Sharing her story. Jada Pinkett Smith hasn’t shied away from discussing her struggle with alopecia and hair loss over the years.
The actress found herself at the center of controversy at the 2022 Oscars after Chris Rock joked that he was excited to see her in a potential G.I. Jane sequel, seemingly referencing her shaved head. While Pinkett Smith simply rolled her eyes during the March 2022 awards show, the Grown Ups actor’s quip sparked a strong reaction from her husband, Will Smith, who appeared to slap Rock in the face on stage. When he returned to his seat, he shouted at Rock, “Leave my wife’s name out of your f—king mouth.”
Pinkett Smith embraced her hair condition on the Academy Awards red carpet alongside the King Richard star, who took home the trophy for Best Actor that night. However, it wasn’t the first time she’s been vocal about her experience.
“It was terrifying when it first started,” the Maryland native recalled of her “issues” during a May 2018 episode of her Facebook Watch series, Red Table Talk. “I was in the shower one day and had just handfuls of hair in my hands and I was just like, ‘Oh, my God, am I going bald?’”
The Gotham actress explained that she had been wearing a turban to cover up her hair loss, revealing that it was not been an “easy” topic to discuss.
“It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking with fear,” the Matrix Revolutions star told her mother, Adrienne Banfield Norris, and daughter Willow Smith. “That’s why I cut my hair — and why I continue to cut it. I just had [thought], ‘OK, I think we’re gonna do another layer of cutting,’ you know? And my hair has been a big part of me. Taking care of my hair has been a beautiful ritual, you know? And having the choice to have hair or not, and then one day to be like, ‘Oh, my God, I might not have the choice.’”
Alopecia is a condition that can affect an individual’s scalp or entire body and can either be temporary or permanent, per a description from the Mayo Clinic. It is often the result of genetics, hormonal changes, medical conditions or aging. Signs include gradual hair thinning, patchy spots or sudden loosening of hair.
The Madagascar voice actress — who married Smith in 1997 — made headlines in December 2021 when she completely shaved her head.
“Now, at this point, I can only laugh,” Pinkett Smith said in an Instagram video at the time. “Y’all know I’ve been struggling with alopecia and just all of a sudden one day, look at this line right here. Look at that. So it just showed up like that and this is going to be a little bit more difficult for me to hide. So I thought I’d just share it so y’all are not asking any questions.”
She added: “But you know mama’s going to put some rhinestones in there. I’m going to make me a little crown. That’s what mama’s going to do.”
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