Blood & Water ‘Thandeka’ Actress Gail Mabalane Speaks On Her Hair Loss Condition Made Viral By Jada Smith & Chris Rock



‘Blood & Water’ actress Gail Mabalane, who plays the role of Thandeka, has opened up on her struggle with the hair loss condition, Alopecia.

The condition went viral earlier this year after Will Smith smacked Chris Rock at the Oscars for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Smith was not impressed that Chris Rock had joked about his wife’s hair issues when she suffers from Alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss.

Last week, the Blood & Water star took to social media to share her struggles with Alopecia.

The Thandeka actress showed photos of her own hair loss from a few years back and outlined the measures she was taking to cope with the condition.

Gail Mabalane also advised women that the condition was more prevalent than they realised and counselled them to seek help timeously.

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Writing about her struggles with alopecia hair loss, the Blood & Water star wrote,


“Yep! This was me 3yrs ago! #TrueStory

This journey inspired the birth of @ethnogenics

This is way more prevalent than we think. From receding hairlines to bald patches to hair loss that starts in the middle of the head to scalp sensitivity. We, (women especially) have just become so good at hiding it and “suffering” / fighting it in silence.

September is #AlopeciaAwarenessMonth
My wish, is for everyone who is experiencing hair loss to know that you are not alone. I know that the experience comes with a ton of emotions. When we work through them, we come out stronger on the other side.

Here’s what I’d say about hair loss:
1) Get help as soon as you see it
2) Don’t wait to consult a dermatologist because early detection & treatment may prevent permanent hair loss.
3) Identify “your tribe”. This can be an emotional journey. Find the people who offer support … we can’t do it in secret. 🙏🏾
4) Find products that support your regrowth process. I struggled with this, hence the birth of @ethnogenics
5) Be conscious of what you put your scalp & hair through. A lot of the hair loss is self inflicted … so if we know better, we can do better.
6) Despite of what society has taught us to believe … WE ARE NOT OUR HAIR … our hair is a part of us … but we are much more than that.”


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Blood & Water Star Gail Mabalane “Thandeka”  shows her hair loss [Picture: Instagram via Gail Mabalane]


According to WebMD, it is not yet clear what causes Alopecia.

Doctors don’t know why it happens. But they think people who get it have something in their genes that makes it more likely. Then something happens to trigger the hair loss.

You’re more likely to get alopecia areata if you have:

      • A family member who has it
      • Asthma
      • Down syndrome
      • Pernicious anemia
      • Seasonal allergies
      • Thyroid disease
      • Vitiligo



Blood & Water ‘Thandeka’ Actress Gail Mabalane Speaks On Her Hair Loss Condition Made Viral By Jada Smith & Chris Rock
Blood & Water Star Gail Mabalane “Thandeka” [Picture: Instagram via Gail Mabalane]


Although the condition cannot be cured, it can be treated. WebMD goes on to say,

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Alopecia areata can’t be cured. But it can be treated and hair can grow back.

…Alopecia areata isn’t usually a serious medical condition, but it can cause a lot of anxiety and sadness. Support groups are out there to help you deal with the psychological effects of the condition.

If you lose all your hair, it could grow back. If it doesn’t, there are different ways to cover your hair loss and protect your scalp.

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