Ricki Lake, left, and Jada Pinkett Smith, have gotten candid about their struggles with hair loss, helping other women feel less alone. (Photos: Instagram)
When Jada Pinkett Smith posted a video to Instagram just before the new year, it was to share a stubble-free scar running across the top of her famously gorgeous shaved head.
“At this point, I can only laugh,” she said, running a manicured nail over her scalp. “And y’all know I’ve been struggling with alopecia.” The scar, she said, is new, and will be “a little more difficult for me to hide,” although, she joked, she’s considering filling it with rhinestones “to make me a little crown.”
The post, which has so far gotten over 2 million views, was a follow-up to the first time Pinkett Smith spoke publicly about her hair loss, in 2018, saying on her Red Table Talk that she was “literally shaking with fear” when she first noticed she was losing “handfuls of hair” in the shower, leading her to ultimately shave her head.
That was also the reaction of another celeb battling alopecia — Ricki Lake — who marked her original 2019 hair-loss disclosure with her own Instagram post on Jan. 1. “2 years ago today I took a leap of faith. I finally surrendered and came out about my decades long struggle with hair loss (and shaved my head.),” she wrote. “It was so scary and so liberating. The journey since has been such a gift.”
She added that “self-love and acceptance has been the great takeaway,” and that coming forward even led her to find true happiness and love, marrying fiancé Ross Burningham at the end of December.
Other famous women have spoken out about their own battles with hair loss over the years — including Rosie O’Donnell, Tyra Banks, Keira Knightley, Naomi Campbell and Lea Michele — and every time, say experts, the impact is invaluable.
“It has a huge effect,” Dr. Michelle Henry, a New York City dermatologist with expertise in hair-loss treatments, told Yahoo Life. “It reduces the guilt, as we as women tend to blame ourselves for everything. And it’s something usually shrouded in shame and secrecy, and [women sufferers] don’t discuss it, they cover it up. But when others discuss it, you can feel like maybe it’s just part of being human.”
The Women’s Hair Loss Project founder, who goes only by “Y” in order to keep a semblance of privacy, says seeing such a public example can be vital for women struggling with the emotional fallout of hair loss.
“Whenever a celebrity comes out with anything, we look up to them, and it really does make it …….