6 famous faces with hair loss

Following on from that viral Oscars moment – which saw Will Smith slap Chris Rock after he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved hair – a spotlight has been shone on alopecia, a little talked about condition that causes hair loss.

According to Alopecia UK (the UK’s alopecia charity), there are a number of different types of alopecia. These include, but are not limited to: alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition that causes hair to fall out in clumps; androgenetic alopecia, that causes hair to thin in a pattern at the crown of the head; chemotherapy-induced alopecia, whereby hair falls out following chemotherapy; and traction alopecia, hair loss caused by strain on the hair follicles, usually from wearing tight hairstyles repeatedly.

With so much chatter surrounding the altercation at the Oscars, and more importantly, the impact this has had on Jada’s wellbeing – after all, being the butt of a joke due to a medical condition is really not okay – here’s a roundup of all the celebrities who have spoken out about their experience with alopecia and other forms of hair loss. Let’s try to use the unfortunate situation as an opportunity to learn:

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1

Celebrities with alopecia

Jada Pinkett Smith

Actor and TV presenter Jada Pinkett Smith was diagnosed with alopecia in 2018, and last year she took to social media to open up about the condition and the impact it has had on her.

Taking to Instagram, Jada shared a video of her shaved head, telling her followers: “At this point I can only laugh.”

She went on, “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!”

2

Celebrities with alopecia

Jesy Nelson

Seven years before her stint on X Factor and the birth of Little Mix, Jesy Nelson suffered with alopecia brought on by stress at the age of 13. Speaking to Fabulousthe singer revealed she was being bullied at school at the time.

“I was probably about 13 when my hair just started coming out,” she said [per Evening Standard]. “Stress can cause alopecia, and it wasn’t nice. I got picked on because I’ve always liked to dress differently. I’ve never really wanted to fit in with everyone else.”

3

Celebrities with alopecia

Olivia Bentley

In 2019, Made in Chelsea star Olivia Bentley opened up about her experience with alopecia to Cosmopolitan UK.

Explaining that she’s had the condition since the age of 16 (she’s now 26), the reality TV star recalled combing her hair whilst on a family holiday and noticing a bald spot about the size of a 2p coin.

“I thought I’d pulled my hair while tying it up or had caught it in my sleep or something. The last thing I thought was that it was alopecia,” she revealed. “After that, whenever I showered big clumps of hair would come away in my hands. It was horrible.”

Nowadays, she’s open and proud about the fact she sometimes wears a wig and is passionate about educating others on alopecia.

4

Celebrities with alopecia

Tyra Banks

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, America’s Next Top Model presenter Tyra Banks opened up about how the stress she experienced whilst writing her autobiography resulted in a period of hair loss.

“How can I say this without tearing up?” she said. “I got a little alopecia from the stress.”

5

Celebrities with alopecia

Viola Davis

How to Get Away with Murder legend, Viola Davis revealed in an interview with Vulture that she previously experienced alopecia during her 20s – she’s now 56-years-old.

“I woke up one day, and it looked like I had a mohawk. Big splash of bald on the top of my head,” she said. As for how she coped, the actor admitted to relying on wigs before eventually embracing her natural appearance.

“It [wearing wigs] was a crutch, not an enhancement. I was so desperate for people to think that I was beautiful. I had to be liberated from that [feeling] to a certain extent, “she added.

6

Celebrities with alopecia

Alessia Cara

Opening up about experiencing hair loss in secondary school, singer Alessia said she began “losing my hair in chunks in the shower … it was one of the scariest things”. She admits that she struggled a lot at first and tried to experiment with different hair styles in an effort to hide her bald patches.

“You have so many pressures [in school] – what people are going to think of you— and I was going into it losing all my hair. I had, like, nothing left, “she said in an interview with Lipstick. “It was patches of missing hair that people would point out, because people are mean in high school.”

Later, she used the experience to write a powerful song, Scars To Your Beautiful, and says she’s now in a much better place with her hair loss. “I have just learned how to accept it. Being in the public eye, you’re always worried about what angle people are going to take pictures of you at,” she shared. “I do not really care anymore. I just let my hair dry naturally; I do not hide it.”

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