In trending news worldwide, actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock in the face on stage at the Oscars. This is after the Rock made a joke about the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia.
Pinkett Smith has been very open about her hair loss journey and last year she decided to completely shave her hair off. However, she said it was “terrifying”.
“A lot of people have been asking why I’ve been wearing turbans. Well, I haven’t talked about it. It’s not easy to talk about, but I am going to talk about it,” she revealed on their Facebook series called Red Table Talk.
Alopecia areata is persistent hair loss that can affect your scalp or your entire body, and it can be transient or permanent. This type of hair loss occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles.
‘I have alopecia’
Someone who can relate to Pinkett Smith, is Notozi Mgobozi (76), a retired teacher from KwaLanga who currently resides in Milnerton.
When noticed her hair was falling out, she assumed it was the result of hair dye and hair chemicals. She was diagnosed with alopecia at the age of 63.
“As a lady who loves to enhance her beauty, I used to colour my hair, do cornrows, and braid it, but I realised that my hair was beginning to fall out. I went to the clinic and had a lot of hair and scalp treatments until a doctor said I had alopecia,” Mgobozi says.
She laments the loss of self-confidence that comes with needing to be cautious about her dress choices after being diagnosed with alopecia. “Though it wasn’t an easy decision for me to start wearing wigs after a few months of getting used to not having hair, I’m glad I did it.” Mgobozi explains.
When it’s scorching outside, Mgobozi claims she suffers because she is compelled to wear a wig. Yet she claims she feels more at ease at home, where she may go bald without being criticised.
Boundaries are needed
Chris Rock’s joke about Pinkett-Smith was insensive and boundaries are needed, especially when you are dealing with someone with an illness.
“People must learn boundaries. There’s time for jokes and there’s time to respect people’s private matters, regardless of the fact that those matters may have outplayed themselves in public view. We must always act in accordance with our moral compass,” says Zintle Khobeni (30), the founder and chairwoman of the Great People of South Africa Organisation.
Khobeni says she opposes abuse in any form. She understands how it feels to make fun of people with various problems because she works with them. Furthermore, people must consider their words before speaking, as a jest could lead to suicide, Khobeni expresses her thoughts.
What is alopecia?
Although anyone can get alopecia, it starts for most people at the age of 30. It is not contagious. It could be caused by inheritance, hormonal changes, medical issues, or simply aging. Men are more likely than women to lose the hair on their heads.
Alopecia has significant social and psychological consequences, and affect your self-confidence and emotional well-being.
Is it curable?
There is no cure for alopecia. However, it is treatable, and the hair can regrow. If you have it, there are a few things you can take that can only be prescribed by doctors after some tests have been performed.
Many things can cause hair loss. To provide you with the right treatment, it’s essential to know what’s causing your hair loss. Dermatologists have expertise in diagnosing hair loss and counseling their patients on what may help them regrow their hair. It’s important to know that no one treatment works for everyone.
To find one that helps, you may need to try a few types of treatment or different medications.