Jada Pinkett

Jada Pinkett Smith Embraces Hair Loss: ‘I‘m Going to Put Some Rhinestones in There and Make Me a Little Crown’

Drama at the Oscars has cast the spotlight to Jada Pinkett Smith and her struggle with hair loss due to alopecia. This autoimmune disorder causes hair loss and often a lot of distress as a result. Jada has spoken about her condition for years, but many people only heard about it after her husband slapped Chris Rock for joking about her shaved head at the 2022 Oscars. But drama or not, alopecia and other kinds of hair loss affect people all over the world, and Jada’s story gives a voice to what could feel like a lonely and shameful condition. 

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Jada Pinkett Smith Raises Awareness For Alopecia

Jada has expressed how upsetting alopecia was, especially when it began. “It was terrifying when it first started,” Pinkett Smith said in a 2018 episode of her Facebook Watch series ‘Red Table Talk.“I was in the shower one day, and then just handfuls of hair — just in my hands — and I was like, ‘Oh my God, am I going bald?’ It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking with fear. That’s a really scary experience.”

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley sympathizes with Pinkett Smith’s situation the night of the Oscars. While emphasizing that she does not condone violence, Pressley wrote on Twitter, “Let’s talk about what it’s like to live with [alopecia]. The deeply vulnerable [and] difficult moments that our families see. Appreciation post for those who hold us down & support us when we’re at our lowest points. They see us, fully.”

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Pressley added, “Our bodies are not public domain. They are not a line in a joke – especially when the transformation is not of our choosing. I’m a survivor of violence. I’m a proud alopecian. The psychological toll we carry daily is real. Team Jada always. That’s that on that.[2]

Alopecia is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks and destroys hair follicles. It can’t be cured but there are some treatments available to help manage it, with varying amounts of success. [3] While it’s usually not a serious medical issue, it can take a toll on the patients’ mental health. People with alopecia are at a higher risk of depression, as well as feelings of isolation, grief, embarrassment, guilt, and fear about others finding out about their hair loss.

Similarly, the National Alopecia Areata Foundation said, “Many people living with the condition are suffering, and we must do better to support this community and erase the stigma, discrimination, and societal barriers that persist.” 

Read: Petition To Stop Interviewing Will and Jada Smith Gets Over 23,000 Signatures

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Jada’s Story

In May 2018, Jada explained why she had been wearing a turban. She had been trying to find a medical solution and after “every kind of test there is” she learned she has alopecia. “That’s why I cut my hair,” she said in the episode. “My hair has been a big part of me. Taking care of my hair has been a beautiful ritual — and having the choice to have hair or not — and then one day be like, ‘Oh my god, I might not have that choice.’

I really had to put it in a spiritual perspective of like, the higher power takes so much from people,” she continued. “People are out here who have cancer. People have sick children. I watch the higher power take things every day, and by golly, if the higher power wants to take your hair? That’s it? God, you want my hair? When I looked at it from that perspective, it really did settle me.” [3]

In July 2021, she took the next step and shaved her hair. In an Instagram post, she posed with her daughter, Willow Smith. “Willow made me do it because it was time to let go BUT … my 50’s are bout to be Divinely lit with this shed,” she wrote in the caption.

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“Me and this alopecia are going to be friends”

In another episode of “Red Table Talk,” she expanded on her choice to shave her head, adding that her husband “loves” how it looks. “I was ready for that kind of expression and release,” she said. “I’m so glad I did it. It was such a beautiful experience and such a freedom. I feel more connected to myself and to the great divine in a very special way. … I was just like, ‘I’m done. I’m just done with the worry, I’m done with the care. I’m just done.’”

Additionally, in December 2021, Pinkett Smith showed Instagram a new bald patch on her scalp. This time, her reaction has changed from the first time she suffered from hair loss. “Now, at this point, I can only laugh,” she said in the Instagram video clip. “Y’all know I’ve been struggling with alopecia, and all of a sudden one day — look at this line right here. Look at that. 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.”

Mama’s going to put some rhinestones in there,” she continued, pointing to the exposed skin on her head. “I’m going to make me a little crown. That’s what mama’s going to do.” In the caption, Jada wrote, “Me and this alopecia are going to be friends … period!

Keep Reading: Will Smith Completely Loses It At Chris Rock And Punches Him After He Makes Joke About Jada

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  1. “Alopecia Areata.WebMD. Hansa D. Bhargava. September 10, 2020
  2. “Alopecia Areata and Emotional Wellness.National Alopecia Areata Foundation
  3. “Calls to ‘end the stigma’ around alopecia after Chris Rock Oscars joke.” The Guardian. Gloria Oladip. March 29, 2022
  4. “Jada Pinkett Smith has been vocal about her hair loss and struggles with alopecia.Los Angeles Times. Christi Carras. March 28, 2022
Sarah Biren
Freelance Writer
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender.
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