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.”
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