This segment is dedicated to every woman or man who has ever been made to feel ashamed because of alopecia areata. As a licensed cosmetologist, I am keenly aware of the pain that this condition can cause. This segment serves to move us away from the drama on social media regarding the incident at the recent Oscars, and rather, seeks to educate the larger public about Black hair, alopecia areata, and the right for everyone to “rock” their hair the way they see fit and how we should dare to celebrate the same. That is why I call this segment, "Hairliberation!”
- Dr. Sharon McDaniel
Preserving Black women’s hair freedom and humanity
Black hair in America has long since been a political impetus whereas Black women and girls continue to feel the brunt of discrimination and ridicule for a natural state of their humanity – the way in which their hair grows from their scalps, or lack thereof. As the creator of the 2009 documentary ‘Good Hair,’ Chris Rock’s recent anecdote toward Jada Pinkett Smith at the Oscars ironically displays the public insensitivity and ignorance of the secret struggles Black women experience with their hair and the historical impacts of hair loss in the Black community.
Alopecia areata is a nonscarring form of immune-mediated hair loss experienced by men and women of all racial and ethnic groups. While few studies have examined the clinical epidemiology of alopecia areata in regard to patient race, recent research highlights the racial disparities and increased likelihood of alopecia areata in Black and Hispanic women compared to women of other races.
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