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Are Shaved Heads A Trend or Something More?

Health

Jada Pinkett Smith. | Image from Getty Images via BBC News

Demi Lovato, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Janet Jackson have all taken a leap before the new year with shaved heads. Is it a fashion statement or something more?

If you ask Las Colinas hairdresser Leslie McGaughey, a hairdresser for the last three decades, it is something more. 

“The pandemic stress has caused severe alopecia in men and women,” she said. “Their hormones are out of whack, and they’re experiencing inflammatory issues in the scalp.” 

It turns out that was the case for Pinkett-Smith, who recently posted a video of her shaved head on Instagram, “Now at this point, I can only laugh,” giggled the actress. “Y’all know I’ve been struggling with alopecia….”

Pinkett-Smith then shows off a line across her shaved scalp that is completely bare, that she said “just appeared.”

According to WebMD, Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the hair follicle, causing your hair to come out in clumps, sometimes the size and shape of a quarter. The amount of hair loss varies from person to person, and some people only lose hair in a few spots while others lose a lot. Although Stress has not been scientifically proven to cause alopecia, it can trigger hair loss. Other factors are family heredity, age, medications, supplements, and cancer treatments.

During an episode of her Facebook Watch show, Red Table Talk, Pinkett-Smith revealed that handfuls of hair came out in her hands while in the shower. She said, “It was terrifying.”

There are several types of alopecia, and while small patches are devastating, alopecia areata totalis is more severe, causing all of the hair on the scalp to fall out. Alopecia areata universalis is where all the body hair falls out. If there is a sudden thinning of the hair, it is more than likely caused by diffuse alopecia areata. Ophiasis alopecia areata causes hair loss in a band shape around the sides and back of the head.

Most people experiencing alopecia see small bald patches on the scalp or other parts of the body. The patches could get more extensive and eventually grow together to make a more prominent bald spot. Sometimes hair can grow back in one location yet fall out in another area. There can be hair loss over a short period or even an increase in hair loss in the winter months. Fingernails and toenails can also become red, brittle, and pitted. 

Unfortunately, there is no cure for alopecia, but medications for autoimmune diseases are often used to regrow the hair. Pinkett-Smith has chosen to use steroid injections but says she is open to other ideas. While celebrities change up their styles for many reasons, do not ignore the signs of alopecia if you experience hair loss. See a doctor to find the root cause of the hair loss; it could be more than you think.

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