, sharing a video of her bald head.
Alopecia is an incurable autoimmune condition that can cause a person’s hair to fall out in large or small chunks on the head, face, or body, Insider previously reported. Some people have episodes of hair loss throughout their lives, while others will only have one hair-loss experience before it grows back completely.
An estimated one-third of women will experience hair loss at some point in their lives, according to Harvard Health.
Pinkett Smith isn’t the only celebrity to be open about hair loss. Stars like Kristin Davis and Naomi Campbell have previously shared their experiences after losing hair due to postpartum or excessive styling.
Jada Pinkett Smith
Pinkett Smith first shared that she had alopecia in 2018 when she discussed the condition on her Facebook show “Red Table Talk.”
“It was terrifying when it first started. I was in the shower one day and then just handfuls of hair just in my hands,” she said on the show.
Pinkett Smith has since shared photos on social media embracing her short hair.
“Mama’s gonna have to take it down to the scalp so nobody thinks she got brain surgery or something. Me and this alopecia are going to be friends…period!” Pinkett Smith wrote in a December 2021 Instagram post.
In a 2014 interview with Vulture, Viola Davis revealed she’s had alopecia since she was 28.
“I woke up one day, and it looked like I had a Mohawk. Big splash of bald on the top of my head,” Davis told Vulture.
She said she learned she developed hair loss due to stress, and has since learned to be easier on herself.
Stress can lead to hair loss because stress hormones can prevent stem cells related to hair growth from forming, according to the Mayo Clinic. With alopecia specifically, a person’s immune system attacks hair follicles, which results in hair loss.
Davis also told Vulture she used to wear wigs everywhere to hide her head, but she’s since grown to accept the condition and doesn’t feel the need to cover up.
In 2017, Davis told Women’s Wear Daily she experienced hair loss after giving birth to her daughter.
After a person gives birth, their estrogen levels can drop, which could lead to hair loss, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
“I hadn’t been worrying about it – I have my daughter – but when I tried to do something or had to go somewhere I was like, ‘Where is my hair?'” Davis told WWD.
She said her hair felt “very fine, like it had gone away,” and hair stylists covered it up with extensions and other techniques.
Knightley said she started wearing wigs in 2010 after her hair loss became severe due to styling-related damage, the actress told InStyle UK.
Hair loss from styling, like traction alopecia, can happen when there’s repeated physical stress on the hair follicles from pulling it back into tight styles. Extremely heavy hair and chemical relaxers can also cause styling-related hair loss, according to WebMD.
“I have dyed my hair virtually every color imaginable for different films. It got so bad that my hair literally began to fall out of my head,” Knightley told InStyle UK.
She said her hair started to grow back in 2015, after she gave birth to her daughter.
In a 2011 interview with the Wall Street Journal, Banks said her hair loss was stress-related and started when she was writing her book “Modelland.”
The supermodel said during that time she hardly had a moment to eat or relax.
“And in hindsight that wasn’t healthy. How can I say this without tearing up? I got a little alopecia from the stress,” Banks told the Wall Street Journal.
Blair told People magazine she lost hair after giving birth to her son in 2011. The actress said her hair fell out in chunks and left bald spots up until about three months postpartum.
“This is so not glamorous, but it’s true: I need to take longer showers so that I can collect the hair that falls out and throw it away so I don’t clog the drain,” Blair told People. “Why do actresses never talk about that?”
The supermodel told Evening Standard in 2017 that years of extensions and weaves led to hair damage and loss.
In the same interview, Campbell said most of her hair has grown back since.
“I do take more care of my hair now, because I lost all of it with extensions,” Campbell told Evening Standard. “I am more careful, and I do different things.”
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Schumer said she has the hair-pulling disorder trichotillomania.
“I think everybody has a big secret and that’s mine,” Schumer told THR. “And I’m proud that my big secret only hurts me but it’s been what I’ve carried so much shame about for so long.”
Schumer said she once pulled out so much of her hair, she had to wear a wig to cover the bald spot. Her new show, “Life & Beth,” touches on her experience with the disorder.
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