What is alopecia?

Rep. Ayanna Pressley bravely opened up about her alopecia, a condition that affects 7 million Americans but that many hide.

The most common form of hair loss

What is alopecia?

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder in which the body's immune system attacks the hair follicles. It results in the loss of hair on the scalp or other part of the body. The condition can affect anyone regardless of age, gender and race. 50% of black women experience some form of hair loss according to John Hopkins University research. Some cases of alopecia can be associated with stress, shock and bereavement according to Harper’s Bazaar magazine.

Self-acceptance of hair-loss

“Some people will notice a widened part and then patients that have acute hair loss can have redness itching or pain in the scalp sometimes tenderness. Treatment options can span from watchful waiting for your immune system or for your level of stress to improve or can go all the way to systemic oral treatment that suppress your immune system. Hair regrowth depends on the type of alopecia you have. So, a non-scarring alopecia does grow back. It does take time hair grows very very slowly”, Dermatologist Mary-Margaret Noland tells Brut. “There are many types of hair loss or alopecia. In dermatology we classify them into either scarring, which means you’ve lost some follicles, and damage to scalp so hair doesn’t grow back. Or you can have non-scarring alopecia where hair is thinned with time or you’re getting too much shedding”, Dermatologist Dr. Chere Lucas Anthony tells Brut.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA.) just revealed she has alopecia to The Root

Nearly 7 million Americans and 147 million people worldwide have alopecia based on data from the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. Other celebrities haver revealed their own alopecia like Neve Campbell, Viola Davis, Christopher Reeves, and Tyra Banks. Jada Pinkett-Smith discussed it in her Facebook series, Red Table Talk. There is no permanent cure for alopecia areata but a series of corticosteroid injections can treat the disorder.


01/18/2020 12:43 AMupdated: 01/29/2020 7:28 PM
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  • Tívon L.
    3 days

    I had infant alopecia when I was a baby

  • Diana N.
    3 days

    see if you find this info useful

  • Sherry A.
    3 days

    Story of my life

  • Rama L.
    4 days

    Too bad - I understand they have successful treatments in Israel.

  • Deborah M.
    02/16/2020 14:42

    Let’s have a hair lost luncheon I’m not ashame any more

  • Annette L.
    02/16/2020 07:59

    POWERFUL! 💪🏽 GOD BLESS! ✨🙌🏾✨

  • Annette L.
    02/16/2020 07:57


  • Annette L.
    02/16/2020 05:36

    GOD BLESS YOU! ✨🙏🏾✨

  • Michael D.
    02/12/2020 22:23

    I think I did have it. I had 3 bald spots on my head. Went to see a dermatologist, he injected something in my head three times. Few months later, the patches filled up and stayed that way. Hopefully it doesnt come back.

  • Bibikhan K.
    02/09/2020 03:11

    I have alopecia do everything I possibly can use Rogaine get the shots nothing helps now I'm braiding it sometimes you look good sometimes it don't I am getting tired of it very itchy don't know what else to use try to Natural wig it don't stay it cook it all over I don't know how else to wear it

  • Israel H.
    02/08/2020 13:31

    She’s the marvel’s Black Panthers bodyguard

  • Samson O.
    02/08/2020 09:53

    Wow awesome Lady

  • Hal B.
    02/08/2020 03:19

    Hair has never been a woman's beauty...

  • Talaleu L.
    02/07/2020 05:35

    OMG...Another type of cancer???

  • Maureen A.
    02/07/2020 03:35

    Who cares about her?

  • Raul F.
    02/06/2020 20:55

    Dont worried ladys any way womans are amazing and beautifuls criature god create. Dont be shame. I WILL ALL WAY LOVE YOU

  • Gloria T.
    02/06/2020 14:06

    Beautiful 💛💛💚💚

  • Osman H.
    02/04/2020 18:00


  • Jeannette M.
    02/04/2020 11:41

    Good for you

  • Jeff P.
    02/04/2020 08:55

    A fancy term for balding, yay!