Culture

Jada Pinkett-Smith Has Talked About Her Battle With Alopecia for Years

Shaving her head in 2021, Jada Pinkett-Smith has struggled with hair loss since being diagnosed with alopecia in 2018.

Jada Pinkett-Smith held her tongue during Chris Rock‘s Oscars 2022 joke, but battling alopecia has been no laughing matter for the actress. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes sudden baldness and approximately 7 million people in the US are affected by the disease.

In May 2018, she opened up about her diagnosis in an episode of her webseries Red Table Talk, saying that she had taken “every type of test” for her hair loss, with doctors previously being unable to find reason for the cause.

“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?’” she said. “It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking in fear. That’s why I cut my hair, and why I continue to cut it,” she shared in the episode, adding that doctors gave her “little steroid injections” to medicate the alopecia.

“Even in my terror and even in my fear and in the moment of just going, ‘Oh, my God, like, why are you so terrified that you might lose your hair?’ I really had to put it in a spiritual perspective of, like, the higher power takes so much from people,” Pinkett-Smith said. “People are out here who have cancer, people who have sick children. I watch the higher power take things every day,” she continued. “And, by golly, if the higher power wants to take your hair, that’s hair? When I looked at it from that perspective, it really did settle me.”

In July of that same year, Jada surprised social media followers by sharing an image of her freshly-shaven head.

She also credited her daughter, Willow Smith for giving her added confidence with making the decision.

The actress continues to wear her hair shaven, even sharing in an September 2021 episode of Red Table Talk that Will Smith loves the look.

“It was just time. I was just ready for that kind of expression and release. I’m so glad I did it. It was such a beautiful experience and such a freedom,” she said. “I feel more connected to myself and to the great diving in a very special way. I was just like, ‘I’m over it.’ It was that moment. I was just like, ‘I’m done. I’m just done with the worry. I’m done with the care. I’m just done.”

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

Share
Published by
Jaelani Turner-Williams

Recent Posts

Grammys 2023: The Full List of Winners

Your real-time guide to all the winners at the 2023 Grammys ceremony, updated throughout the… Read More

February 5, 2023

Best Songs of The Week: ft. PinkPantheress, Terrace Martin, and More

The Round-Up is Okayplayer’s weekly playlist of the best songs in the worlds of hip-hop… Read More

February 3, 2023

JAY-Z Will Be Performing “God Did” at the 2023 Grammy Awards

JAY-Z will perform alongside DJ Khaled, Lil Wayne and more during an all-star live performance… Read More

February 3, 2023

Dr. Dre, Lil Wayne, Missy Elliott & Sylvia Rhone Honored By Black Music Collective

On Thursday, Dr. Dre, Lil Wayne, Missy Elliott and Sylvia Rhone were honored as new… Read More

February 3, 2023

How Seriously Should Creatives Take the Rick Rubin Book?

In the new Rick Rubin book, The Creative Act: A Way of Being, it's unclear… Read More

February 3, 2023

Miami Gets Heckled For Unveiling of Black History Month-Themed Police Cruiser

The city of Miami was mocked on social media on Thursday after Mayor Francis Suarez… Read More

February 3, 2023